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Michigan Gov. Whitmer requests extension of emergency powers amid coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer alerted the Legislature that she wants to extend the Emergency Declaration and Disaster order for 70 more days -- bringing us to June 9.

By signing the Executive Order, she is also asking the Legislature to approve an extension of her emergency powers. The extension does not mean the stay-at-home order would last that long. It would extend Whitmer’s ability to make Emergency Orders if she deemed it necessary.

Whitmer sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House.

It reads in part:

“To meet the steep, varied and ongoing demands created by the COVID-19 pandemic my administration must continue to use the full range of tools available to protect the health, safety and welfare of our state and its residents. I welcome your and your colleagues shared partnership in fighting this pandemic.”

She then went on to ask for the 70 day extension of her emergency powers.

Mike Shirkey, the Senate Majority Leader said, “We agree that emergency circumstances persist in our state and are prepared to support an extension of the governor’s emergency declaration, but feel a 70 day extension is too long.”

The Legislature meets next week to take up the issue.

The federal response continues in Detroit. Rapid COVID-19 tests are expected to be online Thursday in the city for emergency responders and half of the ventilators the federal authorities have sent have been directly routed to Detroit.

MORE: What the CDC says you should do if you believe you have coronavirus (COVID-19)

How COVID-19 Spreads

Person-to-person spread

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

  • Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
  • Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Can someone spread the virus without being sick?

  • Spread is possible before people show symptoms. People who are not showing symptoms can still be carrying the virus and can still pass it on to other people.

Spread from contact with contaminated surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

How easily the virus spreads

How easily a virus spreads from person-to-person can vary. Some viruses are highly contagious (spread easily), like measles, while other viruses do not spread as easily. Another factor is whether the spread is sustained, spreading continually without stopping.

Prevention & Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. However, as a reminder, CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:

  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home when you are sick.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.

Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.

Click here for more guidelines from the CDC.

People who think they may have been exposed to COVID-19 should contact their healthcare provider immediately.

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

Read more about coronavirus here.


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