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Detroit mayor stresses importance of coronavirus (COVID-19) testing while discussing numbers

DETROIT – Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan acknowledged the disproportionate number of African Americans affected by coronavirus (COVID-19)

“What the coronavirus is doing is exacerbating the racial health gap that has existed in this country for a very long time,” Duggan said.

MORE: Why is coronavirus (COVID-19) death rate so high for African Americans?

Duggan noted that life expectancy for African Americans is shorter than the live expectancy for Caucasians, adding that many diseases, such as hypertension, asthma, heart disease, kidney disease and diabetes have higher rates in the African American community.

"We had 26 more deaths reported. Twenty-six more of our neighbors -- somebody’s mother or father, son or daughter,” Duggan said.

RELATED: New Era Detroit helps African American communities hit by COVID-19

Duggan said the COVID-19 numbers are alarming but there’s improvement. That’s why he’s stressing more and more people to get tested.

“It’s much now easier for doctors in Michigan to be testing. I want every single person to get tested, showing symptoms,” Duggan said.

Staff members of nursing homes will be tested soon. Also, the TCF center should be ready for patients soon.

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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