Detroit works to slow spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) as city reaches 5,501 cases

Michigan’s emergency declaration was extended Tuesday, while Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will likely extend the stay-at-home order later this week.

DETROIT – Detroit is working to flatten the coronavirus (COVID-19) curve as cases continue to rise in the city and around the state.

The city has 5,501 confirmed cases of COVID-19.

April 7 update -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 18,970; Death toll now at 845

Officials are deploying new tools in an attempt to slow that spread.

For instance, beginning Wednesday, riders on Department of Transportation buses will receive surgical masks.

READ: Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand as of Tuesday night

In the meantime, experts are looking at why some groups are more impacted by the virus than others. Date shows the death rate is higher for African Americans than other groups.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease expert, noted that diseases such as diabetes, hypertension and asthma disproportionately affect African Americans. Preexisting conditions have made people more vulnerable to COVID-19.

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

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.

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism