Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand today

State total reaches 334

A satellite image of Michigan (NASA)

DETROIT – The first coronavirus-related death was reported Wednesday in Michigan as the number of cases rose by 45.

Cases continued to rise Thursday, and the state-confirmed total was 334 by the afternoon.

Also, two more COVID-19-related deaths in Michigan were reported -- both in Metro Detroit -- bringing the total to three.

  • There are more than 300 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan.
  • The highest number of cases is in Oakland County (105 cases).
  • The state’s first COVID-19-related death has been reported in Wayne County.
  • The highest number of patients are in the 60-69 age range.

Here’s what happened Wednesday:

First death reported

The number of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Michigan reached 110 on Wednesday, and officials reported the first death related to the illness.

MORE: Beaumont expects to see ‘significant number of critically ill patients’

A man who was in his 50s died early Wednesday at a Beaumont Hospital in Wayne County, according to health officials. He had underlying medical conditions.

RELATED: Oakland County officials confirm 77 total cases of coronavirus (COVID-19); Macomb County reaches 20

Ford, GM, FCA to shut down plants

Ford Motor Co., General Motors and Fiat-Chrysler will close their plants due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

GM and FCA both said in statements that they would progressively shut down the plants.

Ford said in a statement Wednesday that its U.S., Canadian and Mexican manufacturing facilities will be halted after Thursday evening’s shifts through March 30 to “thoroughly clean and sanitize the company’s plants."

Army National Guard called to help

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has called on the Army National Guard to help with getting coronavirus (COVID-19) supplies.

Guard members will assist the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to assemble critical personal protective gear, such as gloves, gowns and face shields.

Businsesses confirm sick employees

Several businesses confirmed that their employees have tested positive for coronavirus.

Two employees at Wayne State University have the illness, along with a worker at Detroit Metro Airport.

A Blue Cross Blue Shield employee who works in Southfield and a Detroit employee both tested positive.

An attorney who worked in a Macomb County courtroom also tested positive. They were in the courtroom Monday.

RELATED: Here’s which Michigan counties have confirmed cases of coronavirus

Oakland County reports 77 cases

Oakland County officials said there are 77 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the county as of Wednesday night, while the total in Macomb County rose to 20.

Otter cam installed at zoo

Local 4 installed an otter cam at the Detroit Zoo so people can take their minds off of everything happening for a bit and watch the animals at home.

Watch live here.

Missed anything? Read the big headlines from Tuesday here.

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?

  • People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic (the sickest).
  • Some spread might be possible before people show symptoms; there have been reports of this occurring with this new coronavirus, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

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 and 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.

MORE: Beaumont Health launches coronavirus hotline for patients with symptoms

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.