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Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand as of Friday

Confirmed coronavirus death toll hits 3

DETROIT – The coronavirus death toll in Michigan rose to three Thursday as the confirmed number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the state eclipsed 300.

Here’s what’s happening Friday:

State count now 500-plus

Michigan reported more coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on Friday (March 20) afternoon, pushing the state reported total to 549. Cases reported by the state increased by 225 cases since Thursday’s data release. (See latest county breakdowns below). The state was reporting 10 cases that did not have counties identified on Thursday, and is no longer reporting that on Friday. The state is reporting one case as an “out of state” case.

Henry Ford Health System treating 78 COVID-19 patients

Henry Ford Health System announced as of 9 a.m. Friday it has 78 COVID-19 patients being treated at five of its Michigan hospitals.

  • Henry Ford Hospital (Detroit) -- 56 patients
  • Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital -- 11 patients
  • Henry Ford Macomb Hospital -- 10 patients
  • Henry Ford Wyandotte -- 1 patients

Henry Ford Health said in-house testing is being prioritized for patients who are currently hospitalized, Emergency Department patients who are being admitted and Henry Ford Health care workers.

Kroger announces special shopping hours

Kroger will dedicate the first hour of Monday, Wednesday and Friday shopping days to seniors, expectant mothers, first responders and people with compromised immune systems.

The first hour of shopping is from 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. each of those days. This will begin Monday (March 23) and continue until further notice, Kroger officials said.

Kroger will also move to the new 9 p.m. closing time starting Saturday (March 21).

U-M Housing offers refund

University of Michigan Housing announced it is offering a $1,200 refund for the 2019-2020 academic year to those who have left -- or plan to leave -- campus over fears of the COVID-19 pandemic.

All students who are moved out of their residence hall or university apartment by 5 p.m. on March 25 are eligible to receive a $1,200 refund.

Here’s what happened Thursday:

Death toll rises to 3

There have been three coronavirus-related deaths in Michigan.

Officials with Henry Ford Health System announced the state’s second confirmed coronavirus death Thursday morning. An 81-year-old woman died.

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

The third death, a woman at McLaren Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, was reported shortly after. Officials said the woman in her 50s had underlying health conditions.

The number of confirmed cases also rose Thursday. The state-reported total was 334 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Governor requests federal funding to use Michigan National Guard

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is requesting federal funding to use the Michigan National Guard during the response to coronavirus (COVID-19).

RELATED: Michigan Army National Guard called to help with getting coronavirus supplies

In a letter to President Donald Trump’s administration Thursday, Whitmer asked for the aid and said Guard members would help distribute resources, such as food and supplies, to families impacted by the virus.

Whitmer wants Trump to authorize the use of National Guard members under Title 32, United States Code, specifically 502(f).

Movement music fest postponed

The electronic music festival Movement has been rescheduled for September 11, 12 and 13 due to the coronavirus outbreak and restrictions on crowds that have been put in place.

The festival was originally scheduled for Memorial Day Weekend in Detroit.

Detroit-Windsor Tunnel to close to non-essential traffic

The Detroit-Windsor Tunnel will close to non-essential traffic on Saturday.

Trade and those workers deemed essential will be allowed to pass through the tunnel.

More schools report confirmed cases

A staff member at Kenbrook Elementary in Farmington Hills has coronavirus (COVID-19). They are in self-quarantine.

Two Michigan State University students also have coronavirus. The students both traveled internationally, and the cases are not related.

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.


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