Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what happened this weekend

More deaths reported, confirmed cases rise


DETROIT – This weekend, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order closing barbershops, salons and several other types of establishments amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Read a Saturday recap here and a Sunday recap here.

Coming up Monday, March 23:

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun will provide an update regarding the state’s response efforts to COVID-19 during a news conference Monday morning. It’s set to start at 11 a.m.

Here’s what happened this weekend:

5 additional deaths reported

The coronavirus-related death toll in Michigan rose to nine over the weekend.

The Washtenaw County Health Department announced the state’s ninth COVID-19 death.

The victim was an older man with underlying health issues, officials said. He was hospitalized Saturday and died Sunday.

Four additional deaths were reported Saturday, including a 90-year-old Detroit woman, a a 90-year-old Oakland County woman, a man in his 70s in Grand Rapids, and a 52-year-old Macomb County man.

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

Confirmed cases surpass 1,000

The state-reported total number of confirmed cases is 1,065 as of Sunday evening.

That number is up from Saturday’s state-reported total of 807. Increased testing and quicker test results has led to a spike in confirmed cases recently.

Automakers to make ventilators

President Donald Trump said Ford, General Motors and Tesla are able to produce ventilators and other metal products for health facilities.

GM has already been working with Ventec, a medical device company, and StopTheSpread.org to assist with increasing ventilator production.

Other Michigan companies are also stepping up to help make products outside of their normal items. On Friday, breweries and distillers were authorized to make hand sanitizer with denatured alcohol, a byproduct of the brewing process.

READ: Brewery, distillery team up to make hand sanitizer

Salons, barbershops must close

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order on Saturday shuttering a number of establishments.

Hair, nail, tanning, massage, spa, tattoo, body art and piercing services, and similar services that require individuals to be within 6 feet of each other have been ordered to close.

Business are expected to remain closed until at least April 14.

The new wave of closures come after the governor ordered gyms and theaters to close and limited restaurants to takeout only last week.

READ: Michigan orders gyms, cafes, theaters to close; limits bars, restaurants to carry out, delivery

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 & 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.

About the Author: