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

At least 15 dead as cases continue to climb

Coronavirus testing swabbing
Coronavirus testing swabbing (AP)

DETROIT – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered Michiganders to stay in their homes for at least three weeks beginning Tuesday amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

New Tuesday

Staying home

The order took effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. Many Michigan businesses were already closed. Whitmer’s new order changes the game in that only those necessary to sustain or protect life will stay on the job. That includes anyone in health care, public safety, grocery store employees, workers in government-based operations or essential functions. It also includes food, agriculture, energy, water, wastewater, transportation and communications. Critical manufacturing, hazardous materials, financial services, chemical supply chains and safety, defense industrial base and child care are also included.

DPD member dies

A Detroit Police Department (DPD) member diagnosed with COVID-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus, has died. DPD leaders are not saying much about the victim. Chief James Craig plans to discuss the death at a news conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Here’s what happened Monday:

Stay-at-home order issued

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a statewide stay-at-home order to fight the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

Effective at 12:01 am on Tuesday, March 24, 2020, for at least the next three weeks, individuals may only leave their home under very limited circumstances.

People can only work if they are deemed to be essential workers.

Workers that are necessary to sustain or protect life include those in health care and public health, law enforcement and public safety, grocery store workers, and more. Restaurants can continue with carry out and delivery services.

Death toll rises to 15

Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun announce that the state has 15 confirmed deaths due to COVID-19.

Six of the reported coronavirus-related deaths were in Detroit, with another two elsewhere in Wayne County. Oakland County has had four such deaths, and Macomb County has had two. One coronavirus-related death has been reported in Kent County.

As of Monday afternoon, there are 1,328 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the state.

Retailers advised to not collect empty beverage containers

Michigan retailers are being urged not to accept empty beverage containers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

The Michigan Beer and Wine Wholesalers Association Midwest Independent Retailers Association and Michigan Retailers Association have both advised retailers to stop taking beer, wine and soda containers beginning Tuesday.

Detroit Metro TSA employee tests positive

An employee with the Transportation Security Administration at Detroit Metro Airport has coronavirus (COVID-19).

No further details about the case were provided.

FCA to make, donate face masks

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced that the company will make more than 1 million face masks, which will be donated to police, EMTs, firefighters, and hospital and clinic workers.

The automaker said the masks will go to the people and facilities that need them the most by working with national, regional and city authorities to determine where the masks are needed.

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 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.