Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand today

Nearly 3,000 cases reported

A satellite image of Michigan (NASA)
A satellite image of Michigan (NASA)

DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she has requested a major disaster declaration from President Trump to help with the state’s coronavirus response effort.

Whitmer said such a declaration would help the state provide meals, housing assistance, counseling and therapy, and the means to add additional hospital capacity.

“It would also provide much needed additional capacity in our state in the event we need to set up field hospitals or other facilities,” she said.

Whitmer spoke during a news conference Thursday morning in Lansing, where she was joined by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

“We’re still in the upslope when it comes to the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan,” Khaldun said.

The medical chief said we are a few weeks away from a peak of cases in Michigan if everyone stays home and helps stop the spread.

Read more here.

Ford has plans to reopen plants, for now

Ford Motor Company announced Thursday it is aiming to bring “key plants” back online by April 6 and April 14.

Ford said it is planning to resume production at Hermosillo Assembly Plant on April 6 on one shift. On April 14, Ford is planning to start building vehicles at Dearborn Truck Plant, Kentucky Truck Plant, Kansas City Assembly Plant’s Transit line and Ohio Assembly Plant.

To support these assembly plants, Ford said it also is aiming to resume production April 14 at:

  • Dearborn Stamping Plant
  • Dearborn Diversified Manufacturing Plant
  • Integrated stamping plants within Kansas City and Kentucky Truck plants
  • Sharonville Transmission Plant
  • Portions of Van Dyke Transmission (Sterling Heights), Lima Engine and Rawsonville Components plants

Detroit’s big three automakers -- Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler -- all announced last week that they were shutting down their plants due to coronavirus concerns. The trio said plants would be closed at least through March 30 so the facilities could be cleaned and sanitized. But Ford officials announced earlier this week that the closure will last even longer.

Read the UAW’s statement on this here.

Cases total 2,856; Death toll rises to 60

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 2,856 as of Wednesday, including 60 deaths, state officials report.

Thursday’s total represents an increase of 562 cases, the biggest single-day jump so far in the states. Wednesday’s final total was 2,294 confirmed cases.

Here’s what happened Wednesday:

Death toll rises to 43

The state is reporting 43 COVID-19-related deaths.

The total number of state-reported confirmed cases is 2,294 as of Wednesday afternoon.

Washtenaw County issues order requiring employee COVID-19 screenings

The Washtenaw County Health Department issued an order Wednesday businesses that are remaining open during the state stay-at-home order to screen workers for coronavirus.

The order will go into effect Thursday at 6 p.m.

Oakland County implemented similar policies this week.

Wayne County Sheriff’s Office commander dies

A commander with the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office died Wednesday from COVID-19.

Cmdr. Donafay Collins spent nearly 30 years with the sheriff’s office. He was also a radio DJ on Mix 92.3 until he retired last May.

Donafay Collins (WDIV)

The WCSO has has 18 employees test positive for COVID-19 as of Wednesday.

Michigan among best at social distancing

According to a recent study, Michigan is among the best states in the country at social distancing, receiving an "A" grade.

RELATED: Michigan issues stay-at-home order amid coronavirus

There are very few weapons with which to fight back against COVID-19, but the most effective seems to be social distancing, which dramatically cuts down the number of people with whom we come into contact.

Employee at Meijer in Warren tests positive

Workplaces continue to announce that employees have tested positive for COVID-19.

It was reported that a worker at the Meijer on Mound Road in Warren has the virus.

Meijer said Wednesday that plexiglass will be installed at registers at all of its stores.

Amazon also announced that an employee has COVID-19. A worker at the Shelby Township fulfillment center has the illness.

Explore Michigan virtually

How about some good news?

While you are social distancing, you can explore Michigan virtually.

The #VirtualPureMichigan campaign will include live cameras showing places such as Traverse City, Holland and Frankenmuth, as well as virtual tours of museums, and other related educational experiences.

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.