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

Auto show canceled to make room for temp hospital

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

DETROIT – It was revealed Saturday that the TCF Center in Detroit will be turned into a temporary hospital for coronavirus (COVID-19) patients, leading to the cancellation of this year’s North American International Auto Show, which was scheduled for June.

Here’s what happened Saturday:

Trump approves Michigan’s Disaster Declaration

President Donald Trump declared that a major disaster exists in Michigan and ordered federal assistance to supplement state, tribal, and local recovery efforts in the areas affected by COVID-19.

The president’s action makes federal funding available for crisis counseling for affected individuals in all areas of Michigan.

NAIAS canceled for TCF Center to be hospital

Detroit’s 2020 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) has been canceled as FEMA will convert the TCF Center into a temporary hospital.

As the COVID-19 pandemic escalates in Michigan, the TCF Center was chosen by FEMA for a temporary hospital to assist the state’s response to the outbreak for at least the next six months.

This comes shortly after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state was working with the Army Corps of Engineers to get more hospital beds to Detroit.

Death toll rises to 111

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 4,650 as of Saturday, including 111 deaths, state officials report.

That number is up from 3,657 confirmed cases and 92 deaths Friday.

Man charged after attempting to infect people

A 26-year-old man from Mt. Morris has been charged with three felonies after reportedly claiming to have COVID-19 and intentionally touching multiple shopping carts at the Kroger on N. Saginaw Street.

Police also say the man kissed the window of the police car while being transported to the county jail.

Whitmer calls for water reconnections

A new order requires public water suppliers to identify homes that don’t have water and make best efforts to restore service where the service has been disconnected due to non-payment or damaged infrastructure.

A $2-million Water Restart Grant Program through the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy will help communities comply with the order. Grants will be provided to high-risk areas.

2 Ford employees die

Ford Motor Co. said two of its team members who worked in Dearborn died after contracting COVID-19.

The company said both employees were members of the UAW. One worked at the Dearborn Stamping Plant and the other worker in the Electronic Data Center.

AG answers stay-at-home order questions

Michigan’s stay-at-home order, which requires numerous businesses to halt operations or shift to remote work, has led to some confusion.

RELATED: Debunking some viral myths about COVID-19

Attorney General Dana Nessel said phone lines have been overwhelmed with people asking questions about the order and reporting businesses that are remaining open despite not being essential.

MORE: What nonessential employees can do if they’re being forced to work

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.


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