Michigan governor will extend ‘stay home’ order today; Press conference at 3 p.m.

Gov. Whitmer to make announcement on Thursday with more details

A closed sign is shown at Romeo & Juliet Furniture and Appliances with an empty parking lot in Detroit, Thursday, April 2, 2020. The coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak has triggered a stunning collapse in the U.S. workforce with 10 million people losing their jobs in the past two weeks and economists warn unemployment could reach levels not seen since the Depression, as the economic damage from the crisis piles up around the world. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the “stay-at-home” order, originally slated to end on April 14, will be extended as coronavirus cases continue to rise.

  • UPDATE: Whitmer has signed executive order 2020-42, extending her prior “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through the end of April. As with the prior order, Executive Order 2020-42 limits gatherings and travel and requires all workers who are not necessary to sustain or protect life to stay home. Executive Order 2020-42 also imposes more stringent limitations on stores to reduce foot traffic, slow the spread of the coronavirus, and save lives. Here’s what you need to know about the order extension.

Gov. Whitmer will make an announcement with more details on Thursday afternoon. Watch the press conference live at 3 p.m. on Thursday right here on ClickOnDetroit.

“It’s going to be extended,” Whitmer told WOOD-TV. “We will make an announcement tomorrow (Thursday) on all the different pieces of the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order.”

“I know it’s taken a toll and I know it’s hard, but we also know that we are still on the upward swing” of the virus spread, Whitmer said. “It’s really important that we continue to double down on mitigation and protecting folks by staying home.”

Related: Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 20,346; Death toll now at 959

“We know that it’s worked in other states that have been confronting this longer,” she added, citing New York. “To the extent that we impact making fewer people have to go to the hospital or fewer lives lost, and shortening the amount of time that we’ll confront this as an economy, is better for everyone.”

It’s unclear how long the extension will be. The Michigan Legislature approved a 23-day extension of the state’s emergency declaration on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, Gov. Whitmer said the state “is not close to the apex yet,” and staying home is the best tool to keep people safe.

Monday marked three weeks since Gov. Whitmer’s order to close most public spaces, including restaurants, bars and gyms. Tuesday marked two weeks since the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order went into effect, and four weeks since Michigan’s first confirmed cases.

“Hospitals are reporting that discharges are picking up, but that doesn’t mean the numbers are decreasing -- we’re just slowing the growth,” Gov. Whitmer said. “We’re not close to hitting the apex yet.”

“We are not out of the woods yet,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said, adding the 89 percent of hospitalizations for the virus are in Southeast Michigan.

Last week, state officials suggested the state was likely a month or so away from an apex of cases, but over the weekend, the White House suggested cases in Metro Detroit could peak later this week.

Gov. Whitmer said the state’s models are looking at more Michigan specific data than federal models, repeating that they expect a peak in late April or early May.

Increase in cases doesn’t discredit social distancing

It is important to note that while the number of cases is going up, it does not mean social distancing is not working. People who are testing positive now could have been exposed to the virus several weeks ago, and many people don’t show symptoms for several days.

It will take weeks to see the results of the stay-at-home order and other social distancing measures that have been put in place. Additionally, the state is still reporting results from a backlog of tests.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death.

Having trouble viewing the data below? Click here to view.

Here is a charted timeline of confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Michigan:

Here’s the Michigan county case count mapped and the total number of cases in each US state:

Here are Michigan’s COVID-19 deaths mapped per county:

Here are Michigan COVID-19 cases broken down by age range (view here if you’re not seeing the table):

Here are Michigan COVID-19 cases broken down by gender (view here if you’re not seeing the table):

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:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.