Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand today

Death toll surpasses 1,000

A satellite image of Michigan (NASA)

Henry Ford Health: More than 1,000 coronavirus patients discharged, fewer than 700 still hospitalized

DETROIT – Officials at Henry Ford Health System report more than 1,000 coronavirus (COVID-19) patients have been discharged over the last month, while fewer than 700 remain hospitalized.

As of 11:45 a.m. Friday, 1,007 people have been treated for the coronavirus and discharged -- an additional 154 patients since Wednesday morning.

The number of coronavirus patients still in the hospital dropped from 743 on Wednesday to 696 on Friday.

In total, 6,698 people have tested negative, while 4,285 have tested positive at Henry Ford Health System’s hospitals.

Michigan health insurance companies agree to make coronavirus (COVID-19) treatment free

Nearly all of the major health insurance companies in Michigan have agreed to waive costs -- including copays and deductibles -- for coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and treatment.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s Department of Insurance and Financial Services worked with insurance companies to waive the costs.

“Michiganders that are fighting for their lives should not have the extra burden of fighting with their health insurer to cover the costs of their care,” Whitmer said. “I am thankful that health insurers agreed to cover Michiganders’ coinsurance, deductibles, and copays as we fight this virus. It’s going to take all of us doing our part to slow the spread of COVID-19. We will get through this together."

Construction complete: Detroit’s TCF Center turned into alternate care facility for COVID-19 patients

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) announced Friday that construction is complete at the convention center. It’s one of the first such sites in the nation to be turned over to the state. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said Thursday he anticipates about 250 patients will be placed at the TCF Center.

The first 25 patients will arrive Friday.

Construction included a triage area, patient support services such as showers and toilets, staff changing areas and administrative space, a command center and pharmacy. The 350,000-square-foot conversion of the convention center into a medical facility with 970 bed spaces across two floors for COVID-19 patients took nine days, according to the USACE.

Travel between residences in Michigan prohibited in new ‘stay home’ order restrictions

Michigan Gov. Whitmer has extended the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order until the end of April and included new restrictions.

Some of the new restrictions have faced criticism.

The new restrictions include prohibiting the sale of some items at big box stores. That means items like gardening supplies, furniture and paint will be roped off and unavailable for sale.

READ: ‘Everyone in Michigan is essential’: House Speaker opposes extension of stay-at-home order

“If people are going to be staying home I don’t see a reason why they couldn’t be improving their homes while they’re here,” state Rep. Jason Sheppard (R-Monroe) said.

Whitmer has also prohibited travel between properties that people own in the state, including vacation rentals.

That goes into effect after April 10. Prohibitions on landscaping and lawn service business will remain intact, although some cities said they will allow law cutting services.

Here’s what happened Thursday:

Michigan extends ‘stay home’ order

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the extension of the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order to at least the end of April.

As with the prior order, this order limits gatherings and travel and requires all workers who are not necessary to sustain or protect life to stay home.

MORE: ‘Everyone in Michigan is essential’: House Speaker opposes extension of stay-at-home order

‘TCF Regional Care Center’ to accept first 25 patients

The TCF Center -- now being called the “TCF Regional Care Center” -- will accept the first 25 patients Friday.

The facility will be supported by staff and resources from Henry Ford Health System, McLaren Health Care, Beaumont Health and the Detroit Medical Center.

City leaders won’t stop lawn care companies

Some Metro Detroit leaders said they won’t try to stop lawn care services from working.

Gov. Whitmer has reiterated that lawn care companies are nonessential.

Death toll reaches 1,076

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 21,504 as of Thursday, including 1,076 deaths, state officials report.

That number is up from 20,346 confirmed cases and 959 deaths Wednesday.

‘Victory boards’ highlight COVID-19 recoveries

Prominently displayed whiteboards list the number of COVID-19 patients successfully coming off a ventilator and breathing on their own, as well as the number of patients discharged to go home.

They are being used at hospitals around Metro Detroit.

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.

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