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

First patients arrive at TCF Center

A satellite image of Michigan (NASA)

DETROIT – The first coronavirus (COVID-19) patients arrived at the TCF Center in Detroit on Friday.

Here’s what happened Friday:

COVID-19 outbreak reported at Downriver nursing home

Rivergate Terrace Nursing Home in Riverview is a massive rehabilitation home that has become a COVID-19 hot spot.

Officials with the nursing home confirmed seven residents died from coronavirus, but management is accused of downplaying the true number is expected to be much higher.

Motorized boating not allowed under new stay-at-home order

Non-motorized boating is allowed under Michigan’s revised stat-at-home order, but the use of watercraft with motors is prohibited, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the order until April 30 on Thursday.

MORE: Michigan extends ‘stay home’ order -- What you need to know

While it was clarified that the previous order included boating, the new order only allows non-motorized water activities, such as kayaking, canoeing and sailing.

TCF Center becomes fully-functioning field hospital

Patients began arriving at the TCF Center in Detroit on Friday, as the convention center started its new role as a field hospital during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Medical staff are expected to care for hundreds at the center. Patients who are recovering will be transported there to make room for other patients who need more care at hospitals.

Self-employed, 1099-contractors, gig workers can apply for unemployment Monday

Michigan will open applications for unemployment benefits for self-employed, contractors and gig workers next week.

Michigan’s self-employed workers, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors and low-wage workers affected by COVID-19 can apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) beginning Monday at 8 a.m.

Insurance companies agree to make 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.

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

Death toll reaches 1,281

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 22,783 as of Friday, including 1,281 deaths, state officials report.

That number is up from 21,504 confirmed cases and 1,076 deaths Thursday.

Michigan History Center begins collecting stories, searching for objects

The Michigan History Center announced Friday that is collecting stories, objects and documents related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

"There is no question that the coronavirus emergency that is so deeply affecting all our lives is a significant history-making time. That’s why the Michigan History Center is launching this collecting project now,” said Sandra Clark, the center director.

Henry Ford Health: More than 1,000 coronavirus patients discharged

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.

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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