Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand today

Daily new COVID-19 deaths in Michigan through April 15, 2020. (WDIV)

Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 28,059; Death toll now at 1,921

DETROIT – The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 28,059 as of Wednesday, including 1,921 deaths, state officials report.

Wednesday’s numbers represent an increase of 1,058 cases and 153 deaths. Tuesday’s total was 27,001 confirmed cases and 1,768 deaths.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said on Monday that the state’s case curve appears to be flattening, but that it’s too early to ease up on social distancing measures.

Search for the nearest Michigan COVID-19 testing site

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is expanding testing criteria for coronavirus to include those with mild symptoms.

It has put together a COVID-19 test site finder here.

‘Operation Gridlock’ -- Michigan stay-at-home order protested in Lansing

The extended stay-at-home order for Michigan was the reason for a loud protest Wednesday in Lansing.

The protest started at noon. The plan was to circle the Capitol with as many honking vehicles to protest the stay-at-home order.

The residents protesting said they believe Gov. Gretchen Whitmer went too far in extending the stay-at-home order.

Michigan bars petition for executive order allowing carry-out cocktails, to-go alcohol

Owners of almost 30 bars and hospitality groups around Michigan have joined forces to petition Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission to allow the temporary sale of carry-out cocktails and other drinks.

Organized by Micah Bartelme, CEO Ann Arbor-based BarStar Group, and Robyn Cleveland, owner of Detroit-based Norden Aquavit, signees on the petition consist of a coalition of influential members of Michigan’s small business, hospitality and spirits community.

Whitmer: We need robust testing, help from feds to do it

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appeared on the Today Show for an interview Wednesday with Craig Melvin that focused on how the governor plans to reopen her state amid the coronavirus pandemic and what she needs to get it done.

Read the full exchange here.

Here’s an excerpt about testing needs:

Whitmer: “It’s knowing that we got a decline in number of tests coming in positively. It’s that we get robust testing, and that is still a struggle across this nation. We need some assistance from the federal government when it comes to swabs and reagents and making sure that we get the kind of robust testing that we need so we get data that we can actually rely on. You know these are two of the most important factors, but as we are making this determination it’s got to be centered around public health and mitigating spread.”

Michigan officials expand COVID-19 testing to those with mild symptoms

People with mild coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms are now able to get tested in Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is expanding testing criteria for coronavirus to include those with mild symptoms. It has put a COVID-19 test site finder here.

“Expanded testing is needed to learn more about how COVID-19 is spreading in our state,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We want to make sure people know that if they have symptoms, they should work with their medical provider to be tested.”

Michigan governor says California has loaned 50 ventilators

The Michigan governor announced Wednesday that the state is receiving 50 ventilators on loan from the state of California.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said in a news release that the ventilators have arrived in Lansing.

“From the beginning, Governor Newsom has taken swift and aggressive action to protect California families from the spread of COVID-19,” reads a statement from Whitmer. “He understands that when it comes to fighting this virus, we are all on the same team, and must work together to protect as many people we can. These ventilators will save lives and help our health care system treat more COVID-19 patients here in Michigan. I’m proud to work with Governor Newsom and everyone else who can step up to keep families safe.”

IRS launches ‘Get My Payment’ website

The IRS has launched a “Get My Payment” website to help people track the status of their coronavirus stimulus payment.

  • Qualifying adults should expect to receive $1,200 each -- that’s $2,400 for married couples. Families receive $500 for each child in a household.

DMC furloughs 480 staff members

The Detroit Medical Center (DMC) announced Wednesday it is furloughing 480 staff members as it works to divert additional resources to its COVID-19 care.

Audrey Gregory, COO of DMC, said they are reducing costs, and hours worked, and implementing furloughs of certain jobs as part of steps to divert additional resources to COVID-19 care and other urgent medical procedures that cannot be deferred.

List: Forgotten Harvest distribution schedule for upcoming weekend

Forgotten Harvest will distribute food to Metro Detroiters in need on April 16, 17 in support of the coronavirus (COVID-19) relief effort. Food will be distributed at the following locations and times -- check here.

Beaumont: Surge of COVID-19 patients decreases, care plans being adjusted

Beaumont announced Tuesday it is seeing a decrease in the surge of COVID-19 patients at its Michigan hospitals and is adjusting care plans accordingly with this new trend.

Mark Geary, external communications director for the hospital system, said this doesn’t mean any care campuses, including the Emergency Center at Beaumont-Wayne, will be closing.

Here’s what happened Tuesday:

Photos show body bags stacked inside Detroit hospital

Images of body bags inside Sinai-Grace Hospital show the grim reality of what first responders are dealing with during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Several containers with the words “short and long term refrigeration rental” on the side of them can be seen in the parking lot at the hospital.

8 COVID-19 patients receiving care at TCF Center

There are eight coronavirus (COVID-19) patients receiving care at the TCF Center in Detroit as of Tuesday, officials said.

The convention center turned field hospital is now being called the TCF Regional Care Center. It is designed to care for patients who are recovering from the virus so hospitals can help patients with greater needs.

Website helps Michigan residents receive federal stimulus checks

Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan announced a new website to help Michigan residents receive their federal stimulus checks.

Designed in partnership with Detroit nonprofit Civilla, the 2020 Coronavirus Stimulus Payment website takes people through a step-by-step process to ensure they’ve provided the IRS with information necessary to receive the funds.

Car wash continues to violate stay-at-home order

Three of the Fast Splash Car Wash locations have been ticketed four times for violating the order.

READ: What happens if you violate Michigan’s stay-at-home order?

According to Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office, employees at multiple locations tried to mislead police by saying another officer said the business could stay open, which was not true.

Businesses hire economist who says state passed peak last week

A group of small business owners in Michigan hired an economist who said the state passed its peak number of new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases last week and the “days where we can resume some normalcy are on the horizon.”

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore announces closures

Photos from over the weekend at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan show people in groups on trails.

In response to the photos, which were taken Saturday, all park trails, trailheads, parking lots, and picnic areas are closed. Beach fires are also prohibited.

Death toll reaches 1,768

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 27,001 as of Tuesday, including 1,768 deaths, state officials report.

That number is up from 25,635 confirmed cases and 1,602 deaths Monday.

The official recovery rate is 433.

Tide Cleaners offer free laundry services to Detroit frontline workers

Tide Loads of Hope Powered by Tide Cleaners will provide free laundry services to frontline workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Beginning Tuesday, medical personnel, police officers, firefighters and their immediate families can take their personal laundry to any Tide Cleaners location in the Detroit area to be washed for free.

GM: First ventilators are ready for delivery

General Motors announced Tuesday that its first Ventec Life Systems V+Pro critical care ventilators are ready for delivery to the U.S. government’s Strategic National Stockpile

GM was awarded April 8 with a government contract with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to build 30,000 ventilators by August. The automaker is working with Ventec Life Systems, a partnership announced in March, to produce the machines at its plant in Kokomo, Indiana.

Lawyers offer free legal services to coronavirus frontline workers

The State Bar of Michigan (SBM) announced Tuesday a new initiative to provide free legal services to frontline workers during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

SBM’s “A Lawyer Helps” program will assist medical workers and first responders to prepare legal documents such as wills, medical powers of attorney and financial powers of attorney. Frontline workers will get paired with an attorney using the program’s Frontline Responders Legal Helpline, officials said.

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.