Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand today


Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 35,291; Death toll now at 2,977

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 35,291 as of Thursday, including 2,977 deaths, state officials report.

Thursday brought an additional 1,325 cases and 164 deaths. Wednesday’s total was 33,966 confirmed cases and 2,813 deaths.

“As a result of the most recent review of Vital Records and testing data, today’s data includes 55 additional deaths,” the state website says.

Michigan launches mortgage relief partnership amid coronavirus: How it could help you

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a new partnership with more than 200 financial institutions to offer relief to those who are struggling to pay their mortgages during the coronavirus pandemic.

Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) today announced the creation of the MiMortgage Relief Partnership with over 200 of Michigan’s financial institutions to “recognize and expand upon the measures that these institutions have been taking to assist customers to ensure that no one experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 will lose their home during this public health crisis.”

Coalition announces $23 million investment to help bridge digital divide for 51,000 Detroit students

A coalition of Detroit’s leading businesses and philanthropic organizations announced Thursday a plan to place a computer tablet with high-speed LTE internet connectivity, along with technical support, into the hands of every Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) K-12 student before the end of the school year.

Related: How school shutdowns raise stakes of digital divide for students

The “Connected Futures” program -- backed by DTE Energy Foundation, Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), Kellogg Foundation, Quicken Loans, the City of Detroit, General Motors and The Skillman Foundation -- is working to address a digital inequity within the city of Detroit, an issue they say has been exacerbated as students have been forced to learn from home as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. DPSCD estimates that 90% of the district’s students do not have access to a device and the Internet.

FBI raid over improper COVID-19 treatments

The FBI is raiding Allure Medical spa in Shelby Township over some kind of improper COVID-19 treatments.

Allure Medical is located at Van Dyke Avenue and 26 Mile Road.

Governor looking at next week to roll out plan for reopening state

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been promising more details about the state reopening after the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown, and she’s looking to roll out those details next week.

“I’m hoping to say more when we can start loosening restrictions as soon as Friday of this week,” Whitmer said. “I’ll continue this conversation and share more information. I want to be clear: We will likely need another short-term extension of the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order.”

Whitmer parceled out her thoughts on reopening the state and acknowledged the curve is flattening. That means we can start hoping for reduced restrictions, and she knows many Michiganders are anxious to get back to work.

Whitmer is expected to hold her next COVID-19 news conference at 3 p.m. Friday.

Cleveland Clinic sends 13 nurses to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit

The Cleveland Clinic has sent 13 nurses to Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit for COVID-19 response assistance and relief.

The nurses departed from Avon Hospital in Ohio on Wednesday. They will spend up to four weeks at various Henry Ford Hospital locations treating COVID-19 patients, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

The nurses departed from Avon Hospital in Ohio on Wednesday. They will spend up to four weeks at various Henry Ford Hospital locations treating COVID-19 patients, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Tracking coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in nursing homes

Nursing homes remain a top priority in the fight to stop the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), especially in the city of Detroit.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan touted the success of the city’s testing inside nursing homes to help get cases under control. The Local 4 Defenders took a look at where coronavirus cases are popping up in nursing homes around Metro Detroit.

Here’s what happened Wednesday:

Henry Ford Health announces about 2,800 layoffs

Henry Ford Health System announced Wednesday that it would be laying off about 2,800 workers temporarily due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while executives will donate a percentage of their salary to help workers.

These furloughed employees work at the health system’s six hospitals. Officials said they are not directly involved in patient care and work in areas where workloads have been drastically reduced or where operations have been temporarily closed.

Whitmer mulls short-term stay-home extension, but reopen plan in works

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a coronavirus briefing on Wednesday, updating residents on the state’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

Despite the increase, Michigan’s chief health officer Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said the rate of growth is continuing to slow, the rate of critical illness is dropping, and testing is increasing.

Whitmer said the state is increasing testing capacity, with new sites opening across the area this week.

Unemployment official answers most asked questions

Michiganders have a lot of questions about unemployment after coronavirus (COVID-19) left many people without work.

The system has been overwhelmed and crashing as the unemployment agency adds more employees and does upgrades online in an attempt to help everyone.

Help Me Hank brought the questions he most frequently receives about unemployment benefits to Steve Gray, who works with the agency.

Read his answers here.

Death toll reaches 2,813

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 33,966 as of Wednesday, including 2,813 deaths, state officials report.

That number is up from 32,967 confirmed cases and 2,700 deaths Tuesday.

The official recovery total is 3,237.

Founders laying off 163 workers in Michigan

Founders Brewing Company announced Wednesday that it will lay off 163 workers in Michigan due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.

Founders officials said the mass layoff is intended to last less than six months, but due to the uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, the layoff is considered “indefinite.”

City denies claim that it approved temporary morgue at Beaumont Wayne

The city of Wayne released a statement Wednesday that refutes claims that it approved a temporary morgue at Beaumont Hospital in the midst of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Health Department inspectors, along with Wayne County sheriff’s deputies, found the temporary morgue with about 50 bodies in it while visiting the hospital Tuesday.

READ: Investigation into makeshift morgue at Beaumont Wayne reveals 50 bodies in vacant building

177 Wayne County Sheriff’s Office employees, 13 jail inmates test positive

The Wayne County Sheriff’s Office said 177 employees have coronavirus (COVID-19) as of Wednesday.

Additionally, 13 inmates at the Wayne County Jail have tested positive. They have all been isolated, officials said.

AG Nessel urges FDA to further ease restrictions on LGBTQ blood donors

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel and 19 other AGs sent a letter Wednesday urging the Food and Drug Administration to further ease restrictions on blood donors in the LGBTQ community during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

There has been a shortage of blood during the virus outbreak and organizations have been requesting people donate if they are able.

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.