Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand today

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Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 40,399; Death toll now at 3,670

DETROIT – The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 40,399 as of Wednesday, including 3,670 deaths, state officials report.

Wednesday’s update included 1,137 new cases and 103 additional deaths. Tuesday’s total was 39,262 confirmed cases and 3,567 deaths.

State officials say the rate of growth is continuing to slow, while testing rates continue to rise. Last week, officials noted a 15 percent decrease in virus hospitalizations over the previous 10 days.

Michigan announces plan to offer free college to essential workers

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced a new program to offer tuition-free pathways to college for essential workers.

The "Futures for Frontliners” program aims to provide a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers who don’t have a college degree. This includes workers like the ones staffing our hospitals and nursing homes, stocking the shelves at grocery stores, providing child care to critical infrastructure workers, manufacturing PPE, protecting public safety, picking up trash, or delivering supplies.

Governor: Construction work will resume May 7

Construction in the state of Michigan is set to resume May 7 as the plan to reopen the state in phases amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office confirmed.

Whitmer’s communications director, Zach Pohl, addressed a report that the governor would sign an executive order Friday to reopen the state’s construction industry on May 7.

“The reporting in MIRS is accurate," Pohl said. "No one should be surprised that the governor would open a lower risk field like she has said at previous press conferences.”

5 golf courses reopening in Oakland County

Five golf courses will reopen in Oakland County over the next five days, with specific rules for tee times and social distancing.

Here are the courses and their expected reopening days:

  • Glen Oaks Golf Course in Farmington Hills -- Friday
  • White Lake Oaks Golf Course in White Lake -- Friday
  • Lyon Oaks Golf Course in Lyon Township -- Monday
  • Red Oaks Golf Course in Madison Heights -- Monday
  • Springfield Oaks Golf Course in Davisburg -- Monday

The courses will open at 9 a.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Hours might vary based on staff availability.

Whitmer, Legislature debate 28-day extension of State of Emergency

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said her emergency powers do not require a vote of the Legislature but she is still asking for that body to approve a 28-day extension of her emergency declaration.

As of Tuesday night there was no consensus but the Republican leadership and the governor said talks are ongoing.

READ: Extending Michigan’s State of Emergency is not the same thing as extending the stay-at-home order

“We’ve got some productive conversations going on. I know that they are interested in better understanding some of the work the MERC, the Economic Recovery Council is doing,” Whitmer said.

There is real pushback on this because many GOP legislators think there have been arbitrary executive orders and feel the reopening of the economy is not moving along at the speed it should.

Governor news conference today

The governor is set to speak at 3 p.m. Wednesday -- watch live here. Gov. Whitmer, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio and President of the Michigan AFL-CIO Ron Bieber will provide an update regarding the state’s response efforts on COVID-19.

Here’s what happened Tuesday:

Republican leaders want reopening plan to move more quickly before extending State of Emergency

Republican leaders in Michigan want Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s plan to reopen the state to move more quickly.

They are threatening not to grant her request to extend the State of Emergency if that reopening isn’t sped up. Whitmer wants the State of Emergency, which is supposed to end Thursday, to be extended 28 days.

RELATED: Extending State of Emergency is not the same thing as extending stay-at-home order

Charges filed against doctor accused of promoting fake COVID-19 treatments

Charges have been filed against doctor at a Shelby Township medical spa who was accused of promoting an IV vitamin C drip to prevent and treat coronavirus (COVID-19).

Dr. Charles Mok from Allure Medical Spa is facing charges that include both health care fraud and insurance fraud.

MORE: FBI raids Shelby Township medical spa over ‘coronavirus treatment’ claims

Royal Oak city commissioners vote to censure member who attended ‘Operation Gridlock’

Royal Oak city commissioners voted to censure a commissioner who attended Operation Gridlock, a protest against Michigan’s coronavirus (COVID-19) stay-at-home order, earlier this month.

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

A censure is a formal condemnation.

Commissioner Kim Gibbs was at the April 15 protest in Lansing

Death toll reaches 3,567

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 39,262 as of Tuesday, including 3,567 deaths, state officials report.

That number is up from 38,210 confirmed cases and 3,407 deaths Monday.

The official recovery total is 8,342.

Tigers post frontline worker appreciation video

Sports may be halted amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, but the Detroit Tigers are reminding us that we have someone we should be cheering for -- frontline workers.

A video posted Tuesday shows the empty city and sports venues and showcases the Tigers, Lions, Pistons and Red Wings, before paying tribute to the people who are keeping the city going during the pandemic.

Watch it here.

Macomb County Health Department urges residents to answer phone for COVID-19 help

The Macomb County Health Department said it is reaching out to residents and other Michiganders who have tested positive for COVID-19, as well as to the contacts of those individuals.

County and state health officials want to check on their health status, provide information about COVID-19 and actions people should be taking, help locate needed services and track the spread of the infection in the community.

Henry Ford doctor who survived COVID-19 now enrolled in plasma study

Henry Ford Hospital physician Dr. Scott Kaatz took care of some of the first coronavirus patients admitted to the hospital. Unfortunately, he also became an early victim himself. He ended up in the intensive care unit on a ventilator. He was enrolled in the convalescent plasma study while he was being treated at the hospital. He was the first to receive it on April 17.

“The scariest part of this was certainly for my family,” Kaatz said. “I was unconscious, paralyzed, on a ventilator.”

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.