Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand today


Republican-led Michigan House refuses to extend Gov. Whitmer’s coronavirus emergency

The Republican-led Michigan House refused Thursday to extend the state’s coronavirus emergency declaration and voted to authorize a lawsuit challenging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s authority and actions to combat the pandemic.

The step came as hundreds of conservative activists returned to the Capitol to denounce Whitmer’s stay-at-home measure.

Whitmer wanted lawmakers to extend her emergency declaration by 28 days. It expires late Thursday. But at the same time, she believes she has other powers to respond to the crisis and does not need a legislatively-approved extension except to ensure that health care workers would continue to have special legal protections. She has said the state of emergency will continue regardless.

Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 41,379; Death toll now at 3,789

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 41,379 as of Thursday, including 3,789 deaths, state officials report.

Thursday’s update represents 980 new cases and 119 new deaths, including 40 as a result of the state’s ongoing review of “vital records” and testing data. Wednesday’s total was 40,339 confirmed cases and 3,670 deaths.

The state also reported 7,927 tests on April 28, the second-highest one day total. 12.5% were positive. For reference, in the first week of April, the state was averaging about 3,200 tests per day, with around 40% positive.

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 coronavirus data: Tracking case count, cases by county, deaths, cases by age, tests

State of Emergency expires at midnight

The Michigan Legislature is meeting Thursday to continue debating the State of Emergency in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants to extend the emergency another 28 days after it expires Thursday night at midnight. The state Legislature is slated to vote on the governor’s request before it expires.

Whitmer said she thinks it should be extended even longer than 28 days, but the letter she will send to the Legislature will ask for that amount.

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

The stay-at-home order, which was originally slated to end the same day the State of Emergency ends, has already been extended through May 15.

Whitmer announced the extension and loosened restrictions last week, allowing some workplaces to reopen.

Whitmer on requesting emergency powers: ‘I have to do this to save lives’

Whitmer is in a heated battle with legislators, saying she needs emergency powers extended because she’s trying to save residents from the pandemic.

“I don’t enjoy using all of these levers of this office, but I have to do this to save lives, and that is what centers every decision we’ve made,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer didn’t mince her words: She said she’s going to get a state of emergency with or without the legislature.

The Senate and House gaveled into session at 10 a.m. Wednesday and stood down for a couple of hours. But it didn’t take long for the proceedings to heat up.

Several protesters wanting the state opened more quickly caused a scene that ended in physical removal from the House gallery.

Here’s what happened Wednesday:

Court rules stay-at-home order does not infringe on constitutional rights

The Michigan Court of Claims ruled Wednesday that the stay-at-home order does not infringe on constitutional rights.

The court also denied a motion for preliminary injunction, ruling that the current version of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order and previous versions don’t violate rights.

Canterbury Village forced to postpone drive-in movie nights

Canterbury Village is postponing drive-in movies that were scheduled this week and next week.

The postponement announcement was posted to the Canterbury Village Facebook page with the message that the “governor just shut us down.”

According to the post, the governor halted the event.

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, 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.”

Whitmer introduces program to provide free college to essential workers

Whitmer highlighted a new program to help essential workers receive a college education on Wednesday.

The "Futures for Frontliners” program aims to provide a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers.

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

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.

Death toll reaches 3,670

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.

That number is up from 39,262 confirmed cases and 3,567 deaths Tuesday.

The official recovery total is 8,342.

Whitmer on requesting emergency powers: ‘I have to do this to save lives’

Whitmer is in a heated battle with legislators, saying she needs emergency powers extended because she’s trying to save residents from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“I don’t enjoy using all of these levers of this office, but I have to do this to save lives, and that is what centers every decision we’ve made,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer, lawmakers battle over when to reopen Michigan

While the battle against the COVID-19 is far from over, a debate is raging in Michigan over plans to reopen the state for business.

Michigan’s State of Emergency is set to end this week. Whitmer wants it extended, as do Republicans. But they also want to speed up the reopening plan.

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.

About the Authors:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.