Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand today


Decision expected today on whether to close Michigan state parks amid pandemic

DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to announce a decision Wednesday on whether all state parks will be closed amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Nicer weather led many Michiganders outside this past weekend, crowding some parks such as the state park at Belle Isle in Detroit. Photos show thousand on the island. Police had to shut it down twice.

Whitmer said if residents forget about social distancing, a second wave of the virus could hit.

Here’s what happened Tuesday:

AG confirms Gov. Whitmer’s executive orders are enforceable

Amid the threat of legal action from Michigan lawmakers, a lawsuit filed by a state representative and angry protests from Michigan residents, the attorney general has confirmed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus (COVID-19) executive orders are enforceable by law enforcement officials.

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

Rapper donates money raised for Whitmer’s Buffs to New Era Detroit

Michiganders pitched in nearly $3,000 to buy Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a pair of Cartier Buffalo sunglasses after a song went viral praising her handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

MORE: Gov. Whitmer approves of Detroit rapper’s ode to her

Detroit rapper GmacCash’s “Big Gretch” caught fire over the weekend. On the track, he rapped that the governor has earned her Buffs.

Whitmer’s office sent a statement saying she was grateful for the gesture but couldn’t accept the glasses. GmacCash responded by saying he will donate the money raised to community organization New Era Detroit.

JetBlue halts flights to Detroit through September

JetBlue is suspending flights to Detroit and 15 other airports across the country through Sept. 30 due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The airline noted in a request to the United States Department of Transportation “that there is extremely low demand" at the airports, adding that other airlines would still transport passengers in these locations.

GM, Ford, FCA discuss tentative date to reopen Michigan auto plants

Executives from General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler, UAW officials and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have discussed a tentative date for reopening the state’s auto plants.

Initially, officials were targeting early May, but that was vetoed by the United Automobile Workers union. Now, May 18 is the target date.

Death toll reaches 4,179

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 44,397 as of Tuesday, including 4,179 deaths, state officials report.

That number is up from 43,950 confirmed cases and 4,135 deaths Monday.

The official recovery total is 15,659.

‘There is always hope’: Jeff Daniels, Big Sean narrate inspirational video

Jeff Daniels and Big Sean narrated a video to inspire Metro Detroiters during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The virus outbreak has upended many people’s lives, leading to job losses, deaths of loved ones and anxieties about what’s to come, but Daniels and Sean have a reminder: “There is always hope.”

Watch it here.

State issues guidelines on seeking non-COVID-19 related medical care

Michigan has released new guidelines on seeking non-COVID-19 related medical or dental care during the ongoing pandemic.

An Emergency Order issued in March was signed “to ensure healthcare systems had enough staffing, bed capacity and personal protective equipment (PPE) to care for all patients, as well as to limit the spread of COVID-19.”

The state says the order “was meant to be flexible so patient care can be considered on a case-by-case basis to determine which services are needed more immediately and which can be safely delayed without resulting in a decline in health.”

Woman attacks worker, spits on police after being asked to wear mask

A Macomb County woman who was asked to wear a mask inside a store due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) responded by attacking the employee and spitting on police officers, authorities said.

Kristin Hoff, 33, of Roseville, entered Nino Salvaggio’s in St. Clair Shores on April 26 without wearing a mask, police said.

A store employee asked Hoff to leave the store because entering without a mask was against Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order.

Pfizer begins COVID-19 vaccine trial, will be manufactured in Michigan

Pfizer has started a new clinical trial on a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, and it’ll be manufactured in Michigan.

Pfizer and BioNTech SE announced Tuesday that the first participants have been dosed in the U.S. in the phase 1/2 clinical trial for the “BNT162 vaccine” program to prevent COVID-19.

The trial is part of a global development program, and the dosing of the first cohort in Germany was completed last week.

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.