Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s where we stand as of Friday morning


DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been loosening restrictions put in place during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Here’s what happened Thursday:

Gov. Whitmer partially reopens businesses, lifts medical restrictions

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday that she is partially reopening businesses and lifting medical restrictions across the entire state.

She is also allowing Michiganders to gather in groups of up to 10 people, as the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to slow across the state.

Whitmer said retail businesses can reopen, as well as auto dealerships by appointment, on Tuesday.

Retail businesses that reopen can have up to 10 customers inside at any time

Michigan residents now allowed to gather in groups of 10

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday residents are allowed to gather in groups of as many as 10 people.

The order is effective immediately

Death toll reaches 5,129

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 53,510 as of Thursday, including 5,129 deaths, state officials report.

That number is up from 53,009 confirmed cases and 5,060 deaths Wednesday.

The official recovery total is 28,234.

Court rules Whitmer can continue state of emergency without legislative approval

The Michigan Court of Claims has ruled Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has the authority to keep the state under a state of emergency without legislative approval.

Republican legislators sued Whitmer after she extended the state of emergency and stay-at-home orders without their approval.

Ford says President Trump wore mask for part of Michigan visit, then took it off

“Bill Ford encouraged President Trump to wear a mask when he arrived," Ford said in a statement. "He wore a mask during a private viewing of three Ford GTs from over the years. The president later removed the mask for the remainder of the visit.”

Trump visited Ford’s Rawsonville plant in Ypsilanti on Thursday. White House officials said the visit is to thank businesses producing PPE and medical equipment.

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.

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