Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced a state of emergency in Michigan after two cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) were confirmed in metro Detroit on March 10, 2020.
According to reports by WXYZ, an adult female from Oakland County with a history of international travel and an adult male from Wayne County with a history of domestic travel tested positive for the respiratory virus. The virus, first detected in China late last year, has spread globally and even resulted in a number of deaths, particularly among older people with weakened respiratory systems.
What’s happening in Michigan
One patient who tested positive is an inpatient with the University of Michigan Health System in Ann Arbor and is in stable condition — though reports don’t state if this patient is the Oakland or Wayne county resident — and the Wayne County resident is currently under isolation.
The health divisions in both counties are currently monitoring the situation, working to identify those who came in close contact with the two patients and are preparing the area for potential outbreaks.
In addition, Whitmer has coordinated a response to the confirmed cases to include COVID-19 Task Forces that cover state operations, health and human services, education and economy and the workforce, all geared at protecting state employees, students and businesses from spread.
What can parents do?
With cases of coronavirus so close to home, you may be wondering what you need to do. The CDC recommends residents prevent the spread of the virus by taking the following precautions:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Use proper handwashing techniques and wash hands often. The CDC offers a list of when to wash your hands and five specific steps to washing, including wetting your hands, lathering and scrubbing for at least 20 seconds (the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice); then rinse and dry.
- Use hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available. Look for the type that includes at least 60% alcohol.
- Avoid touching your face — including your eyes, nose and mouth — with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Stay home if you are sick or wear a facemask if you are sick.
- Disinfect surfaces you touch daily with diluted bleach or alcohol solutions.
Risk factors and more key facts
COVID-19 is spread mainly from person-to-person contact through “respiratory droplets.” Symptoms include fever, cough or shortness of breath and may appear as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure.
Older adults and people who have underlying medical conditions including heart or lung diseases and diabetes seem to be most at risk.
There are currently hundreds of Michiganders being monitored for the illness, reports say, with 77 having been approved for testing and 57 having tested negative. There have been 118,000 confirmed cases around the world, according to Johns Hopkins; as of March 11, here in the United States, 32 people have died.
For more information on coronavirus and tips on how to keep your family healthy in its wake, visit the CDC’s COVID-19 page.