COVID-19 cases approach 100,000, officials report 16 more deaths



Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — State health officials today are reporting 758 new cases and 16 additional deaths due to coronavirus in Michigan.

The state total is now 99,958 cases and 6,440 deaths. Fifteen of the 16 deaths added today were identified in a vital records review.

The report comes just as Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-172, which prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who make the choice to stay home when they or their close contacts are sick. 

The governor’s order clarifies when a worker has the principal symptoms of COVID-19 so that workers who have a known medical or physical condition causing their symptoms need not stay home.  

The order, protecting employees who stay home when sick from retaliation, comes at a critical time when unemployed and underemployed workers face uncertainty after the Trump administration allowed the $600 pandemic unemployment benefit to expire. 

“Every hardworking Michigander should feel empowered to make the responsible choice and stay home if they or someone they have been in contact with is sick,” said Governor Whitmer. “COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our families, our frontline workers, and our economy, and it’s crucial that anyone who experiences any of the symptoms of this virus stay home. These protections will help to slow the spread of the virus and save lives, but we still need the federal government to work together in a bipartisan way to expand unemployment benefits and provide support for our workers and their families.”   

Individuals must remain home until 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without medication or 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared or were tested positive. 

As a rule, if an individual has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or has had close contact with a confirmed positive case they should only leave their home for essential trips, to obtain food, medicine, or medical care. Additionally, they may leave to partake in an outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity consistent with remaining at least six feet from others.   

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