Health officials report 12,744 cases, 479 deaths due to COVID-19 in Michigan


Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — State health officials are reporting 12,744 cases and 479 deaths due to COVID-19 in Michigan.

That is a total increase of 1,953 individual cases since yesterday and 62 deaths.

To date, 37, 992 total specimens have been tested for COVID-19 in Michigan, according to state health officials. Approximately 25 percent of the tests have come back positive.

Just over three weeks ago, the Michigan Health and Human Services Department reported the state’s first two cases of coronavirus in Oakland and Wayne Counties. Today, just 14 counties in the state have not confirmed cases of coronavirus.

Wayne County, Michigan is ranking no.6 on the top U.S. counties with the most coronavirus cases. Detroit accounts for roughly half of those cases in Wayne County and has been referred to by both Gov. Whitmer and the U.S. surgeon general as one of the nation’s “hot spots” for the virus.

Across the U.S., cases have topped 250,000 and globally, there are now more than 1 million cases.

The case total is climbing each day with rising concerns of the lack of personal protective equipment and masks for health care workers.

On social media Thursday, Gov. Whitmer posted that the Fiat Chrysler North America team at the Mopar Parts Distribution Center donated and shipped out approximately 500,000 face masks to emergency operation centers in Oakland and Wayne Counties, two counties experiencing a high number of COVID-19 patients in the state.

Even with donations from companies, Whitmer said in an interview with Trevor Noah on his show, “The Daily Show, that “the state has not received all the aid it has requested from the federal government.

“We’re not getting as much as we hoped to from the federal government,” she said on The Daily Show interview. “And so we’ve got to supplement that by contracting with anyone we can buy masks from or test kits from.”

As the state looks to private companies to retrieve masks for medical professionals, Whitmer also took steps this week to reduce exposure of the virus in schools by making the executive decision to close them for the remainder of the academic year. Her executive order also made room for districts to detail plans to move classes online for the rest of the semester.

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-36, prohibiting all employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against an employee for staying home from work if they or one of their close contacts tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of the virus.

Executive Order 2020-36 also strengthens the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order by declaring that it is the public policy of the state that all Michiganders who test positive or show symptoms, or who live with someone who tests positive or shows symptoms, should not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.

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