State health officials report 612 cases and 15 deaths due to COVID-19


Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — State health officials are reporting 612 new cases and 15 deaths due to COVID-19 in Michigan.

Yesterday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s top health official briefed Michiganders in the current state of the coronavirus pandemic.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun is the Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. Khaldun said the COVID-19 cases are the highest recorded in the state since May. “We are also seeing increases in cases because there is a true spread of the disease,” she said.

Whitmer: Wear a mask

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order today mandating everyone to wear a face mask when they are inside a public space.

It also requires the use of face mask in crowded outdoor spaces. Most significantly, the order requires any business that is open to the public to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face mask, with limited exceptions. 

Those who are exempt from wearing a mask in Michigan businesses include people younger than five years old, those who cannot medically tolerate a face covering, and those who are eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment.  

A willful violation of the order is a misdemeanor subject to a $500 criminal penalty, but no term of confinement may be imposed on individuals who violate the mask requirement.

No individual is subject to penalty under the order for removing a mask while engaging in religious worship at a house of religious worship, although consistent with guidance from the CDC, congregants are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings during religious services. 

The executive order takes effect at 12:01am on Monday, July 13.

To view Executive Order 2020-147, click the link below: 

National Update:

A whopping 63,200 coronavirus cases were reported in the United States on Thursday – another all-time, single-day high for new confirmed infections. The previous high was on Tuesday, when 60,000 cases were reported across the country, according to figures from Johns Hopkins University.

Three of the hardest-hit states — California, Texas and Florida — just recorded their highest daily death tolls yet. There’s growing evidence the surge is linked to reopenings. 

Still, much of America is pushing ahead with its reopening plans. There’s no bigger symbol of that than Walt Disney World, which started welcoming passholders Thursday for “previews” and will reopen to the general public on Saturday, with new safety rules in place, amid Florida’s surge in cases. 

In Florida, COVID-19 diagnoses are double what they were at the beginning of April, according to President and Chief Executive Officer at Baptist Hospital in Miami, Bo Bouflenger.

Hospitals throughout the state are being sent additional staff and nurses to help manage the influx of patients.

Doctor Andrew Pastewski is with the intensive care unit and works as the medical director at Jackson Southern Medical Center in Miami.

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