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State health officials report 44,397 cases and 4,179 deaths due to coronavirus

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Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — State health officials are reporting 44,397 cases and 4,179 deaths due to coronavirus in Michigan.

Today’s report shows 447 new cases and 44 new deaths.

In Michigan, the case total has surpassed 44,000 with about one-third having recovered from COVID-19.

The first coronavirus case in Michigan was reported Tuesday, March 10 by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Her first stay-at-home order, “Stay Home, Stay Safe” took effect March 24. Since then, it has been revoked and replaced with executive orders extending the stay-at-home period with the most recent one lasting until May 30.

On Tuesday, Pfizer, one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, announced it will begin initial manufacturing of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kalamzoo, Michigan.

In response, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer responded with the following statement:

This is great news for our families, our neighbors, and those serving on the front lines during this crisis,” said Governor Whitmer. “COVID-19 has shown how vulnerable our country is when it comes to supply chain and much of the lifesaving materials we need are manufactured out of the country. That’s why we are so proud that one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in the world is the Pfizer site right here in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In fact, Michigan has a strong history of vaccine development with the polio and anthrax vaccines. Pfizer is a great partner and the State of Michigan and our strong manufacturing roots stand ready to serve.

The company’s clinical trial supply will be made at sites in Andover, Massachusetts and Chesterfield, Missouri,.

The trial is part of a global development program, and the dosing of the first cohort in Germany was completed last week. The first stage of the study is taking place at four sites across the U.S. – NYU School of Medicine; University of Maryland School of Medicine; University of Rochester School of Medicine; and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital.

In Michigan’s most populous city, Detroit, automakers are looking to restart North America production plants May 18.

On March 18, Ford, General Motors and Fiat Chrysler first announced plans to shut down plants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley said Tuesday his company plans to start reopening factories May 18 depending on easing of government restrictions.

The Detroit competitors likely will follow the same timetable since their workers are represented by the same union. Detroit automakers employ about 150,000 factory workers in the United States alone.

Nationwide:

Today, the Johns Hopkins University has documented more than 69,000 coronavirus deaths in the U.S. with more than 1 million cases confirmed.

Across the country, some metropolitan cities including San Francisco and New York City have closed some streets to cars to make space for people to practice social distancing themselves while walking.

In the largest U.S. state, California Gov. Newsom said many stores including retail could re-open by this Friday. California was one of the first states to mandate a stay-at-home order on Thursday, March 19.

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