LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday that Michigan is probably a month away from reaching the apex of the coronavirus outbreak, which has already infected at least 9,300 people and contributed to the deaths of at least 337 others in the state.
“No one is immune from this virus,” she said during a news conference at the Capitol. “Each of us responds differently to this disease, and that’s why we all must act as though we could be carrying it and stay home. Just one person with this virus can infect another 40.”
Michigan has been hit particularly hard by the disease, reporting about as many confirmed cases of COVID-19 as California, which has about four times as many people. The vast majority of Michigan cases are coming from in and around Detroit.
In Detroit alone, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, jumped Thursday by 477 and the number of virus-related deaths increased by 14. The city’s Health Department’s website listed 2,860 total cases as of Thursday, including 97 deaths.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan told reporters Wednesday that the increase in positive tests was due to aggressive testing at a drive-thru site in the city that has seen several hundred people show up per day.
Among those who tested positive in Detroit was City Council President Brenda Jones, who is running for Congress. The disclosure was made by her campaign.
The state’s chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said Thursday that the state has confirmed more than 1,000 new cases in each of the past few days, and that the trend is likely to continue for some time. She said the increases mean there likely will be a need for additional field hospitals for patients beyond one being set up at the TCF Center in Detroit.
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti has recommended that his city’s 4 million residents wear masks, saying even a “tucked-in bandanna” could slow the spread of the virus and remind people to keep their distance from each other. Asked if people in Michigan should do the same, Khaldun said they should “strongly consider” it, though N95 or surgical masks should be donated to hospitals. “We know that some people may have a mask at home or they may be able to make a mask out of cloth or a bandana. It certainly won’t cause any harm,” she said.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are among those particularly susceptible to more severe illness, including pneumonia.
BUSINESSES STEPPING UP:
Detroit-based Rocket Mortgage and the Rock Family of Companies said Thursday that it was working with private and public organizations to manufacture and distribute masks, gowns, face shields and other equipment needed by hospitals, health professionals and government agencies as they battle the pandemic.
The story has been corrected to reflect that the information about Brenda Jones’ virus came from her congressional campaign, not her re-election campaign.