Gov. Whitmer to hold 3 p.m. coronavirus briefing

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will give a briefing this afternoon on the state’s response to coronavirus.

Whitmer will be joined by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, for the 3 p.m. press conference. You can watch it on WOOD TV8 or streaming live on woodtv.com.

The governor also addressed the state Thursday, calling on Congress to approve more financial aid for the states and more flexibility in using those federal dollars. Michigan is facing a massive budget shortfall for both this fiscal year and next — some $6.2 billion combined, Whitmer’s budget director said — because of revenue lost to business closures meant to slow the spread of the virus.

State data shows some 56,000 people in Michigan have contracted coronavirus since the state’s outbreak began in March and more than 5,300 deaths have been linked to it. Updated figures are released daily around 3 p.m.

The state on Friday rolled out a new website, MI Symptoms, designed with help from the University of Michigan, where people can log how they are feeling daily to help identify COVID-19 symptoms. State officials said businesses can use the free application to help determine whether employees should be in the workplace, and health officials will also use it to help track outbreaks.

>>MIStartMap.info

With the expansion of criteria earlier this week, more people can now get tested for the virus. To find a testing site near you, go to Michigan.gov/coronavirustest.

Khaldun noted Thursday that the number of new cases continues to decline statewide. She said that if that continues, we can look at reopening more sectors of the economy and regions of the state but also warned that the virus remains a threat and people must continue to take precautions like social distancing, wearing masks and washing their hands frequently.

Retail shopping by appointment only resumed Tuesday in the lower half of the state and nonurgent medical, dental and veterinary procedures were allowed to resume Friday.

As more businesses get back to work, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, more commonly known as MIOSHA, on Friday rolled out a new webpage, Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety, containing resources for implementing COVID-19 precautions in workplaces.

 

TRACKING CORONAVIRUS