12 cases of COVID-19 diagnosed in Michigan, state adjusts operations

Thursday, March 12, 2020 - 8:34pm

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer discusses community mitigation strategies to slow the transmission of COVID-19 in Michigan at a press conference on Wednesday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer discusses community mitigation strategies to slow the transmission of COVID-19 in Michigan at a press conference on Wednesday. Buy this photo
Courtesy of Michigan Executive Office

Editor’s note: More cases of COVID-19 are being diagnosed daily. Check back at michigandaily.com for updates or at the state’s website https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

Ten additional cases of the COVID-19 virus have been diagnosed in Michigan, officials announced late Thursday evening, leading to adjustments in state operations. This brings the total number of patients diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus to 12 in Michigan.

According to Local 4 News, the new cases include:

  • A Washtenaw County woman and a Washtenaw County man, one who has domestic travel history and one who has previously traveled internationally

  • Two Kent County women and one Kent County man with histories of international travel

  • A St. Clair County man with who has previously traveled domestically

  • Two Oakland County men, one with domestic travel history and one with no travel history

  • A Montcalm County man with international travel history

  • An Ingham County woman who has previously traveled on a cruise

As of 9:30 p.m. Thursday, the state of Michigan’s coronavirus website confirms there are 26 COVID-19 tests pending and 172 people are being monitored after traveling to areas affected by the virus. Another 554 people have been referred for assessment or monitoring.

Lynn Sutfin, public information officer for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, told Bridge Magazine the cases were not immediately known to be connected and were not in the same county, one of which was confirmed to be in St. Clair County. She said as of last week the state had the capacity to test 300 people but said they can now test 1,300 people.

Linda Vail, Ingham County health officer, told Bridge Magazine more cases will likely be confirmed as testing increases. She said public companies will offer testing at doctors’ offices in addition to tests provided by the state. As of Thursday, Ingham County had seven tests: two negative and five pending.

Washtenaw County was the first to temporarily close schools and transition to online learning in light of the illness. 

The Michigan State Senate approved a bill authorizing up to $75 million for coronavirus preparation and response, $50 million in federal funding in addition to $10 million in state revenue for monitoring, testing, tracing, control and maintaining necessary state functions. The state will also direct $15 million to a Coronavirus Response Fund for future use.

The Michigan Capitol suspended all tours and events through at least May 1. However, the Michigan House of Representatives plans to continue meeting in the building and will adjust protocols to increase safety measures. This includes allowing non-essential or older staff members to remain at home and suspending gatherings. The Michigan State Senate will meet as needed beginning next week.

The first two cases of COVID-19 in Michigan were announced late Tuesday evening. The patients include an Oakland County woman with a history of international travel and a Wayne County man with a history of domestic travel. Michigan Medicine announced Wednesday morning that one of the two patients is currently an inpatient at Michigan Medicine.

The University of Michigan canceled classes March 12 and 13 and students will move to online classes beginning March 16 until the end of the semester.

Daily News Editor Barbara Collins can be reached at bcolli@umich.edu. Reporter Remy Farkas can be reached at rsfarkas@umich.edu.