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Gov. Whitmer urges Michiganders to take precautionary steps to slow spread of COVID-19

"We are Michiganders first and we must take care of one another."

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference Wednesday to address what the state of Michigan is doing to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in the state. 

Whitmer's address came a day after she declared a state of emergency after announcing two cases of the new virus have been confirmed in Michigan. 

RELATED: Two presumptive cases of coronavirus confirmed in Michigan

She recommended that Michiganders take the state's advice to help stop the spread of the new virus such as to educate themselves about what COVID-19 is, to stay home when you are sick and to disinfect household items.

“It’s on all of us to be safe and be smart for ourselves, our loved ones, our coworkers, and the public at large. We are encouraging schools, universities, businesses, and other organizations to use their best judgment about what steps are most appropriate to keep people safe and slow the spread of the disease," Whitmer said. 

The University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Central Michigan University are among the state's universities and colleges that have switched to online-only classes amid the new virus. 

RELATED: Central Michigan moves classes to online-only because of COVID-19 concerns

RELATED: MSU moves to all online classes through April 20

RELATED: WMU announce classes to be taught by 'distance education' through April 3 amid new virus concerns

RELATED: U-M announces all classes will be online through end of semester due to COVID-19 concerns

Whitmer urged people to avoid meeting in large groups of more than 100 people and said that businesses need to take precautionary steps to help stop the spread of the virus. 

"We are Michiganders first and we must take care of one another," she said. 

She advises that people use their best judgment about what steps are most appropriate to keep people safe and control the spread of the virus. 

"These recommendations should be considered minimums. We encourage people to consider going further," she said. 

Do you have more questions about COVID-19 in Michigan? Check out the state's website. 

The state has set up a website for COVID-19, and their preparations for dealing with the virus

You can watch the full press conference here. 

What are the symptoms and ways to prevent COVID-19?

The CDC says patients with the confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of: 

  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath 

To slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan the state gave the following recommendations:  

  • Learn about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.
  • STAY HOME WHEN YOU ARE SICK, and individuals at risk of severe illness should consider staying at home to avoid others who are sick.
  • Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, keyboards, cell phones and light switches.
  • Communicate and reinforce best practices for washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes.
  • Be sure to maintain a supply of medications, food, and other essentials in your house.
  • Cancel or postpone large gatherings, conferences and sporting events (e.g. events with over 100 people).
  • Reduce in-person gatherings and activities, especially for organizations with individuals at risk of severe illness. Consider offering video or audio of events.
  • Consider tele-learning or tele-work opportunities, where feasible.
  • Limit non-essential work travel.
  • If you care for a loved one living in a care facility, monitor the situation, ask about the health of the other residents frequently, and know the protocol if there is an outbreak.
  • Limit visitors at hospitals and other facilities to only those who are absolutely necessary and implement screening of visitors for temperature and respiratory symptoms.


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