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Whitmer declares state of emergency after 2 coronavirus cases confirmed in Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said the state of emergency will maximize efforts and assist local governments and officials to slow the spread of the virus.

MICHIGAN, USA — Michigan's governor has declared a state of emergency to help with the efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19 now that two presumptive cases have been confirmed by Michigan health officials. 

Tuesday night Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addressed the state about the coronavirus cases. Whitmer said the state of emergency will maximize efforts and assist local governments and officials to slow the spread of the virus.

RELATED: Two presumptive cases of coronavirus confirmed in Michigan

“The main goal of these efforts is to slow the spread of the virus, not to stop it. It has moved into Michigan and I urge all Michiganders to take these recommendations very seriously, to share this information with their friends, family, coworkers,” Whitmer added.  

Whitmer listed off recommendations from health officials including washing your hands often for 20 seconds, touching your face less often, replacing handshakes with elbow bumps and covering your mouth when you cough. 

"It’s crucial that Michiganders continue to take preventative measures. There are easy things we can do to lower risk and lower transmission,” she said.

One of the cases is an adult female from Oakland County with recent international travel and the other is an adult male from Wayne County with recent domestic travel.  

“We are taking the identification of COVID-19 in our state very seriously,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We continue to urge Michiganders to take precautions to prevent the spread of this virus in our state.”

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

On March 3, Whitmer also announced the creation of four task forces to combat the spread of the virus. They are:

  1. The COVID-19 Task Force on State Operations, which will oversee all aspects of state operations, including employment and facilities. 
  2. The COVID-19 Task Force on Health and Human Services, which will cover the provision of medical and human services.
  3. The COVID-19 Task Force on Education, which will cover all K-12 public schools, universities and colleges
  4. The COVID-19 Task Force on Economy/Workforce, which will cover the general economic impact, workforce, supply chain and business continuity.

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

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

  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath 

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to: 

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.   
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.   
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.   
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.   
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.  


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