Michigan: Gov. Whitmer formally announces first 2 COVID-19 cases in Oakland & Wayne Counties

Well, this was inevitable:

Michigan announces first presumptive positive cases of COVID-19

Governor Whitmer declares a state of emergency to maximize efforts to slow the spread

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Oakland County Health Division and Wayne County Health Department announced today that two Michigan residents tested presumptive positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the first confirmed cases in the state. The governor has declared a state of emergency to maximize efforts and assist local governments and officials to slow the spread of the virus.

"We are taking every step we can to mitigate the spread of the virus and keep Michiganders safe," said Governor Whitmer. "I have declared a state of emergency to harness all of our resources across state government to slow the spread of the virus and protect families. It’s crucial that all Michiganders continue to take preventative measures to lower their risk, and to share this information with their friends, family, and co-workers."

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. Clinical specimens were collected and sent to the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories where both tested presumptive positive for COVID-19. Specimens will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for confirmatory testing.

"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."

"This patient in Wayne County is currently under isolation. Our Public Health Division is working to identify individuals who may have come into close contact with the patient so we can take appropriate steps and monitor them closely," said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. "We are continuing to collaborate with the state health department and recommend residents continue to practice prevention measures to slow the spread of COVID-19."

"Oakland County and our Health Division will investigate the circumstances around this case so we understand if there are any potential close contacts," said Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. "We must all as individuals and communities continue our prevention and preparedness strategies as we hope for a full recovery for this member of the community."

Local health departments will be working diligently to identify anyone who has come in close contact with these cases and recommend they be assessed for symptoms and monitored appropriately.

There are steps residents can take to prevent spread of flu and the common cold that will also help prevent coronavirus disease, including:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying home if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider.

COVID-19 Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. They include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath

The State of Michigan and MDHHS will announce additional recommendations to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 tomorrow afternoon.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. Updates will be posted to Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.