All of us are aware of the coronavirus situation. In order to better protect our residents, last night Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency. This is a pre-emptive action designed to maximize state action and assist local governments to slow the spread of this disease. I appreciate the Governor’s decisive actions, taking every step possible to keep Michiganders safe.
There’s a lot of information out there, but I wanted to share a summary of what we know at this time. The disease caused by this particular virus (which is “SARS-CoV-2”) has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).
What are the symptoms of COVID–19?
According to the National Institute of Health, symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. They include:
How does COVID-19 spread?
Health experts are still learning about how this new coronavirus spreads. Other coronaviruses spread from an infected person to others through:
How can I protect myself from getting COVID–19?
If you are traveling overseas, follow the CDC’s guidance at CDC.gov/Travel.
There is currently no vaccine, but there are important steps you can take to prevent the spread of the flu and the common cold that will also help prevent COVID19, including:
Should I wear a mask to protect myself from getting COVID-19?
No. Facemasks are not recommended for healthy people. Facemasks should be used by:
If you are sick with respiratory illness and visit a healthcare provider, you may be asked to wear a facemask during your visit.
Are there any cases of COVID–19 in Michigan?
As of this date (March 11, 2020), there are 2 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. Please know that this can change daily. Information about the number of persons under investigation (PUIs) and specimens tested is updated daily at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus. Also available are the total number of people who may have been exposed to the virus who are referred to local public health for monitoring or assessment. The current case count of COVID-19 in the United States is available at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019- ncov/cases-in-us.html.
Can my health care provider test for COVID-19 disease?
Testing is dependent on the current status of COVID-19 in local communities, as well as the course of illness. Clinicians will work with the local health department to determine if testing is warranted. Criteria may change as we understand more about COVID-19.
What is Michigan doing to prevent coronavirus from spreading in the state?
MDHHS began working with local health departments, health care coalitions, hospital, and health care partners when the novel coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China. Initial focus was working with federal partners to ensure that Michigan’s public health system could support traveler screening and monitoring to limit the entry of coronavirus cases into the U.S.
On Feb. 3, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services activated the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center, and they have been working diligently with local health departments, health systems, and medical providers to make sure appropriate screening and preparations for coronavirus are being made.
On Feb. 28, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activated the State Emergency Operations Center to maximize coordination with state, local and federal agencies, as well as private partners, and to help prevent the spread of the disease.
On March 3, she announced the creation of four task forces to combat the spread of coronavirus and assess the impact it may have on Michiganders’ day-to-day lives.
In addition, the Oakland County Health Division (OCHD) has released various toolkits to help community sectors prepare for and prevent the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in our communities. Toolkits and prevention resources are available at www.oakgov.com/health for the public, health care providers, businesses, schools, childcare centers, faith-based organizations, senior centers, food service workers and first responders. You can also call the Nurse on Call helpline at 800-848-5533, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
My office will continue to monitor this situation and keep in close contact with state and county officials. Please call your health professional or the Oakland County Nurse On Call line if you have questions or concerns about your own health.
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