Whitmer: Michigan ranks fifth in nation for positive COVID-19 cases

Posted at 10:31 AM, Mar 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-26 12:47:42-04

(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the COVID-19 crisis is ramping up exponentially in Michigan.

As of Tuesday, she said Wayne County had the second highest number of confirmed cases in the United States.

Michigan ranked fifth in the nation for positive cases.

"The only tool we have to fight this is to stay home," Whitmer said. "It is important that people know this order is not optional and it is not a recommendation."

Whitmer said stopping the spread is the only tool Michiganders have right now to keep communities safe.

She said that if the disaster declaration requested from the federal government is granted, it would help provide meals to families who need them, rental assistance and temporary housing, along with counseling and therapy.

It would also provide additional capacity to set up field hospitals.

Whitmer said the state is working to secure medical supplies and personal protective equipment. She said Michigan got a shipment from the federal government strategic national stockpile, but the allocation was not enough to even cover a full shift.

She said the government has been working 24/7 to procure items.

The government has been able to secure 13 million masks, 226,000 surgical masks, 35,000 hospital gowns, more than four million gloves, nearly 100,000 face shields, 250 beds and thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer.

Whitmer says this is not nearly enough to meet the need. The state still needs more hospital gowns, ventilators, gloves, surgical masks and no-touch thermometers.

On Monday, Whitmer announced a stay-at-home order for the state of Michigan through at least April 13.

All Michigan business and operations are ordered to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.

The executive order prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations.

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