(WXYZ) — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan provided his daily coronavirus update on Friday afternoon.
He'll was joined by the city's chief public health office Denise Fair, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department Chief Engineer Palencia Mobley and General Services Department Project Manager Crystal Perkins.
They discussed new numbers in the city and the Tiger Dam project in the Jefferson-Chalmers neighborhood.
Duggan said that the police department is fully staffed and at the same level they would've been last May. He said that about 2/3 of the department has been through the 15-minute testing.
Duggan said he spoke with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun about scheduling other outpatient surgeries and opening hospitals back up.
Duggan said the number of citations written yesterday for gatherings continues to go down. Yesterday, Assistant Chief James White told Duggan there were 19 citations written, the smallest number so far.
Fair said it’s too early to tell comparing numbers from long-term facilities to nursing homes. There was an infection rate in nursing homes around 24%. They are expecting preliminary results from long-term care facilities on Monday.
Duggan said the city is still working through legal challenges to build seawalls in the Jefferson-Chalmers area.
Mobley said that it would take a few years to determine appropriate solutions due to a number of reasons.
Chief Health Officer Denise Fair takes over to talk about senior citizens in the city.
She said they still plan to test all 37 long-term care facilities by May 15. As of today, they have tested 10 facilities. Next week, Fair said they'll share preliminary results.
As of today, there are 9,192 cases of COVID-19 and 1,045 deaths in the city.
Next week, Fair said that they will have results on nursing home staff.
Duggan reminds people that this is a temporary fix as they work to eventually add seawalls, which is a more complicated project.
Detroit Water and Sewerage Department Chief Engineer Palencia Mobley takes over to talk about the project.
She said the city a temporary dam that will combat rising water and canal seawalls, and also protect wet weather treatment facilities.
Mobley added that last year, nearly 7 billion gallons of river and storm water flow into the treatment facility, and the pumps are not designed to work 24 hours.
The tubes are filled with water and linked together seamlessly.
It’s a preventative measure, adding that Great Lakes water levels will rise even higher than last year.
He talks about the flooding around this time last year in the Jefferson-Chalmers Neighborhood when the high river levels went over the seawalls.
He said they came up with the plan called the Tiger Dam, about a $3 million project.
They brought in 28 city employees on April 10 with masks and temperature checks, saying "they couldn't wait until the pandemic was over or we would've lost a lot of homes in the Jefferson-Chalmers due to flooding.
Duggan said they should be done by the middle of May.
Duggan said that on Monday, more than 400 City of Detroit employees are coming back to work to do roads, water and sewer work, parts maintenance and more.
Duggan said he's worried about this weekend because the weather is so good. He said he was on a call with police commanders who are ready for very vigorous enforcement this weekend.
According to Duggan, all of the good news with the numbers will be undone in a hurry if people gather in large groups in neighborhoods, parks, etc.
He said people have been enjoying parks the right way for now.
Duggan said that they tested more than 1,000 people at the State Fairgrounds site for the first time ever, and that companies are now getting workers tested as they prepare to open back up.
Said our hospital systems and healthcare systems have to get back to explaining to patients they run very sound systems.
He said the hospital need to remind you that you can go into the hospital systems and stay safe.
Duggan said that the number of empty hospital beds is now up to 800, up from 700 the day before. He said the empty beds is someting he's never seen in his life.
Duggan shows how the number of deaths week-by-week has done down “extremely fast.”
He said that the number that keeps growing is the deaths in the nursing homes. It’s up to 233 nursing home residents and three staff members.
“Before this is over, we’re going to find ¼ to 1/3 of the deaths in the city occurred in the nursing homes,” he said.
Duggan said that there are 1,045 deaths in the city, that’s up from 1,036 yesterday, only 9 more.
"The lowest number we’ve had in quite a long time," he said.
He said part of that is reflected by the fact they didn't get older death certificates turned in.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
See all of our Helping Each Other stories.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.