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One year later: A timeline of COVID-19's spread in Michigan

Coronavirus
Posted at 9:33 AM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 23:52:12-05

(WXYZ) — The first two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Michigan in the late-night hours on March 10, 2020. After the polls had closed and the presidential primary votes were being counted, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that the coronavirus in Michigan.

We were one of the last states to get the first cases, and within one day and beyond, everything changed. Sports were canceled, restaurants and businesses were closed, people stayed home and we started wearing masks.

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Below you'll find a timeline of COVID-19 in Michigan (click here to view it). Below the timeline, you'll find some of the biggest stories over the last year from COVID-19.

March 10, 2020 - First 2 COVID-19 cases confirmed in Michigan, state of emergency declared

The first cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in Michigan on March 10. The cases were a female from Oakland County who had traveled internationally and a man from Wayne County who traveled domestically. Gov. Whitmer declared a state of emergency with the announcement.

March 17, 2020 – First death from COVID-19 reported in Michigan

A Southgate man in his 50s was the first man to die from COVID-19, the state announced. He had underlying medical conditions. A day later, two more deaths were reported.

March 23, 2020 – Gov. Whitmer announces stay-at-home order

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a stay-at-home order for all Michigan residents through at least April 13. The order suspended in-person operations and people could only leave their homes under limited circumstances.

March 28, 2020 – TCF Center to be turned into field hospital

The state announced that the TCF Center in downtown Detroit would be transformed into a temporary field hospital, which forced the cancellation of the 2020 North American International Auto Show.

April 2, 2020 – Gov. Whitmer closes all K-12 schools for the year

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order which closed all K-12 school buildings in Michigan for the year unless restrictions were lifted. Seniors were still allowed to graduate.

April 9, 2020 – Stay-at-home order extended

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order until May 1. It was originally set to expire on April 13. At the time, Michigan had the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country.

April 20, 2020 – 5-year-old is first Michigan child to die from COVID-19

5-year-old Skylar Herbert was the first child to die from COVID-19 in Michigan. She developed a rare form of meningitis and brain swelling while battling the virus.

April 24, 2020 – Michigan stay-at-home order extended through May 15

Gov. Whitmer extended Michigan’s stay-at-home order a second time, this time through May 15. It also required Michiganders to wear face masks in enclosed public spaces, but lifted some restrictions on outdoor activities and allowed some workers to go back to work. Michigan Republicans aimed to pass bills curbing her emergency powers.

April 26, 2020 – State announces plan for reopening Michigan

Gov. Whitmer announced the first steps to reopening in Michigan called the “MI Safe Start Plan.”

May 1, 2020 – Whitmer signs order allowing construction & real-estate activities to resume May 7

May 7, 2020 – Stay-at-home order extended

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer once again extended the stay-at-home order until May 28. She also announced the six phases of the MI Safe Start Plan for reopening.

May 18, 2020 – Whitmer announces partial reopening of Michigan

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a partial reopening of Michigan, moving the Upper Peninsula and Traverse City regions into phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan. That allowed retail businesses and bars & restaurants to open with capacity restrictions.

May 21, 2020 – Gov. Whitmer announces retail businesses can open

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said retail businesses and auto dealerships will be able to open in all of Michigan by appointment only on May 26. It also allowed dental procedures to resume May 29 and gatherings of 10 or less to begin immediately.

May 22, 2020 – Stay-at-home order extended again

Gov. Whitmer extended Michigan’s stay-at-home order until June 12. “While the data shows we are making progress, we are not out of the woods yet,” she said in a press release.

June 1, 2020 – Whitmer lifts stay-at-home order

With cases continuing to go down, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she was lifting her stay-at-home order and allowing bars and restaurants to resume service in the rest of the state starting June 8. Gyms, hair salons, tattoo shops, casinos and more did have to remain closed.

June 8, 2020 – Restaurants and bars are able to open in Michigan

June 17, 2020 – Next steps announced for Michigan schools to reopen

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the next steps for schools to reopen, and said schools could resume in-person learning as part of phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan

July 10, 2020 – Masks required in all indoor, crowded outdoor spaces

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order requiring face masks in all public indoor spaces and crowded outdoor spaces. If you violated the order, you could get a $500 fine.

July 29, 2020: Indoor bar service halted in Michigan, indoor gatherings limited

With COVID-19 cases rising, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a revision to the MI Safe Start Plan which limited the number of people at indoor gatherings to 10 and closed bar service indoors for all of the state. It went into effect July 31.

August 11, 2020 – Big Ten cancels fall sports due to COVID-19

August 28, 2020 – Michigan surpasses 100,000 COVID-19 cases

With cases rising near the end of August, the state surpassed 100,000 total cases 5 ½ months after the first cases were confirmed. There were 6,446 deaths at the time.

September 3, 2020 – Whitmer announces gyms can reopen

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order reopening gyms and pools in Michigan starting Sept. 9. Organized sports were also allowed to resume.

September 18, 2020 – High School football resumes in Michigan

High school football kicked off in Michigan on Sept. 18 and 19 with extra sanitizing, social distancing and more. The season was delayed about a month.

September 25, 2020 – Whitmer signs order reopening movie theatres, performance venues

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an order that allowed movie theatres, performance venues, bingo halls, bowling alleys and more on Oct. 9.

October 2, 2020 – MI Supreme Court says Whitmer couldn’t issue COVID-19 orders

The Michigan Supreme Court issued a ruling that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer did not have the power to extend the state of emergency, which set her powers for executive orders, after April 30. The split decision came down late that day.

October 9, 2020 – State Health Department issues COVID-19 emergency order

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an emergency order restricting gatherings, requiring face masks and more. It came after the state Supreme Court curbed Gov. Whitmer’s powers, which forced Gordon to issue the pandemic order.

October 10, 2020 – Michigan passes 100,000 total recoveries from COVID-19

October 15, 2020 – Michigan reports single-day record of 2,030 new cases of COVID-19

October 24, 2020 – Michigan reports single-day record of 3,338 new cases of COVID-19

October 29, 2020 – State extends epidemic order

The MDHHS extended an epidemic order and tightened COVID-19 restrictions limiting table sizes at bars and restaurants, indoor gatherings and more.

October 29, 2020: Michigan reports new single-day record of 3,675 new cases of COVID-19

October 31, 2020: Michigan reports new single-day record of 3,792 new cases of COVID-19

November 4, 2020: Michigan reports new single-day record of 4,101 new cases of COVID-19

November 5, 2020: Michigan reports new single-day record of 5,710 new cases of COVID-19

November 7, 2020: Michigan reports new single-day record of 6,225 new cases of COVID-19

November 10, 2020: Michigan reports new single-day record of 6,473 new cases of COVID-19

November 12, 2020: Michigan reports new single-day record of 6,940 new cases of COVID-19

November 13, 2020: Michigan reports new single-day record of 8,516 new cases of COVID-19

November 15, 2020: Gov. Whitmer announces 3-week pause for Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a “3-week pause” for Michigan amid rising COVID-19 cases. It closed indoor dining, halted in-person learning at high schools and colleges, closed casinos, movie theatres, bowling alleys and more. The pause would go in effect Nov. 18

November 20, 2020: Michigan reports new single-day record of 9,779 new cases of COVID-19

December 7, 2020: Partial shutdown extended until Dec. 20

After a 3-week pause, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the partial shutdown would be extended for 12 more days until Dec. 20.

December 10, 2020: Michigan to get 84K doses of Pfizer vaccine once approved

The state announced it was expected to get 84,000 doses of the first Pfizer vaccine on Dec. 15 after it was approved for use by the FDA.

December 11, 2020: MDHHS releases list of priority groups for COVID-19 vaccine

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a list of groups who would get the COVID-19 vaccine first.

December 13, 2020: First COVID-19 vaccines in U.S. leave Michigan plant

The first trucks carrying Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for widespread use in the U.S. pulled out of a plant in West Michigan on Dec.13, ready to be shipped around the country.

December 15, 2020: Hospitals in Michigan begin administering first doses of vaccine

December 18, 2020: Whitmer announces high schools can reopen after winter break

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that high schools would be able to open beginning in the new year.

December 18, 2020: Whitmer keeps restaurants closed, opens up other businesses

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that restaurants would have to remain closed through at least Jan. 15 but other businesses like movie theatres, bowling alleys and more could reopen.

January 6, 2021: State extends COVID-19 vaccinations to other groups

Michigan said it would begin COVID-19 vaccinations for those 65 and older, frontline workers, first responders and more beginning Jan. 11.

January 8, 2021: Whitmer encourages all K-12 schools to offer in-person learning

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced she was encouraging all K-12 schools in Michigan to offer some form of in-person learning by March 1.

Feb. 3, 2021: Whitmer announces high school winter contact sports can resume

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