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The latest coronavirus updates: Monday, April 13, 2020

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Posted at 4:21 AM, Apr 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-14 04:30:04-04

(WXYZ) — All of the updates on the coronavirus and the incredible impact it's having on our lives can be hard to keep up with. To help you keep up, we'll post this daily blog on our homepage. You can find all of our stories on our coronavirus page.

Scheduled events are placed in the blog at the time they will occur.

11:25 p.m.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is offering some financial relief to Michigan bars and restaurants devastated by the COVID-19 health crisis.

On Monday, Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-46, which tasks the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) with initiating a spirits buy-back program, a release states.

“Michigan’s 8,500 on-premises liquor licensees continue to make unprecedented sacrifices to help slow the spread of COVID-19 across our state,” Whitmer said. “This buy-back program will help our bars and restaurants critical to Michigan’s economy weather the storm through this challenging time in our history.”

The order is for bars and restaurants with on-premises liquor licenses that have been impacted by statewide closures due to the health crisis. More information and how to sign up for the program here.

10:28 p.m.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Monday temporarily extending the expiration of valid driver’s licenses, state identification cards and commercial vehicle registrations that would otherwise expire.

“In times of crisis and uncertainty, the last thing you want to think about is having to renew your driver’s license or state ID card,” Whitmer said. “It is my sincere hope this order gives all Michiganders with expiring identification some peace of mind as we continue our united front to slow the spread of COVID-19 across our state.”

Executive Order 2020-47 goes into effect at 11:59 p.m. on April 13, and doesn't apply to drivers with suspended or revoked licenses.

9:16 p.m.

Experts from the World Health Organization on Monday said it is unclear on whether recovered COVID-19 patients will have immunity from being infected by the virus for a second time.

Questions arose late last week after 51 patients in South Korea tested positive or the virus after recovering from COVID-19.

The general thinking among experts has been that those who become infected will have immunity from becoming reinfected, but that is based on how viruses behave in general. Studies have not been able to conclusively determine whether a second infection is possible with COVID-19.

7:22 p.m.

Forgotten Harvest has released its food distribution site locations for the week of Monday, April 13 through Friday, April 17.

“Now more than ever, it’s vital that Forgotten Harvest is there to support the communities in need given the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Kirk Mayes, CEO and president of Forgotten Harvest. “We are increasing our food distribution site locations in order to reach those in need in metro Detroit and are so thankful for our team, donors, volunteers and supporters during this time.”

View full site list here.

4:51 p.m.

A new group of workers are able to apply for unemployment benefits starting today, according to the state. The self-employed, independent contractors, low wage workers, gig workers and 1099 employees were ineligible until Congress expanded who qualifies under the CARES act.

A link has been made available on the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity's website directing applicants to a federal website to apply for benefits.

Under the federal CARES Act, the self-employed will receive $600 a week through the end of July.

3:40 p.m.

More 1 million people in Michigan have filed for unemployment, the state announced on Monday. That is equal to 1/4 of the state's entire workforce.

According to Jeffrey Donorfrio, the director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, these numbers are the largest in the state's history.

The state has expanded staff, and last week, the number was at more than 830,000. That jumped to more than 1 million on Monday.

2:40 p.m.

There are now 1,602 deaths from COVID-19 in Michigan and 25,635 cases. That's up from 1,487 deaths and 24,637 cases on Sunday.

2:00 p.m.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan updated the city's response to COVID-19 on Monday.

Duggan said trends in the city are pointing in a very good direction, and that the rate of doubling in cases used to be every three days, now it appears to be every 10-12 days.

They expected to have done 10,000 tests at the old state fairgrounds testing facility by Tuesday, just a few weeks after setting up the system.

11:07 a.m.

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency website is experiencing high volumes on Monday morning, resulting in the website crashing.

At 8 a.m., the application window opened for those who are self-employed, gig workers, independent contractors or low-wage workers.

According to the UIA, they are asking people whose last name begins with A-L to apply today and consider waiting until off-peak hours from 8 p.m. to 8 a.m. to file.

9:30 a.m.

Beaumont Health announced it was launching the country's largest study on COVID-19 antibodies which will help identify plasma donors and better understand the disease.

The Beaumont Health Research Institute is hoping the serological study will answer many questions surrounding the spread of coronavirus and help treat patients who have it.

Serological blood testing detects antibodies that the body creates to help fight an infection. In the case of COVID-19, antibodies may develop as soon as 3-6 days after infection. Even after the recovery, the antibodies remain and offer immunity. More information here.

4:22 a.m.

Those who are self-employed, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors and low-wage workers can begin applying for unemployment in Michigan starting Monday morning.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

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.