The latest coronavirus updates: Thursday, April 30, 2020

Posted at 4:42 AM, Apr 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 04:12:14-04

(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.

8:23 p.m.

The showdown between Governor Whitmer and the state's Republican controlled legislature has taken another step forward as the governor has signed new Executive Orders declaring a new state of emergency and a state of disaster in Michigan until May 28, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

The three new executive orders also terminated the previous states of emergency and disaster declarations, which were issued under the Emergency Management act. The new executive orders cite the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945 and the Emergency Management Act of 1976.

They come after both the state house and state senate refused to pass an extension of the previous state of emergency order, which was scheduled to expire at midnight, this afternoon.

The legislature also passed a measure authorizing a potential lawsuit challenging Whitmer's authority to use emergency powers to respond to the COVID-19 crisis.

“COVID-19 is an enemy that has taken the lives of more Michiganders than we lost during the Vietnam War,” said Governor Whitmer in a news release. “While some members of the legislature might believe this crisis is over, common sense and all of the scientific data tells us we’re not out of the woods yet. By refusing to extend the emergency and disaster declaration, Republican lawmakers are putting their heads in the sand and putting more lives and livelihoods at risk. I’m not going to let that happen.”

8 p.m.

The Republican-led Michigan Legislature has refused to extend the state's coronavirus emergency declaration. It also voted Thursday to authorize a lawsuit challenging Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's authority and actions to combat the pandemic.

The step came as hundreds of conservative activists, including some who were openly carrying guns, returned to the Capitol to denounce Whitmer's stay-at-home measure.

Whitmer wanted lawmakers to extend her emergency declaration by 28 days.

1:50 p.m.

Detroit Pistons Owner Tom Gores has teamed up with Brooklyn Nets Owner Joe Tsai to make a massive personal protection equipment donation to the city of Detroit.

Gores and Tsai partnered to deliver 350,000 KN95 face masks 100,000 medical goggles to help the city and its fight against COVID-19.

The masks and goggles were donated by the Joe and Clara Tsai foundation and will be distributed to COVID-19 testing centers and homeless shelters, and to frontline workers in the city’s transportation and police departments.

1:30 p.m.

Ford Motor Company announced Thursday safety plans as the automaker looks to restart production amid the coronavirus pandemic.

According to Ford, the standards and precautions expand on those that are currently being used at Ford facilities in China where work has already resumed.

Workers building medical supplies have been wearing face masks, face shields and other personal protection equipment while maintaining at least six feet between workers.

11:46 a.m.

U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that the new coronavirus was “not manmade or genetically modified” but say they are still examining whether the origins of the pandemic trace to contact with infected animals or an accident at a Chinese lab.

The statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the clearinghouse for the web of U.S. spy agencies, comes as President Donald Trump and his allies have touted the as-yet-unproven theory that an infectious disease lab in Wuhan, the epicenter of the Chinese outbreak, was the source of the global pandemic that has killed more than 220,000 worldwide.

In recent days the Trump administration has sharpened his rhetoric on China, accusing the geopolitical foe and vital trading partner of failing to do act swiftly enough to stop the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19 or sound the alarm to the world about the outbreak.

10:43 a.m.

DTE Energy will provide between $30 and $40 million in bill relief for its electric utility customers for June and July.

“We know that many Michiganders are experiencing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Trevor Lauer, president of the electric company at DTE Energy. “That’s why we feel it is important to apply some relief for upcoming June and July bills to help ease some of the financial burdens being experienced by our customers and the communities we serve."

10:09 a.m.

Starting May 4, Starbucks says its U.S. and Canada locations will gradually begin to welcome customers again using its app and a variety of store formats. The company plans to have more than 90% of its locations open in some form by June, CNN and Business Insider report.

7:06 a.m.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Wednesday proposed free college for health care workers and others involved in the coronavirus fight, likening their service during the pandemic to soldiers who got a free education after returning home from World War II.

6:58 a.m.

The Department of Labor said Thursday that 3.8 million Americans filed for unemployment in the last week, bringing the six-week total to about 30 million.

Those figures are slightly down from last week, when the Department of Labor reported that 4.4 million Americans filed initial claims for unemployment.

5:30 a.m.

Protestors are expected to gather at the capitol again Thursday morning — they’re speaking out against Governor Whitmer’s extended state of emergency request.

The protest is set to begin around 9 a.m. in Lansing, but the event’s organizers have run into some challenges.

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.