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The latest coronavirus updates: Thursday, May 7, 2020

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Posted at 4:41 AM, May 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-08 04:22:07-04

(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.

5:15 p.m.

A legal fight is pitting some religious leaders against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer over the state’s stay-at-home order. Very strong feelings from a Southfield minister are being shared with us today. She’s a part of that lawsuit against the governor.

“We have to physically distance people 6 feet apart. That means what we’d have to do is instead of having our usual service, we’d have to have multiple services.” says Minister Andrea Simpson from Word of Faith International Christian Center in Southfield.

Simpson represents a membership of 6,000 churchgoers. She says prohibiting in-person services violates the First Amendment right to free exercise and assembly. She also says, masks and gloves can easily be used together with social distancing.

“Having the many thousands that we have, we would have to cut that down considerably which we are prepared to do and want to do so we can minister to the needs of our people.” Simpson said.

In a lawsuit filed in federal court, she aims to join others including the state’s House speaker in opposing the rule. However, the governor is defending her decision telling us it falls within her power, and takes into account the latest “science and epidemiology.”

2:58 p.m.

There are now 4,343 deaths and 45,646 cases of coronavirus in Michigan, according to the latest numbers released by the State of Michigan.

That's up 93 deaths and 592 cases from Wednesday, when there were 4,250 deaths and 45,054 cases.

Overall, 15,659 have recovered from the virus, according to the state. Those numbers are updated every Saturday, with the latest numbers coming tomorrow. Recovery includes confirmed COVID-19 cases who are 30 days out from their onset, but the pool will expand as the pandemic continues.

12:31 p.m.
Testing will require an appointment through Quest's MyQuest online portal and app.
Walmart will open two new COVID-19 testing locations in Canton Township and Taylor.

Testing will be offered from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Any adult who meets CDC and state/local guidelines on who should be tested is eligible, including first responders, health care providers and others with symptoms of COVID-19.

Test results are expected within an average of two days.

"Continuing to provide testing opportunities for all in Wayne County is a top priority” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “I am thankful for the partnership with Walmart and their commitment in continuing our efforts to combat this virus and help in saving lives.”

Testing will require an appointment through Quest's MyQuest online portal and app.

More here.

12:31 p.m.

The 2020 Ann Arbor Art Fair has been canceled amid the coronavirus pandemic, organizers announced on Thursday.

Scheduled July 16-19, the art fair has been going on for decades throughout downtown Ann Arbor.

"This was an extremely difficult decision, as we know how deeply this impacts the participating artists, local businesses and the broader Ann Arbor community. However, the COVID-19 virus has changed the world as we know it and the safety of our visitors, artists, and area residents is the top priority," organizers said.

They said they would not be able to do the art fair and adhere to social distancing, but they expect the art fair to return next year.

11:23 a.m.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a new executive order to extend Michigan's Stay Home, Stay Safe order until May 28. The new order will also allow manufacturing, including the Big 3 automakers, to resume work on Monday May 11.

“This is good news for our state, our businesses, and our working families,” said Governor Whitmer in a news release. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward on our MI Safe Start plan to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly. As we continue to phase in sectors of our economy, I will keep working around the clock to ensure our businesses adopt best practices to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19. When we all keep doing our part, we can reduce the risk of a second wave and re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.”

8:59 a.m.

Kroger Health is opening a free COVID-19 drive-thru testing site Thursday for patients in the Grand Blanc area, according to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS).

Testing will start May 7 and May 8 and continue through the end of May, Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Testing will be held in the Grand Blanc High School parking lot on 12500 Holly Road.

8:51 a.m.

More than 1 million people have filed for unemployment in Michigan, according to the latest estimates from the U.S. Department of Labor.

According to the labor department, 1,041,344 Michganders filed for unemployment for the week ending April 25.

Then, another 68,952 filed between April 25 and May 2, bringing the total to nearly 1.1 million.

5:58 a.m.

Guns cannot be banned from Michigan’s Capitol unless legislators change state law, an official who helps oversee the building said Wednesday, less than a week after some protesters armed with rifles shouted at lawmakers inside the Senate chamber.

5:29 a.m.

A big step Thursday for both construction and the real estate industry in Michigan in the state's plan to re-open the economy.

Starting Thursday, people in these fields can head back to work. Click here.

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.