The latest coronavirus updates: Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Posted at 4:25 AM, Apr 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-23 04:36:39-04

(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.

7 p.m.

Henry Ford Health System will be temporarily laying off 2,800 employees due to the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, hospital officials announced Wednesday.

“I know that news concerning furloughs is painful – especially for an organization like ours, whose greatest strength has always been our people,” wrote Henry Ford’s President and CEO, Wright Lassiter, III. “We value each team member’s unique contribution and this decision does not change that. But, we must face these realities head on.”

The furloughs will spread across six-hospital system locations, and will impact those not directly involved in patient care.

Employees will keep their health care through the furlough and they will be eligible for unemployment benefits, the health system said.

4:28 p.m.

An important step in reopening Michigan and businesses is antibody testing of people to see if they are free of the coronavirus and safe.

Those tests are coming to metro Detroit, and you can get them on a walk-in basis at several locations.

Dr. Mohammed Ariswala runs nine Michigan urgent care clinics in southeast Michigan and knows demand will be high for the antibody tests.

He said priorities will be given to first responders, medical personnel and people who need to return to work.

The test is from an American company called Alfa Scientific Designs.

3:39 p.m.

During Wednesday's COVID-19 briefing, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that she expects there will be a short-term extension to the current stay-at-home order in place.

The extension is an effort to mitigate a risk of a second wave of COVID-19, which has killed nearly 3,000 people in Michigan.

The current order is set to expire on May 1. More information on the short-term extension plan will be announced Friday, the governor said.

2:58 p.m.

There are now 2,813 deaths and 33,966 cases of coronavirus in Michigan, according to new numbers released by the state on Wednesday afternoon.

That's up 999 cases and 113 deaths from 2,700 deaths and 32,967 cases which were announced on Tuesday. The increase in deaths Tuesday – 235 – included 95 deaths that were previously not reported but did not happen the day before.

2 p.m.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan held his daily coronavirus update Wednesday afternoon.

Duggan spoke about nursing homes in the city and was joined by Michigan nursing home leadership and a nursing home operator in Detroit.

Joining Duggan was Detroit's Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair, Executive Director of the Health Care Association of Michigan Melissa Samuel and Ciena Healthcare owner and HCAM board member Mohammad Qazi. Updates below.

Read more here

10:41 a.m.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has temporarily laid off about 25 percent of her office, in the first reduction in state government related to the coronavirus.

That is more than 100 people who have been furloughed. Click here.

10:25 a.m.

The City of Berkley says it will not charge late fees or penalties on water bills for the remainder of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 2020, the city placed a hold on late charges during the initial disruption to help residents, who may have recently lost their jobs due to the virus, as well as businesses facing financial insecurity. Click here.

10:15 a.m.

Per Henry Ford Health System, 1,514 COVID-19 patients have been discharged in the last 30 days. Click here.

9:11 a.m.

Wayne County health inspectors have launched a investigation after discovering 50 bodies at a make-shift morgue Beaumont Wayne Hospital.

The investigation came after receiving a report that the hospital was storing deceased patient bodies in a vacant building on its campus. Click here.

8:52 a.m.

Some workers at a Kraft Heinz facility in western Michigan are in self-quarantine after two tested positive for COVID-19 and three more are presumed to have the virus, a spokesman said Tuesday. Click here.

8:47 a.m.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will provide another update on the state's response to COVID-19 on Wednesday afternoon.


Whitmer will be joined by MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and Dr. Marisa Eisenberg from the University of Michigan Department of Epidemiology.

8:20 a.m.

The Detroit Lions announced Wednesday they are donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to Feeding America as part of the 2020 NFL Draft-A-Thon.

With the support of owner Martha Firestone Ford and the Ford Family, the Lions are contributing $500,000 to Feeding America.

8 a.m.

Detroit Red Wings Goaltender Jimmy Howard is donating $50,000 worth of N95 masks to the Detroit Medical Center to help in the coronavirus fight.

Howard purchased the masks to protect healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 battle.

The purchase has been made and the masks are on their way to DMC.

6:29 a.m.

The FDA has granted emergency approval use for a coronavirus test that can be conducted by patients at their homes.

The FDA re-issued emergency use approval for the Pixel by LabCorp COVID-19 home collection test. The test, which can only be done with a doctor's orders, is conducted through a nasal swab. The test will cost $119, according to the company's website. Click here.

4:49 a.m.

Another call to action by people angry with Michigan’s stay-at-home order may in the works at the state capitol. Posts calling for “Operation Gridlock 2.0” have been circulating on social media — but not by the organizers of the first protest, held last week.

Some of the social media posts have since been removed — at least from Facebook — Operation Gridlock 2.0, appearing to be a grassroots effort independent of the first demonstration, is tentatively planned for Wednesday morning starting at 10 a.m. on Capital Avenue in Lansing. 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.