TOWN HALL RECAP: Michigan could be 5 weeks away from its COVID-19 peak

Posted at 5:51 AM, Apr 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-03 07:38:48-04

(WXYZ) — Thursday night, all three TV stations in Detroit hosted a combined virtual town hall with Governor Whitmer and the state’s top doctor, Joneigh Khaldun.

The event aimed to answer as many of your questions as possible, as we continue to navigate through this health crisis — affecting everyone.

The Governor and Dr. Khaldun spoke on everything from the decision to close k-12 schools for the remainder of the year, testing, and the economy.

This, as Michigan and Detroit specifically continue to be one of the nation’s hardest hit areas by COVID-19. Both the Governor and Dr. Khaldun also said that at this point — Michigan could now be five weeks away from its peak in this outbreak.

“To get through this we must all do our part. Stay hone, stay safe and save lives," said Governor Gretchen Whitmer during a virtual town hall on the coronavirus Thursday night.

Michiganders want to know — when will everyone be able to get a test, and get results quickly?

“We need additional tests kits. We are going to need more labs to come online," said Gov. Whitmer. "We've made strides but we still do not have everything that we need.”

In wake of this virus, the state and local economies have stalled. But Gov. Whitmer says getting Michigan back up and running, won’t happen unless people follow the stay-at-home order.

She alluded to the second wave of this virus other countries are seeing, and that trying to get back to normal too soon, could be a mistake.

And then, there’s hospitals — already overloaded with COVID-19 cases.

"We know that our hospitals, especially in Southeast Michigan, are at capacity," said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's Chief Medical Executive. "They’re running out of ventilators, they’re running out of PPE, they’re taking care of patients in hallways.”

Dr. Khaldun says there’s no reason a hospital in Michigan with room, shouldn’t help carry the load, by taking on COVID-19 patients if they’re able.

Also overloaded, the state’s unemployment website — as claims continue to soar.

“We have a 4,000 percent increase. This is going to be a challenge for us to for us to simply keep the computer infrastructure running and that's precisely why I've loosened the terms to apply,” Whitmer said.

Some are wondering, will Michigan take additional steps to limit interaction? The city of Flint, having issued a city-wide evening curfew. Governor Whitmer says state-wide, that’s not something she feels is necessary right now.

“We’ve seen some other states take some more aggressive measures, and that’s always possible," Whitmer said. "But what I want do to, is applaud the people that are doing the right thing.”

The governor says when it comes to the current stay-at-home order in place, it’s possible that could be extended, but she’s not ready to make that call right now. It's something she'll be monitoring.

Another question on a lot of people’s minds, what about recovery numbers?

We keep updated the number of people infected, but how about those who get better?

Dr. Khaldun alluded to that data being available at some point, but didn’t say exactly when.

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.