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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Michigan health department taking action in face of coronavirus spread

Local Government

By Kimberly James | Mar 18, 2020

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On March 10, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency as the state's first two cases of the new coronavirus were confirmed. The purpose of the declaration is to be able to deploy resources to local communities and try to slow the spread of the disease. The number of cases in Michigan currently stands at 110, according to Click on Detroit. 

“The local health department is working closely with county officials, organizations and community members to prepare Huron County for COVID-19 to continue to grow outside of counties that currently have confirmed cases in Michigan,” Kaitlyn Alexander, Huron County Preparedness Coordinator, told the Huron Daily Tribune.

"We are addressing issues of in-home quarantine or isolation and what we can do to prepare our community for these potential circumstances that help public health slow the spread of viruses to prevent a large surge or peak in the exposures and cases of COVID-19 at one time so we can effectively help those affected,” Alexander said. “We are addressing the issues that facilities may see with having enough personal protective equipment to handle the patients and how we can work together to ensure we are best prepared in all areas."

The department is echoing the recommendations put out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, stay at home when feeling sick, avoid contact with other sick people and avoid close contact with anyone when you're out of the house.

Whitmer announced the closing of all K-12 schools for three weeks, beginning March 16. High school athletics tournaments have been canceled, and other school-sponsored activities have been canceled or postponed.

“I urge all Michiganders to take these recommendations seriously and to share them with their friends, families and coworkers,” Whitmer said.  “It’s on all of us to be safe and be smart for ourselves, our loved ones, our coworkers and the public at large," according to the Huron Daily Tribune.

The state's health department is also taking steps to ensure the elderly population, who is at a higher risk for contracting COVID-19, knows how to best care for themselves, especially in community-living situations. The health department is in contact with local hospitals and other community organizations to respond to the growing number of patients seeking treatment at hospitals.

Strategies to keep you and your family safe can be found at Michigan.gov.

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