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Health

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The coronavirus outbreak is still in its early days. But Kalamazoo County’s health director says there is already a shortage of supplies and a strain on healthcare workers.

Jim Rutherford briefed county commissioners Tuesday night. There are still no confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Kalamazoo County. But Rutherford says his department is getting requests for more masks and other protective gear from healthcare agencies.

Courtesy: Ann Arbor Distilling Company

You might have a hard time finding hand sanitizer at any price these days because of concerns about the novel coronavirus. Store shelves are often empty. But one Michigan company is making it and giving it away.

With all the hoarding people are doing, it’s nice to hear about people trying to make things better. 

Ann Arbor Distilling Company decided it had the main ingredient you need to make hand sanitizer: alcohol.

Danielle Berridge is the distillery’s tasting room manager. She says they’re using the neutral spirit they use in their gin.

“It’s actually made from local corn. And then we’ve got some aloe gel in there and a little bit of veggie glycerin. And then we also add water to it to bring it down to, I believe, 70%,” she said.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Detroit city bus drivers refused to work and demanded changes because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic. Those issues have been resolved and the bus drivers will go back to work Wednesday. 

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan worked with union leaders most of the day to resolve the issues.

an empty row of tables at a restaurant
Andrew Seaman / Unsplash


woman wearing a health mask in a crowd
Melinda Nagy / Adobe Stock

As the information becomes available, Michigan Radio is tracking known exposure sites to the novel coronavirus in Michigan by county. This is not a complete list as not all information has been released. We will update it as information becomes available.

person holding test tubes with blue gloves on
Trust "Tru" Katsande / Unsplash

The state Department of Health and Human Services reports there are 11 new confirmed cases in Michigan. That brings the total number of known COVID-19 cases to 65.

The state is reporting new cases in Jackson, Leelanau and Otsego Counties.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Supermarkets are still short on some items, but shoppers say it’s better than last Friday.

Meegan Holland is a spokesperson for the Michigan Retailers Association. She says people have been stuffing their cabinets, freezers, and linen closets full of supplies because they’re panicked. She expects the hoarding to taper off.

Courtesty of the Michigan Department of Health and Humans Services

As the new coronavirus spreads around the world -- and right here in Michigan --  an official with the World Health Organization delivered some advice yesterday, saying, "We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test. Test every suspected case."

Natalie Kolb / Comonwealth Media Services/Flkr/creative commons

Michigan Medicine, which includes the University of Michigan Hospitals, says it is working to be "optimally prepared" for COVID-19 patients.  

As part of that effort, the hospital system has just opened a 32-bed regional infectious containment unit (RICU) that will be able to care for COVID-19 patients.

smart bus driving down a street in Detroit
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

A driver shortage means Detroit Department of Transportation buses are not running today.

"We are asking passengers to seek other forms of transportation while we work to address our drivers' concerns," a written advisory states.

large crowd of people in a conference room
Miguel Henriques / Unsplash

Updated Monday, March 16 at 8:00 p.m.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Monday an executive order prohibiting "all events over 50 people or assemblages in shared indoor spaces over 50 people." The order goes into effect Tuesday, March 17 at 9 a.m., and will remain in place until 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 5.

A classroom.
User: LizMarie_AK / Wikimedia Commons http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

Today on Stateside, we checked in with two school districts about how they are planning to meet the needs of students during an unprecedented shutdown prompted by the coronavirus outbreak. Plus, the pediatrician who alerted the world to Flint’s water crisis talked to us about how kids in the city are doing more than five years after the crisis began. 

Utility trucks
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s two largest energy companies will be suspending shutoffs for non-payments in response to COVID-19 and its spread in Michigan. Both Consumers Energy and DTE Energy have suspended shutoffs for senior citizens and low-income eligibility households until April 5th.

For both Consumers and DTE, a low-income eligible household is one whose income is at or below 200% of the federal poverty level. For Consumers, a senior citizen is anyone 65 years or older, and for DTE it’s anyone 62 or older. 

 

someone with a computer pulled up on facebook and a phone in their hand
Unsplash

As the cases of COVID-19 continue to climb, public health officials are calling for "social distancing" to slow the spread of the virus. Schools are being shut down, large events cancelled, and an increasing number of organizations are asking employees to work remotely.

As people are spending more time alone, social media can be a place to gather, connect, and share information. But as stress runs high and half-truths circulates, do these platforms carry their own kind of risk?

IPR is compiling a list of major coronavirus response actions by tribal governments in Michigan. Staff will update it as often as possible through the pandemic.

The last update was on 03/23/2020 at 9:20 PM. Please refer to tribal government websites and social media pages for the most up-to-date information.

Empty grocery store shelves
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Grocery stores in Michigan are working to keep shelves stocked during the coronavirus/COVID-19 event. Cleaning supplies as well as routine items such as toilet paper are in high demand.

Reports indicate sales are up dramatically at supermarkets. A spokesman for Busch’s Fresh Foods indicated sales had increased by two to three times.

Public health workers, medical professionals, patients: We want to hear from you about COVID-19.

We want to know what your experience is related to the novel coronavirus. If you’re a physician, what’s your experience been getting patients tested? If you’re a nurse, do you have the supplies you need? If you’ve been exposed to COVID-19, have you tried to get tested? What was your experience? What guidance have public health officials given you?

Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Trump is set to hold a press conference on the ongoing response to the coronavirus crisis. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer standing at a podium in front of a blue screen
Michigan.gov

Updated: Thursday, March 12, at 11:05 p.m.:

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday evening that the state is closing all K-12 buildings to students beginning Monday, March 16. 

Illustration of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The Michigan’s chief medical executive testified Thursday on the state’s preparations to deal with COVID-19 cases.

Doctor Joneigh Khaldun appeared before the House Health Policy Committee. She says the state’s still inventorying the needs of health care facilities to meet the possible demand.

close up of $100 bills
Pepi Stojanovski / Unsplash

The Michigan Senate has approved spending up to $25 million to combat the new coronavirus, and some K-12 schools are announcing temporary closures to train staff in case districts end face-to-face instruction and move to online learning. Many universities across the state have moved to online classes or other methods.

How to avoid coronavirus? Lessons from people whose lives depend on it

Mar 12, 2020
person washing hands over a sink
Martin Slavoljubovski / Pixabay

Andrea Amelse knows hand-washing.

For the past eight years, she’s been washing her hands pretty much every time she passes a sink. When she’s near a bottle of antibacterial gel, she uses it. She makes a point of avoiding people with contagious illnesses, even though it can be uncomfortable to ask to work from home or miss a date with friends. And she makes sure she gets plenty of sleep, not always easy at age 25.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan
City of Detroit

Detroit’s mayor is urging people who may be sick with the coronavirus to stay home.

Mayor Mike Duggan held a news conference on Wednesday to try to calm city residents after the state announced two cases of COVID-19 were confirmed in southeast Michigan.  

Duggan says neither patient is from Detroit.

The mayor says people with flu-like symptoms should stay at home. 

Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Trump is scheduled to speak from the Oval Office about coronavirus. The World Health Organization labeled the outbreak a pandemic earlier in the day. Watch his remarks live.

Pxfuel

Michigan nursing homes have been told to screen visitors for  illness and possible exposure to COVID-19.

Greg Tracy is the Administrator of Rest Haven Homes in Grand Rapids.

He says visits from people showing symptoms of illness are being restricted, including people who may have come into contact with someone with COVID-19 or who have traveled to areas with outbreaks.

voting booths
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, Michigan has its first state confirmed cases of COVID-19 illness. What sort of social disruptions will we face as more cases appear in our state? Plus, results from yesterday’s presidential primary—and what they tell us about the November election. 

coronavirus symptoms sheet
Adobe Stock

Oakland County’s first COVID-19 patient is "in good shape," according to county officials. The patient was tested Tuesday and the positive result came in late that night. 

A crowd of people
Hanson Lu / Unsplash


Adobe Stock

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has confirmed there are three presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. COVID-19 is the disease cause by the novel coronavirus.

Now that the outbreak has reached Michigan, it is likely there will be more cases and community spread. The state is taking numerous steps to slow the spread of the virus, but many things remain unclear about how individuals should react.

woman in lab testing vials
dusanpetkovic1 / Adobe Stock


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