LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday that a major disaster declaration has been sent to President Donald Trump.
She said it will help support Michigan residents through the coronavirus pandemic. If granted in full, the declaration will help provide meals, rental assistance, temporary housing for families among other things.
STAY-AT-HOME ORDER ‘NOT OPTIONAL’
Whitmer told residents Thursday that her stay-at-home order is “not optional, it’s not a recommendation.”
On Monday, Whitmer ordered Michigan residents to stay home for at least three weeks to slow the spread of coronavirus.
“If we don’t all do our part, more people are going to get sick and more people are going to die,” Whitmer said Thursday.
The stay-at-home order means people should not go out unless they are fulfilling an essential errand, like getting food, or if they are designated an essential worker.
“If you’re not a life-sustaining business, you’re in violation of the law and needlessly exposing your employees to COVID-19. You’re needlessly endangering our communities,” Whitmer said. “I would encourage any business that is not sure to probably assume that they’re not.”
She added businesses like florists, landscaping or home construction should not be considered life sustaining and should not be open during the executive order.
NEED FOR MEDICAL SUPPLIES
Whitmer said the state had secured the following items amid the shortage of personal protection equipment for medical staff :
- 13 million N95 masks
- 226,000 surgical masks
- 35,000 hospital gowns
- More than 4 million gloves
- Nearly 100,000 face shields
- 250 hospital beds
- Thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer
Even with the additional supplies, Whitmer said hospitals are still in need of items. She asked on residents and businesses to donate the most needed items to hospitals.
Donations can be directed to the Michigan Community Service Commission at COVID19donations@michigan.gov or 517.335.4295.
>>Inside woodtv.com: Lists of supplies needed most at West Michigan hospitals
Whitmer said residents can help by donating to food banks, donating blood through the Red Cross or calling 211 to see what is needed. She asked Michiganders to use the hashtag #DoingMIPart to show how they are trying to stop the spread of COVID-19
CORONAVIRUS CASES IN MICHIGAN
“We’re still in the up slope of the spread,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.
Hospitals outside southeast Michigan are being asked to hold 10 percent of their beds to help support hospitals in Metro Detroit.
As of Wednesday, the state had tested 9,100 samples for COVID-19. The results from Wednesday’s tests will be released by the state Thursday afternoon.
On Thursday, the Van Buren/Cass District Health Department announced its first positive case of COVID-19 in Cass County. In Ionia County, the health department recorded its second confirmed case.
According to data compiled by NBC News from both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and state officials, Michigan has the sixth highest number of deaths linked to coronavirus in the country and the fifth highest number of confirmed cases.
COVID-19 presents with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. For most who contract it, symptoms are mild. The people most at risk to develop severe complications are the elderly and those with preexisting health problems.
If you think you have coronavirus, call your health care provider. Unless you are in need of emergency help, do not go to the emergency room. Get advice from a doctor over the phone or a televisit and they will direct you on how to get tested.
Other than following social distancing guidelines, you should keep following common-sense health practices, like washing your hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, coughing into your arm or a tissue rather than your hands and avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands.