Governor Whitmer Discusses COVID-19 Updates in Michigan
LANSING, MI - Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun provided another update Monday, April 6 in regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Whitmer started off the press conference by talking briefly about the executive order she signed last week that prohibits all employers from retaliating against an employee for choosing to stay home from work if they or someone they're close with tests positive for COVID-19 or is displaying symptoms.
The same executive order also strengthens the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order by declaring that any Michigan resident who tests positive or is showing symptoms, or who lives with someone that has tested positive or showing symptoms, should not leave their home unless absolutely necessary.
She also addressed how Michigan hospitals are severely lacking in personal protective equipment (PPE) and that many hospitals only have a few days until they run out of certain equipment. This does not count private donations provided by outside parties.
However, she stated that in the next 24-48 hours, FEMA is sending Michigan:
-1.1 million surgical masks
-232,000 face shields
-2 million gloves
FEMA will be shipping 1 million N95 masks to Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb Counties this week, as they are the hardest hit region of Michigan at this point with 80% of all positive COVID-19 cases coming from those counties. Based on preliminary data, Dr. Khaldun reported that this disease is hitting minorities hardest, with 33% of cases and 40% of deaths being in African Americans.
As of this morning, Michigan had 15,718 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 617 deaths. Whitmer discussed how Michigan is still lacking in testing, but that improvements are being made every week. Dr. Khaldun joined in by saying, "We're expanding testing across the state. Testing capability has grown significantly, even in the past ten days."
Another topic on the mind of Michigan residents is whether or not the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order will be extended. "We are looking at an additional order with regard to staying home and staying safe," said Governor Whitmer. "We are not close to the apex yet. We haven't hit that yet, and until we do, it's absolutely essential that we are continuing to be aggressive, so I would anticipate an additional order within the next week."
The full press conference can be found on the Twitter and Facebook pages for the Michigan State Police. HOMTV will continue to follow this story as it develops.