Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday activated the state emergency operations center as part of Michigan’s plans to prepare for the coronavirus.
Although they said there are currently no confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Michigan, officials warned that Michigan residents “should take all necessary precautions to prepare”
“Right now, we’re harnessing all of the resources of state government to help people prepare and keep themselves and their families safe,” Whitmer said in a statement. “By activating the state emergency operations center, we’re ensuring that every branch of state government is on alert, and actively coordinating to prevent the spread of coronavirus if it comes to Michigan.”
The coronavirus, also called COVID-19, originated in Wuhan City, which is in the Hubei Province of China. It has spread to 52 countries and infected almost 84,000, with nearly 79,000 of those cases in China, according to a February 28 report from the World Health Organization. The virus has also killed 2,791 people in China and 67 people outside the country.
Patients with the virus reportedly have mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Preventative measures against the spread of the virus include washing hands, avoiding touching the face and covering the mouth when coughing or sneezing, according to Whitmer’s office. It also includes avoiding contact with people who are sick and avoiding contact with others if exhibiting symptoms.
“While the current risk to the general public of getting COVID-19 is low, we need to use all of our public health tools to make sure we are prepared,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in a statement. “Michiganders can be assured that we are taking this seriously and we will continue to make preparations to limit the spread and impact of COVID-19.”
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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]