Two Michigan residents have tested positive for the coronavirus, making them the first confirmed cases of the disease in the state. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency for Michigan in an effort to assist local officials in slowing the spread of the virus.
“We are taking every step we can to mitigate the spread of the virus and keep Michiganders safe,” Whitmer said in a statement. “I have declared a state of emergency to harness all of our resources across state government to slow the spread of the virus and protect families. It’s crucial that all Michiganders continue to take preventative measures to lower their risk, and to share this information with their friends, family and co-workers.”
Officials said that one of the cases is a woman from Oakland County who recently traveled internationally. The other case is a man from Wayne County who traveled domestically. Collected specimens tested positive for the coronavirus, also called COVID-19, at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Laboratories, and will be sent to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for additional confirmatory testing.
The man from Wayne County is currently under isolation and officials are working to identify people who may have come in contact with him. Officials from Oakland County said they are also looking for potential contacts.
“We are taking the identification of COVID-19 in our state very seriously,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We continue to urge Michiganders to take precautions to prevent the spread of this virus in our state.”
The coronavirus, which has infected more than 100,000 and killed more than 4,000 worldwide, was classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization on Wednesday. The respiratory illness exhibits symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath.
Jordyn Pair is a reporter with Battleground State News and The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]