Officials take action as MI COVID-19 cases reache 53


LANSING, Mich. (AP/WOOD) — The total number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan reached 53 Sunday night, rising from the 45 cases that were reported earlier in the day.

The new number of confirmed cases increased 20 more than what was reported Saturday.

During a press conference Sunday evening, state officials said among the confirmed cases are people who have roles working in schools, which was a factor in schools K-12 closing statewide. They said one of the cases is a younger person.

Three of the new cases are in West Michigan — Two in Kent County and one in Ottawa County, health officials said. These confirmed cases make for Ottawa County’s first case and Kent County’s fifth case.

Both Kent County cases are men — one is in his 20s. One of them has domestic travel history and the other’s travel and contact history are unknown. The Ottawa County case is a woman whose travel history and contact history are unknown.

Holland Hospital says it hospitalized the Ottawa County patient and that it is using recommended protocols.

The cases reported Sunday are in the city of Detroit, Washtenaw, Oakland, Macomb, Wayne, St. Clair, Kent and Ottawa counties.

One of the Oakland County cases is a child who is a boy. He came into contact with someone else who had the virus.

At this time state officials say there are about 115 COVID-19 test given out per day.

Above: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer provides an update on COVID-19 in the state on Sunday, March 15 as cases rose to 45.

“This is about saving lives. It is going to rely on every one of us to do our part,” Whitmer said.

She said people who wish to help can call 211 to volunteer.


During a press conference in Kent County, an emergency public health order was issued, meaning occupancy loads will be reduced to 50% at food service establishments, entertainment venues and physical fitness centers. The order excludes employees and will begin at 10 a.m. on Monday and is set to go through April 5.

“Food service establishments include but are not limited to: Restaurants, bars, church-dining halls, schools, carry-out catering, country clubs, banquet halls and fraternal order organizations. Excluded from this order: Health care facilities, long-term care facilities and grocery stores.” Adam London with the Kent County Health Department read from the order.

London clarified that he was not talking about grocery stores or food pantries. Businesses licensed as food service establishments with Kent County Health Department will need to follow the order.

“We’re doing this to help everyone in our community obtain safe, social distancing,” London said.

Above: Press conference with the Kent County Health Department and officials within the county on Sunday, March 15.

Several officials spoke about the precautions, supporting the health department’s decision.


Also on Sunday, Whitmer signed an executive order Sunday in an effort to curb price-gouging of emergency supplies and food during the coronavirus outbreak.

The temporary measure, which takes effect Monday, restrict a person or business from reselling goods or products that are “grossly in excess of the purchase price of the product.” Also, a business or individuals can’t sell a product at more than 20% higher than the purchase price unless the increase is “due to bringing the product to market.”

A violation will be a misdemeanor. The restrictions are in place through April 13.

Above: Watch the news conference held on Sunday, March 15 regarding price-gouging in Michigan during the cornavirus outbreak.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia. People with mild illness recover in about two weeks.

“We will continue to take every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families,” said Whitmer said in a statement.

The Michigan attorney general’s office has said it received over 75 complaints of price-gouging. The hotline to report complaints is 1.877.765.8388.


The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.


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