2 of state’s 65 coronavirus patients work for MDOC

Coronavirus

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Michigan recorded several new cases of coronavirus Tuesday, most of them on the southeast side of the state, bringing the total number to 65. Two of the patients are Michigan Department of Corrections employees.

They include two Detroit males, an Ingham County male, a Jackson County male, a Leelanau County male, two males and a female in Macomb County, two males in Oakland County, one male in Otsego County and a Wayne County male.

The case in Jackson County is an MDOC probation agents and that he had been traveling internationally. The state said he is doing OK. The agency is working to find out who he may have had contact with. In the meantime, everyone who works in his office has been told to quarantine for two weeks.

Another of the cases is an employee of the Detroit Detention Center, which holds Detroit police suspects for up to 72 hours before arraignment. That person doesn’t have any travel history.

“Our primary focus is the health and safety of our staff, the offenders and the public,” MDOC Director Heidi Washington said in a statement. “This is a matter we take seriously and are taking the advice of public health professionals and have notified employees who need to be quarantined.”

Spectrum Health also announced Tuesday that one of its employees had tested positive for the virus. It was not immediately clear if that case was new or one of the five Kent County had already recorded. The employee is not directly involved in patient care, Spectrum Health said.

Byron Center Christian School said a parent of a student was diagnosed with COVID-19. The parent was at the Family Fun Night March 6, but was a “passive participant.” Anyone who was in direct contact with the individuals have or will be in contact with health officials. All others are at a low risk and should monitor for symptoms.

>>Complete breakdown of cases from state

Most of the state’s 65 cases are in adults — only 3% are younger than 19. Oakland County says its youngest case is a 5-year-old. The age range with the largest percentage, 28%, are in people ages 60 to 69. Only 14% are in people older than 70.

COVID-19 presents with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. For most who contract it, symptoms are mild. The people most at risk are the elderly and those with preexisting health problems.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has shut down schools, bars, restaurant dining rooms, gyms and other businesses in an effort to slow the spread of the illness. The goal is to keep the number of severe cases small enough that hospitals can handle them.

The state has advised people to follow common-sense practices, primarily 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. Health officials also stressed you should stay home when you’re sick. When in public, you should avoid shaking hands or standing too close to others.

If you think you’ve been exposed to coronavirus, call your health care provider. Unless you are in need of emergency help, do not go to the emergency room so as to limit the spread of the illness. Get advice from a doctor over the phone or a televisit before going in.


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