Michigan Announces First Two Coronavirus Cases, State of Emergency Declared

Matthew Guerrero, 22, of Des Moines, Washington wears a bear mask as he drops off his presidential primary mail-in ballot in person at King County Elections in Renton, Washington on March 10, 2020. (Photo by Jason Redmond / AFP) (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)
JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

Michigan announced its first two cases of the coronavirus on Tuesday evening, prompting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) to declare a state of emergency.

“It has moved into Michigan,” Whitmer said of the deadly illness in a press conference, flanked by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “Please make sure your family and friends are taking every preventative measure possible.”

“I’ve signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in order to maximize our efforts and assist local governments and officials to slow the spread. It’s crucial that Michiganders continue to take preventative measures,” the governor added. “All these sound simple but they work and they will help mitigate the spread. The main goal of these efforts is to slow the spread of the virus, not to stop it.”

The pair of patients reside in Oakland County and Wayne County, Khaldun told reporters. The announcement comes after the state said 39 people had tested negative for the coronavirus. 24 additional test results are still pending.

The Detroit News notes: “The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services activated the state’s Community Health Emergency Coordination Center last month to coordinate with local health departments and medical providers.”

Earlier Tuesday, governors of Colorado, Ohio, and North Carolina declared a state of emergency over the virus.

At least 32 people in the U.S. have died from the coronavirus, with nearly 1,000 more sickened by the illness that originated from Wuhan, China.

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