DTE, Consumers suspend shutoffs for non-paying, senior and low-income customers

Michigan's largest energy providers are suspending shutoffs for seniors, low-income and non-paying customers during the coronavirus state of emergency. 

DTE and Consumers Energy say they recognize that many customers are in a position where they are unable to work. As a result, they are suspending shutoffs for non-payment customeres and for those customers who are low-income eligible, as well as senior customers.

The suspension begins today, Monday, March 16 and extends until April 5. The companies say these timeframes could be adjusted depending on the spread and severity of the virus.

As of Monday morning, there are 53 confirmed Covid-19 cases here in Michigan. The number of positive test results is expected to increase as the state receives more tests and as more people are tested.

Since the first cases of coronavirus have been confirmed in Michigan, Gov. Whitmer has declared a state emergency, closed all schools and prohibited gatherings of more than 250 people.

Symptoms for coronavirus COVID-19 include fever, coughing, and shortness of breath. These, of course, are similar to the common cold and flu. 

Expect a common cold to start out with a sore or scratchy throat, cough, runny and/or stuffy nose. Flu symptoms are more intense and usually come on suddenly, and can include a high fever. 

Symptoms of COVID-19 may appear more slowly. They usually include fever, a dry cough and noticeable shortness of breath, according to the World Health Organization. A minority of cases develop pneumonia, and the disease is especially worrisome for the elderly and those with other medical problems such as high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes or heart conditions.

RELATED: Is it the flu, a cold or COVID-19? Different viruses present similar symptoms

Right now there's one big difference between flu and coronavirus: A vaccine exists to help prevent the flu and it's not too late to get it. It won't protect you from catching the coronavirus but may put you in a better position to fight it.

To protect yourself, wash your hands well and often, keep them away from your face, and avoid crowds and standing close to people.

And if you do find yourself showing any of these flu or coronavirus symptoms - don't go straight to your doctor's office. That just risks making more people sick, officials urge. Call ahead, and ask if you need to be seen and where.


FOX 2 is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 1 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information. 

You can watch live in your FOX 2 app or on the FOX 2 Facebook page here.

You can also get the latest coronavirus news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com