Mayor Duggan: No plans to close schools at this time

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan told reporters during a press conference the city has no plans to close its public schools.

Amid mounting fears of the coronavirus further spreading around the state, city and state officials gave an update Thursday afternoon.

"Our recommendation is there is not a medical benefit to closing public schools at this time," he said. "If at the point there is a spread of coronavirus, that may be revised. But today, we are not recommending the closing of public schools."

Because there are no positive cases of coronavirus within the public school system, Duggan recommended schools follow the guidelines posted online by Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, chief medical executive at the state health department. That includes not holding assemblies and keeping kids from congregating in crowds during lunchtime.

Even with the lack of new confirmed cases in Michigan, he expressed praise toward the Detroit Pistons basketball team in taking measures of avoiding exposing others after the team came in contact with a positive case from another team.

"The Piston's response today was extremely positive," he said.

Giving a brief lesson in disease vector transmission, residents should take action based on whether they've had primary contact with a sick patient, or secondary contact with one.

Players on the Pistons had played a game against the Utah Jazz, which had two players diagnosed with COVID-19. Because the disease spreads easiest through the droplets in the air, it's likely they had come close enough to the infected players they may have been exposed to the disease.

But for individuals who were in contact with someone who may have been sick, that's secondary contact - and does not register as a concern.

"If on Monday, you went up to a Piston's player, had a conversation with them, got their autograph - that's secondary contact," he said.

For those that exhibit the three symptoms of COVID-19 - fever, coughing, shortness of breath - Duggan asks them to stay home.

Despite no recommendation to close schools, the archdiocese of Michigan said all Catholic schools will be closed Friday, March 13 and Monday, March 16 to allow for a deep clean of their facilities.

"The Department of Catholic Schools is directing diocesan schools to close on Friday, March 13 and Monday, March 16 for deep cleaning and to allow administration and faculty to discern and prepare for possible options going forward," read a statement online.

Earlier in the day, the Detroit Pistons announced they would be self-quarantining after game against the Jazz after two Utah players tested positive for coronavirus.

RELATED: Full list of coronavirus cancellations and closures in Michigan 

So far, there are two confirmed cases of coronavirus/COVID-19 in Michigan, both in Wayne and Oakland Counties. The health department told FOX 2 earlier in the day Thursday that there were no new cases reported in Michigan.

FOX 2 plans to stream the Mayor's speech when it starts.

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