(FOX 2) - Two people have tested positive for coronavirus in southeast Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The cases are in Wayne and Oakland counties, and results for 34 other tests are still pending right now.
During a press conference Tuesday evening, Governor Gretchen Whitmer was joined by Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and Capt. Emmitt McGowan, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security in announcing the first two presumptive positive tests for coronavirus. The tests still need to be confirmed by the CDC but Whitmer said they are moving forward and treating the tests as positive.
The two positive tests are in Oakland County and one in Wayne County. The Oakland County patient has a history of international travel while the Wayne County patient has a history of domestic travel.
"We are Michiganders. We are tough. We will get through this. Until then make sure you and your families will take the necessary steps to stay safe," Whitmer said.
“We are taking the identification of COVID-19 in our state very seriously,” said Dr. Khaldun. “We continue to urge Michiganders to take precautions to prevent the spread of this virus in our state.”
The Oakland County case is an adult woman and the Wayne County case is an adult man. Their ages were not given though we're told their both "middle-aged."
"This patient in Wayne County is currently under isolation. Our Public Health Division is working to identify individuals who may have come into close contact with the patient so we can take appropriate steps and monitor them closely,” said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. “We are continuing to collaborate with the state health department and recommend residents continue to practice prevention measures to slow the spread of COVID-19.”
“Oakland County and our Health Division will investigate the circumstances around this case so we understand if there are any potential close contacts," said Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter. "We must all as individuals and communities continue our prevention and preparedness strategies as we hope for a full recovery for this member of the community.”
Following her declaration of a state of emergency, Whitmer recommended that all residents take preventative measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. That includes washing your hands for 20 seconds often, practice touching your face less and use elbow bumps instead of handshakes.
"I know these sound simple, but they work and will help mitigate the spread," she said. "The main goal of these efforts is to slow the spread of the virus, not to stop it. It has moved into Michigan and I urge all Michiganders to take these recommendations very seriously to share this information with their friends and family and coworkers."
There are 18 other cases with results pending. You can track the results on the state's website at www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
How long does it take for symptoms to appear?
Symptoms for the COVID-19 virus could appear in as few as two days, or as long as 14 days after exposure, according to the CDC.
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath and fever, to severe and even fatal respiratory distress.
How easy is it to get infected?
The novel coronavirus strain responsible for the recent deadly global outbreak is more contagious than SARS and MERS, according to a new study from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
Researchers analyzed data from over 72,000 confirmed and suspected cases of COVID-19 and found that the novel coronavirus is more contagious than the related viruses which cause SARS and MERS.