(FOX 2) - Following a state update of 15 newly confirmed cases of coronavirus on Wednesday, state health officials said they knew of 30 more presumptive cases, which would bring the total up to 110.
During a press conference on Wednesday, Chief Medical Director Dr. Joneigh Khladun confirmed of the additional cases.
"We are in unprecedented times," said Michigan Gov. Whitmer.
The numbers for the new cases reported earlier today include: five (5) for Detroit, two (2) for Macomb County; seven (7) for Oakland County and one (1) more in Wayne County, separate from Detroit.
News of the jump in confirmed cases came just minutes after the first death in Michigan was also reported. According to a press release from Beaumont Health, a man in his 50s who had previous underlying conditions has died at a Beaumont facility in Wayne County.
The rapidly changing number of positive cases exemplifies the immense pressure the public health sector is under to keep up with the cases. However, several leaders and medical chiefs warn there are not enough tests to screen everyone and recommended those who were asymptomatic or young and healthy don't go to the hospital and instead call them.
"We need help from the media to get the message out to the public: COVID-19 testing is being processed on a limited basis onsite. We don't have the bandwidth or the testing supplies to test everyone," said Infectious Disease Specialist Nicholas Gilpen during a press conference with Beaumont. "We need to preserve our precious resources."
At the same time, Michigan's auto industry indicated it would be shutting down U.S. plants following pressure from the UAW and at least three confirmed COVID-19 cases from factories.
Authorities with the State of Michigan are now compiling the list in a daily rundown and are releasing the information daily at 2 p.m.
Since the first round of confirmations on March 10, the COVID-19 virus has spread to 15 counties, stretching from almost every county in southeast Michigan up to the state's northern half of the lower peninsula.
The spread of the virus is indicative that transmission isn't coming from travelers out of state, but between residents in Michigan.
As the state total incrementally climbs, state officials have begun enacting more drastic measures to reduce the number of places coronavirus can be spread.
Since March 10, when the first two cases were confirmed, Gov. Whitmer has declared a state emergency, closed all schools, prohibited gatherings of more than 50 people, restricted visits to hospitals and other facilities, closed public spaces such as theaters, bars, gyms and casinos, and limited restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders.
The Whitmer Administration has also taken other measures as well:
- Expanding unemployment benefits to workers who may be experiencing unanticipated responsibilities due to coronavirus
- Outlawing price gouging on goods, materials, emergency supplies and consumer food items linked to the COVID-19 state of emergency
- Waive weight restrictions on vehicles supporting COVID-19 relief efforts
While these measures feel drastic, officials argue they are instrumental in reducing the potential spike in positive cases. While the measures may not reduce the number of cases that will be confirmed, it will slow the rate at which the disease can spread. Epidemiologists call this 'flattening the curve.'
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.
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 also get the latest coronavirus news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.