After a brutal month-and-a-half fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, Detroit's mayor could confidently say the city isn't just seeing leveling off of new cases and deaths tied to the virus - its numbers are dropping. After reaching peaks in early to mid-April, the city's social distancing rules appear to be having a dramatic effect on the spread of the pandemic. From recording 374 new cases in the city on April 3, health officials counted only two on Monday.
It's a tribute to the city's testing capacity which has ramped up fast, and its residents respecting social distancing guidelines - two key factors that health officials and business professionals have pointed to as imperative if the state is to treat the pandemic. "We went from one to 40 in less than 10 days. It was a rate that was scaring everybody. It was a time at which we had 600 police officers in quarantine," Duggan said. "As we got here, the feds and the state built the thousand-bed TCF hospital because it looked -- at the trend we were on -- that we were going to need that hospital."
The need for more space slowed around the time the makeshift hospital was established. Anticipating hospitals maxing their capacity, the temporary shelter would serve as an overflow for new cases. Barely a fraction of the beds is filled. Echoing similar sentiments made later Monday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, many restrictions must remain in place for residents to ensure the virus's spread continues to decline.
"As I said to you about 10 days ago we hit a plateau. That the people of this city did such a great job of honoring the social distancing requirement ... now you can see where we’re going -- we are trending down,” Duggan said.
Last week, the city completed testing of every resident of the city's 26 nursing homes following concerns of localized outbreaks hitting the facilities due to the vulnerability of who lives there. The city is now expanding its screening to other sources of infections. Duggan mentioned grocery stores and enclosed public spaces where people congregate as a possible next step to build up capacity.
The mayor will elaborate more on his plans during a press conference Tuesday.
Building on the city's momentum is the Detroit Association of Black Organizations (DABO), which is teaming up with Sinai Grace Hospital, Wayne State and others to run testing for anyone. Regardless of their job, their symptoms, or whether they have a prescription, if someone wants to get tested they can get one. A free test is being offered at the Sheffield Center Complex at 12048 Grand River in Detroit from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
"We want to make it as convenient as possible for people in the community to get tested," said DABO Executive Director Rev. Horace Sheffield, III. "People who get tested will find out whether they have COVID-19 and if they have antibodies in their system to fight the coronavirus."
Residents could expect to see a roadmap from health officials about how Michigan will approach reopening its economy. Following its first loosening of restrictions announced last week Whitmer released her MI State Start Plan on Monday, which outlines the framework for what kinds of businesses should open and when.
So what might that look like? Below is a chart released by the state that outlines a general methodology for considering reopening industry in the state:
Growing to one of the worst unemployment rates in the country, Michigan's economy has been hit particularly hard relative to other states amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Linked to the shutdown of its manufacturing sector, many businesses are eyeing a reopening in May, which Ford and General Motors both planning launch dates soon.
House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) says Whitmer and the health officials stop thinking of reopening business as "essential vs. nonessential" and begin thinking of it as "safe vs. unsafe." This is outlined in the roadmaps released by GOP leadership in both the Senate and House. Along with that methodology came an emphasis on regionalizing executive order mandates depending on the county's risk of infection.
Whitmer's plans appear to mirror some of those recommendations, with the Michigan Economic Recovery Council dividing up the state into eight different regions.
For the third day in a row, Michigan temperatures will eclipse 60. Expect rain in the morning and evening with some sun in the middle
Blue Angels, Thunderbirds to pay tribute to Michigan healthcare workers with flyover on Wednesday
The U.S. Navy's Blue Angels and the Air Force's Thunderbirds will be honoring American medical workers with flyovers across the nation including Michigan on Wednesday.
This week, the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds will conduct a series of flyovers, dubbed Operation America Strong, across the nation including Michigan on Wednesday.