Whitmer creates 4 task forces to combat spread of coronavirus in Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has created multiple task forces to help fight the potential spread of the coronavirus COVID-19 in Michigan. 

Right now there are no confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan, but cases are starting to spread in the United States and multiple people have already died. 

Gov. Whitmer's four task forces include one on state operations, one on health and human services, one on education, and the final on the economy and workforce. The task forces will include key state government agencies, who will work closely with the appropriate community and non-governmental stakeholders.  

The task force on state operations will cover all aspects of state operations, including employment and facilities.

The task force on health and human services will cover the provision of medical and human services, including protecting the healthcare workforce.

The task force on education will cover K-12 public schools and universities and colleges.

And the task force on economy and workforce will cover general economic impact, workforce, supply chain, business continuity, and related issues. 

“While there have been no confirmed cases in Michigan yet, we must recognize that this virus has the potential to impact nearly every aspect of our lives,” said Governor Whitmer. “From our public schools, colleges, and universities to our businesses and hospitals, we must harness all of the resources we have to ensure we can prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep Michiganders safe. This is a strong, smart team that will make protecting our public health their number one priority and work closely with me to protect the people of our state.”  

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On Friday, February 28, Whitmer activated the State Emergency Operations Center to maximize coordination with state, local and federal agencies, as well as private partners, and to help prevent the spread of the disease. Since then, the administration has been working with schools, businesses, medical providers, and local health departments to make sure they have the information they need to prepare for potential cases. 

COVID-19 has been identified as the cause of an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan City in the Hubei Province of China. As of March 3, there were over 91,313 cases globally with over 3,000 deaths. 

Person-to-person spread of the virus has occurred in the U.S., with some of those occurring in people with no travel history and no known source of exposure.  
For the general American public, who are unlikely to be exposed to this virus at this time, the immediate health risk from COVID-19 is considered low. People in communities where ongoing community spread with the virus that causes COVID-19 has been reported are at elevated though still relatively low risk of exposure. 
Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of fever, cough and shortness of breath. 

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.

Also avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands. 

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing. 

Avoid contact with people who are sick - and if you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.  
Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus