LANSING, Mich. (FOX 2) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced in-state testing for coronavirus is now available in Michigan, as the state is readying its resources to fight an outbreak, if one should come. Right now there are zero coronavirus cases in Michigan, though a handful of people have been tested.
"I want to be clear - there are no confirmed cases in Michigan and the current risk in the U.S. is still low. That's a good thing. But based on what we see in other countries we should expect to see more cases in the U.S." Whitmer said at a special news conference Friday morning. "We're hoping for the best but preparing for the worst."
She's activated the state Emergency Operations Center, which ensures every branch of government will be on alert about the virus and will be actively coordinating to prevent a spread alongside hospitals, school districts and businesses.
The new in-state coronavirus testing ensures results in just about four hours now, as opposed to before when the test had to be sent to the CDC and it took days to get results.
Passengers at Detroit metro airport are also continuing to be monitored. The Department of Defense has ordered that a site be established for hosting people coming from areas of concern.
"That is located at Fort Custer and we've set aside a facility with a 20-bed capacity, but to date, it has not been activated and to date, we have no anticipation of a need for that facility," said Major General Paul Rogers with Military and Veterans Affairs.
The state has also launched a website with fact sheets and a list of its available resources when it comes to the virus.
Whitmer's news conference comes just two days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said coronavirus, which is now scientifically called COVID-19, was likely to spread in the U.S. and soon become a global pandemic.
President Trump later also held a news conference in which he declared the U.S. is "very, very ready" for whatever the coronavirus threat brings, and he put his vice president in charge of overseeing the nation's response.
He also sought to minimize fears of the virus spreading widely across the U.S., saying, "I don't think it's inevitable."
But standing next to him at a White House news conference were health authorities who reiterated that Americans need to get ready for what could become a wider outbreak requiring such steps as school closures.
"Our aggressive containment strategy here in the United States has been working and is responsible for the low levels of cases we have so far. However, we do expect more cases," said Dr. Anne Schuchat of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
More than 81,000 cases of COVID-19, an illness characterized by fever and coughing and sometimes shortness of breath or pneumonia, have occurred since the new virus emerged in China.
The U.S. announced the 15th case of coronavirus Wednesday, bringing the total number of infected people in the country to 60. No details were released immediately on the newest case. But the higher count includes people who traveled back from outbreak areas in Asia: three who were evacuated from the central China city of Wuhan and 42 Americans who were evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship docked in Japan.
Back here at home, Wayne State University also just announced this week that it's suspending its spring study abroad programs over coronavirus concerns. In total WSU canceled eight spring break trips to destinations like Brazil, Paris, London and Toronto.
FOX 2 reported on this story from Southfield, Mich.