Recorded coronavirus cases in Michigan top 1,000

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — With about 250 new cases confirmed Saturday, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan has surpassed 1,000, including a third case in Berrien County.

The figures from tests run Saturday, which were released Sunday afternoon, brought the total to 1,035 cases statewide. The largest concentration of cases remained in southeast Michigan: Wayne County (including the city of Detroit) has 477 cases, Oakland County has 277 and Macomb County 140. Washtenaw County had 35 cases.

Eight deaths in Michigan have been linked to coronavirus, with four reported Saturday alone. Seven have been in metro Detroit and one at Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. All eight of the patients have either been elderly or had underlying health conditions.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Saturday told hair, nail and tanning salons, tattoo parlors and similar businesses they would have to shut down as part of widespread social distancing measures. She had already banned gatherings of more than 50 people and ordered the closure of bars, restaurant dining rooms and gyms.

Everyone should also wash their hands frequently for 20 seconds with soap and warm water, cough into their arm or a tissue rather than their hands and avoid touching their face with unwashed hands. When in public, you shouldn’t shake hands or stand too close to others.

The goal is to keep the number of severe cases small enough that hospitals can handle them. The health care system in Bergamo, Italy, where the pandemic has struck especially hard, has been stretched to its limits. China, where the virus originated, had the same problem.

Whitmer has also asked President Donald Trump to create a special enrollment period for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. Nine states ave opened up enrollment periods on their state-run insurance exchanges.

COVID-19 presents with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. For most who contract it, symptoms are mild. The people most at risk to develop severe complications are the elderly and those with preexisting health problems.

If you think you have coronavirus, call your health care provider. Unless you are in need of emergency help, do not go to the emergency room. Quarantine yourself and your household while you get advice from a doctor over the phone or a televisit. A doctor will direct you on how to get tested. Note that the supply of testing kits is very limited, so only those with the highest risk will get tested.