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Coronavirus updates, May 1: Whitmer gives update; Cases reach 42,356

Here are the live updates on coronavirus for Friday, May 1.
Credit: WZZM/CDC

Here is the latest information on the coronavirus in Michigan, including the number of cases state officials report and other updates affecting West Michigan.

Friday's cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 977 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday, bringing the total to 42,356. The number of daily cases has hovered around 1,000 the past couple of days.

There were 77 deaths reported, making the death toll 3,866. 

The Michigan Department of Corrections has 1,560 confirmed cases and 42 deaths. The Federal Corrections Institute reports 90 cases and two deaths. 

See cumulative data here.   

Michigan started reporting the number of cases at long term care facilities. That data can be seen here.   

The number of hospitalizations continues to drop. There are 2,319 COVID-19 patients in hospitals across the state, including 760 on ventilators and 966 in critical care. There have been 762 people discharged from the hospital.   

The state health department is updating the number of recoveries on Saturdays. Current data shows that 8,342 people have recovered from the virus in Michigan. This is an increase of about 5,000 from last Saturday. A recovery is counted as a confirmed COVID-19 patient who is 30 days out from the onset of their symptoms.

Michigan's case fatality rate is 9%, but health officials say this will likely decline as testing of people with mild symptoms becomes more widely available.  

The state emphasizes that the report of cumulative data is "provisional and subject to change. As public health investigations of individual cases continue, there will be corrections to the status and details of referred cases that result in changes to this report." The state is also no longer reporting new cases by county.  

Grand Valley State University plans for students to return to campus in the fall

Grand Valley State University President Philomena V. Mantella said the school is preparing for students to return to campus for in-person instruction in the fall.

The winter semester had to adapt to remote instruction and students were required to leave campus because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

"We are planning for a Fall semester with multiple learning and living scenarios to be as flexible as possible and to accommodate all students safely," Mantella said during a town hall with 1,200 new Lakers on Friday, May 1.

Read more here. 

State health officials monitoring increase of COVID-19 cases in West Michigan

Michigan's top doctor said during Friday's press briefing that state health officials are keeping an eye on West Michigan as the rate of COVID-19 cases continue to increase. 

Most of the state's coronavirus cases have been confirmed in southeast Michigan, however Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said that rate is slowing down, while it increases in West Michigan. 

"Compared to last week, we had a 48% rise in cases in Kent County, 41% in Muskegon County and 23% in Ottawa County," said Khaldun. 

Testing has also increased in these areas, and Khaldun said it should be expected that as testing increases, so will the number of confirmed cases.

Read more here.

Whitmer calls the legislature 'political theater,' explains extending the state of emergency

In Friday's press briefing, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer had some strong words for the Michigan legislature, which voted down extending her state of emergency and moved to sue her administration. 

The governor renewed the state of emergency until May 28 after the legislature refused to extend it during an in-person session on Thursday. The vote, which has prompted tension between Whitmer and the Republican-led chambers, also brought out a crowd of protesters who also called on legislators to vote down the state of emergency.

Republican House Speaker Lee Chatfield said they voted to replace the state of emergency, which was set to expire on May 1, with similar legislation that "protects the emergency measures put into place over the last two months."

Read more here.

Watch the full press briefing here: 

Gov. Whitmer's update on state's COVID-19 response

Friday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Pat Devlin of the Michigan Building Trades and Ryan Maibach, President and CEO of Barton Mallow provide an update regarding the state’s response efforts to COVID-19.

Posted by 13 On Your Side on Friday, May 1, 2020

Whitmer signs executive order to reopen construction, real estate on May 7

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Friday that will allow certain types of workplaces to re-open. 

This order will allow workers in low-risk industries to go back to work starting at 12:01 on May 7. This includes:

  • Construction industry, including workers in the building trades, like plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians and similar workers.
  • Real estate, including agents, appraisers, brokers, inspectors, surveyors, and registers of deeds
    • Any showings, inspections, appraisals, photography or videography, or final walk-throughs are required to be performed by appointment and must be limited to no more than four people on the premises at one time. 
    • Private showings may only be arranged for owner-occupied homes, vacant homes, vacant land, commercial property and industrial property 
  • Workers for moving or storage operation. 
  • Workers who perform jobs primarily outside, including forestry workers, outdoor power equipment technicians, parking enforcement workers, and similar workers.
  • Workers who are necessary to manufacture goods that support workplace modification to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Read more here.

Whitmer to give update at 3 p.m.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is set to give an update at 3 p.m. She extended Michigan's state of emergency on Thursday until May 28.

Michigan gets $390 million in federal education funding

The state of Michigan is set to receive $390 million from the U.S. Department of Education's Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief fund (ESSER).

The ESSER fund is providing $13.2 billion in emergency relief to address the impact that COVID-19 has had on elementary and secondary schools. 

Whitmer extends emergency declaration without legislature

Michigan's House of Representatives on Thursday refused to extend the state of emergency, which expires at midnight, but hours later the governor says she has now extended it by 28 days.

The emergency declaration is separate from the stay-home order, which is still set to expire May 15. But, the emergency declaration is what allows for the governor to issue mandates like the stay-home order. The legislature voted Thursday to replace the emergency and the executive orders with similar legislation.

Read more here

Thursday's cases

The total number of positive COVID-19 cases in Michigan is now 41,379 and 3,789 people have died, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.  

The state reported 980 new cases and 119 new deaths on Thursday. However, 40 of those deaths have accumulated over a period longer than just the last 24 hours. The state is reviewing death certificate data three times per week and adding in those deaths as they are reviewed.

View the state's cumulative data here.

RELATED: Map: Where are COVID-19 cases in Michigan?

State recommendations for COVID-19

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:  

  • Fever  
  • Cough  
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:  

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer. 
  • 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.    
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.    
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.  

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