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Coronavirus updates, Nov. 18: 5,772 cases and 62 deaths

Here are the live updates for Wednesday, Nov. 18.
Credit: WZZM/CDC

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich — Here is the latest information on the coronavirus in Michigan, including the number of cases state offices report and other updates affecting West Michigan.

Wednesday's cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 5,772 cases Wednesday. The total number of cases has reached 277,806 .

There were 62 deaths recorded, bringing the death toll to 8,190.

The latest data on recoveries is from Friday, Nov. 13. It shows that 138,862 people have recovered from the virus. The state updates this data every Saturday. A recovery is counted as anyone who is 30 days out from the onset of their symptoms. 

See the full data here.

Hospitalizations are rising this week. There are 3,072 suspected/confirmed COVID-19 adult patients in Michigan hospitals, 272 patients on ventilators as of Nov. 13. 

Michigan is reporting the number of cases at long term care facilities. That data can be seen here. The state is also now reporting school-related outbreaks and that data can be viewed here.

MDHHS hosting data update with state epidemiologist

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is expected to provide an update regarding new COVID-19 data trends in Michigan at 11:15 a.m. 

The information will be presented by Sarah Lyon-Callo, Ph.D., MS, Director of the Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health at MDHHS. Dr. Lyon-Callo will touch on the latest testing, disease trends, hospitalizations, and the trajectory of the virus here in Michigan

3-week epidemic order goes into effect Wednesday

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' latest emergency order goes into effect Wednesday, Nov. 18.

The order enacts a 3-week pause on indoor social gatherings and other group activities in an effort to curb rising COVID-19 cases and infection rates.

High schools, colleges, and universities are closed for in-person learning, as well as dine-in services, casinos, movie theaters, bingo halls, and group exercises classes. 

K-8 schools, childcare, public transit, retail stores and hair salons are all still open. 

Read more here.

More than 60 Kent County pastors pledge to halt in-person worship amid 3-week pause

In response to capacity shortages in hospitals and health systems across the state, local churches across Grand Rapids and Kent County will further limit in-person gatherings beginning Wednesday, Nov. 18, to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. 

Participating churches will discontinue large gatherings such as worship services, weddings, and meetings of more than five individuals until Dec. 8, according to the Kent County COVID-19 Church Task Force.

Participating churches will continue to serve members and the public through online worship sessions. In addition, by Dec. 1, select churches will begin administering wellness checks in their congregations and communities via phone, text and digital platforms.

Read more here.

Pfizer: COVID-19 shot 95% effective, seeking vaccine approval soon

Pfizer says that more interim results from its ongoing coronavirus vaccine study suggest the shots are 95% effective and that the vaccine protects older people most at risk of dying from COVID-19.

Wednesday's announcement from Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech, just a week after revealing the first promising preliminary results, comes as the team is preparing within days to formally ask U.S. regulators to allow emergency use of the vaccine.

They also have begun “rolling submissions” for the vaccine with regulators in Europe, the U.K. and Canada and soon will add this new data.

Read more here.

Tuesday's cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 7,458 cases Tuesday. The total number of cases has reached 272,034 .

There were 79 deaths recorded, bringing the death toll to 8,128.

State recommendations for COVID-19

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe illnesses. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC. The symptoms include:

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

*Note: This list does not include all possible symptoms. It will be updated as the CDC and health officials learn more about the virus. 

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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