LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer again is pleading with Michigan residents to stay at home to corral the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, the state's chief medical executive says hospitals with empty beds are stepping up to ease the burden on overwhelmed medical centers. 

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun says hospitals in southeastern Michigan are “at or near capacity.” Whitmer made an appeal for hospital gowns, ventilators, hand sanitizer and masks. 

Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids is accepting Detroit-area patients in need of rehab. Bringing the patients to West Michigan will free up more beds for hospitals in southeastern Michigan to treat the growing number of people with COVID-19. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer requested that other hospitals join in this effort and open its doors for patients recovering from illnesses "not" related to the coronavirus.

The governor also said the state has asked President Donald Trump to declare a disaster in Michigan. It would trigger food aid and money for rental assistance and temporary housing, among other needs. 

RELATED: Whitmer requests major disaster declaration amid COVID-19 pandemic

Watch the full press conference here.

13 ON YOUR SIDE contributed to this reporting.



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