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Whitmer activates State Emergency Operations Center for Michigan's coronavirus response

"We are taking this step out of an abundance of caution," Whitmer said.

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer activated the State Emergency Operations Center Friday to coordinate with state, local and federal agencies to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease 2019, or COVID-19.

"Right now, we’re harnessing all of the resources of state government to help people prepare and keep themselves and their families safe," Whitmer said in a press release Friday morning. 

By activating the State Emergency Operations Center, Whitmer is ensuring every branch of the state government is on alert and actively working together to prevent the spread of coronavirus, if it comes to Michigan.

"We are taking this step out of an abundance of caution," Whitmer said. "We will continue to take every necessary precaution to keep Michiganders safe."  

COVID-19 is an outbreak of respiratory illness first detected in Wuhan City in the Hubei Province of China. As of Feb. 27th, there were over 81,000 cases globally, with over 78,000 of those in China, including over 2,600 deaths in China. 

Investigations are ongoing to learn more, but person-to-person spread of the virus has occurred according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services said earlier this week that 325 people in the state were being monitored for COVID-19. All the individuals are classified as "medium risk" -- meaning they've all been to mainland China in the past two week or were passengers on a cruise ship with a confirmed COVID-19 case. 

COVID-19 Symptoms and Prevention

The CDC says patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of: 

  • Fever 
  • Cough 
  • Shortness of breath 

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

  • 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.  

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