Governor Whitmer’s press conference on Monday highlighted the medical equipment that the state has secured or ordered, including 1 million N-95 masks from FEMA shipping this week. She noted that Ford Motor Company has been a contributor of face shields, and that the TCF Center, which had been undergoing transformation into a field hospital, should be ready to see patients by Friday.
She then turned her focus to the number of unemployment claims the State of Michigan is facing, and said they will only increase. The number of claims jumped for the week of March 15th – 21st to 127,000 new claims and then rose to 300,000 new claims for the week of March 22 – 28th. The increase of unemployment payments to $600 per week is still waiting on the US Department of Labor for rules and authorization before those payments can begin.
To date, there are 15,718 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan and 617 people have died. 80% of the cases are in Oakland, Wayne, and Macomb County. She said, “One person who is carrying COVID-19 can infect up to 40 people in a day who in turn can infect thousands. I encourage everyone to wear some sort of face covering on those few trips that you need to leave the house. During this time it is crucial that you only leave your home when absolutely necessary.” She reported that she has received data that shows Michiganders are travelling less than their neighbors in Indiana, Illinois, and Ohio and encouraged residents to keep it up.
She did not extend the Stay Home, Stay Safe order at this time, but she said to expect an additional order in the next week.
Reporting for WGRT – Jessie Wiegand