Michigan's confirmed coronavirus cases climb to 33

Beth LeBlanc
The Detroit News

Michigan's total number of confirmed cases continues to rise, jumping from two on Tuesday to 33 by Saturevening. 

The rapid increase in cases and the expectation that there will be more prompted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to declare a state of emergency Tuesday, followed by an executive order Thursday that closing K-12 schools and banning assemblies of more than 250 people through April 5. 

This undated electron microscope image made available by the U.S. National Institutes of Health in February 2020 shows the Novel Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Also known as 2019-nCoV, the virus causes COVID-19. The sample was isolated from a patient in the U.S. Dozens of research groups around the world are racing to create a vaccine as COVID-19 cases continue to grow. (NIAID-RML via AP)

The governor said she expects more presumed positive tests as the state continues to expand its testing capacity.

"Even if you feel healthy and are asymptomatic, you can unknowingly be carrying and spreading the virus," she said. "Assume that you are and take these orders seriously.”

The cases appear to have some commonalities, with all but a few involving recent international or domestic travel. The cases also all seem to involve largely middle-age patients who are in isolation at home or in a hospital.

While most patients had limited exposure to others, according to county health departments, two individuals in Oakland County traveled to various locations throughout Southeast Michigan, West Michigan and the Thumb after their presumed time of exposure.

Cases like the ones in Oakland County are likely to be occurring in more instances than reported since symptoms can have a delayed onset, said Peter Gulick, professor of medicine at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine. 

For that reason, it's important to limit mass gatherings even among those who are asymptomatic, Gulick said. 

"It just keeps expanding and expanding," Gulick said. "Unless you somehow try to contain this by reducing the crowd size or trying to lessen the areas where people are exposed, it's just going to grow.”

The cases and any details currently available on the new patients are listed below. The state and local health departments largely are not releasing the hometowns of the individuals to protect their privacy. 

Oakland County: 9 people

Oakland County Executive David Coulter declared Friday a state of emergency in the county, allowing him to shift money and other resources quickly to help residents, businesses and communities affected by the coronavirus. The declaration opens a way for federal money, should it become available, Coulter said in a statement.

An Oakland County woman who traveled abroad internationally tested positive for the virus on Tuesday. She is in isolation at a hospital and is in good condition. She is believed to have little to no exposure to other Oakland County residents after leaving her plane. 

Two Oakland County men, one with a history of domestic travel and another who had not traveled recently, also tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. 

Late Friday, two women and one man were identified as positive, one with a history of international travel two with unknown travel history.

On Saturday, the list expanded to include an adult man with a history of domestic travel, an adult man with an unknown travel history and an adult woman with a history of contact with someone with a confirmed case.

The list of dates and locations are posted here.

Oakland County has distributed a list of possible exposure locations to alert those who may have been there  and who may begin to feel symptoms.

  • 7-9 a.m. March 1, Detroit Metro Airport, Romulus
  • March 4: Detroit Metro Airport, Romulus, 6:30-7:15 a.m.; New York International, 7435 Orchard Lake Road, West Bloomfield Township, 11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.;  Walmart, 3301 Pontiac Trail, Commerce Charter Township, 11:30 a.m. –12:30 p.m.
  • March 5: Burger King, 27700 23 Mile Road, Chesterfield Township, 12:15-12:35 p.m.; White Castle, 27760 23 Mile Road, New Baltimore, 12:15-12:35 p.m.; Hobby Lobby, 4715 24th Ave., #100, Fort Gratiot Township, 1 p.m. 
  • March 6: Poole’s Tavern, 157 E. Main St., Northville, 12:30-1 p.m.; Five Guys, 3561 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids, 6:30-7 p.m.
  • March 7: Tap Room, 201 W. Michigan Ave., Ypsilanti, 1-3 p.m.; MSA Woodland, 2100 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, 12:30-1:30 p.m.; Texas Roadhouse, 3776 28th SE, Kentwood, 4:30-6:15 p.m.; USA Hockey Arena, 14900 N Beck Rd, Plymouth, 5:30-10:30 p.m.
  • March 8, 2020: Subway, 6260 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; Jimmy Johns, 5925 28th St SE, Grand Rapids, 11:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m.; Burger King, 1515 E Grand River Ave, Portland, 3:45-4:00 p.m.

The Health Division’s Nurse on Call at (800) 848-5533 will be available for extended hours to answer questions about COVID-19 from 8-5 p.m. Saturday.

The county also has authorized a full activation of the emergency operations center and is considering "public health orders" that would help to stop the spread of the disease. 

The county also will determine fee reductions, grace periods on payments and support students who need food options.

“We must all pull together as a community and implement the stringent mitigation strategies essential to slow the spread of this virus,” Coulter said. 

The county has established the Oakland County Help Hotline – (248) 858-1000 – to address non-health needs of the general public such as food or housing assistance. The hotline will be staffed 8 a.m. -8 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Washtenaw County: 4 people

A Washtenaw County man who traveled domestically through New York and a woman who traveled internationally through Europe were diagnosed Thursday with the virus.

The man and woman are in isolation at home. Health officials are determining who may have had contact with the individuals. 

Both individuals self-isolated shortly after suspecting exposure, but the man on March 9 was present at the Detroit Metro Airport, the Hair Spot in Ann Arbor and the Ann Arbor YMCA, said Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, a spokeswoman for the Washtenaw County Health Department.

Oakland County officials confirmed Friday that one of the Washtenaw County individuals is a teacher at Hillel Day School in Farmington Hills, according to a statement from the school. The school sent out an email to parents about the case and canceled classes Friday. 

A third Washtenaw County resident, a man, tested positive for the virus on Friday. 

A fourth Washtenaw County resident tested positive on Saturday. The adult woman had a history if contact with someone who had a confirmed case. 

Bay County: 1 person

A man with a history of domestic travel.

Charlevoix County: 1 person

A woman with a history of international travel.

Ingham County: 1 person

A senior citizen who had been on a cruise tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday. The woman is in isolation at a hospital and is in stable condition, according to the Ingham County Health Department. 

Officials are assessing who she may have been in contact with and monitoring them for symptoms.

Kent County: 3 people

Three Kent County residents — two women and one man — who had a history of international travel tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.  

All of the individuals are older than 60 and recovering at home, Kent County Health Department Administrative Health Officer Dr. Adam London said Thursday night. 

Two of the individuals have been in quarantine since arriving back to the U.S. while a third had limited contact with others, London said. The department currently is reaching out to people the individual may have come into contact with.

Macomb County: 2 people

According to the Macomb County Health Department on Friday night, a middle-aged adult male with a history of travel is currently hospitalized and has tested positive. 

On Saturday, an adult man with no travel history and no known contact with the virus was diagnosed. 

Monroe County: 1 person

On Saturday, the state said an adult woman living in Monroe County was diagnose with the virus She had a history of domestic travel. 

Montcalm County: 1 person

A Montcalm County woman who had traveled internationally tested positive for coronavirus on Thursday.

The woman has been quarantined at home since returning to the U.S., according to the Mid-Michigan District Health Department, which serves Clinton, Gratiot and Montcalm counties.

St. Clair County: 1 person

A St. Clair County man who had a history of domestic travel tested positive for cCoronavirus on Thursday. He is in stable condition at his home, where he is isolated. The man "took proper precautions" and had "minimal contact" with others, according to the St. Clair County Health Department.

Wayne County: 8 people

A Wayne County man who had a history of traveling domestically was diagnosed with the virus on Tuesday. The man is in isolation at University Hospital in Ann Arbor and is a resident of Livonia, the city announced. 

The city and county are determining who he may have come into contact with. 

Workers at Travelers Tower in Southfield were informed the man was in the building on March 4 and started to experience symptoms on Sunday, according to an email from building management obtained by The Detroit News.

On Friday, two Wayne County women, one of whom was identified as living in Detroit, tested positive for the virus. 

The Detroit woman had an unclear travel history, while the second Wayne County woman had contact with someone who had previously tested positive for the virus. 

Whitmore-Bolles Elementary School in Dearborn announced Friday that a staffer tested positive for COVID-19. While it is known the staffer was one of the four people who tested positive Friday, it is not clear which county he or she was from. The school district declined to disclose as much citing privacy restrictions.

Late Friday, another woman from Detroit with a history of international travel was identified. As were two women from Wayne County, one with a history of domestic travel and another with no history of travel. 

On Saturday, an adult woman with an unknown travel history and no known contact with the virus was diagnosed as well as a man from Detroit with a history of domestic travel and contact with a confirmed case. 

Unknown home county, 1 person

The state identified one man Friday who tested positive for the virus, but for whom they had no additional information.