UPDATE: Jackson County courts close after employee is confirmed with coronavirus

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JACKSON, MI (WILX) -- The state says there are 65 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan.

Ingham County is reporting three cases. At this time, only two of them are counted in the state's total.

The Michigan Department of Corrections announced that it was notified two of its employees have tested positive for coronavirus.

MDOC said one is an employee at the Jackson County Probation Office, who had a recent history of international travel, and the second one is an employee at the Detroit Detention Center, who does not have a history of domestic or international travel.

The Jackson County Health Department and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported the first presumptive positive case of coronavirus earlier Tuesday morning.

The health department said the case was found in a 60-year-old female with travel history. The department said she will be "closely monitored by the Jackson County Health Department."

Henry Ford Allegiance Health said the woman did not require hospitalization and is not being treated at Henry Ford Allegiance Health.

The woman will be asked to identify close contacts, and other lower-risk contacts so that they can be notified and receive further instruction about isolation and testing if needed, according to the department.

“We will be closely monitoring all individuals with direct, personal contact with the identified cases, such as household contacts,” says Rashmi Travis, MPH, Jackson County Health Officer. “In addition, we want our community to be fully aware of any possible, but lower-risk community exposures.”

As a precaution, the health department is asking anyone with symptoms including fever, cough and difficulty breathing, to self-isolate for 14 days.

If you do have these symptoms and a history of travel, or have been exposed to someone with a history of travel, you are asked to call Henry Ford Allegiance Health My Health Care line at 313-874-7500.

Following the release from the Jackson County Health Department, a local administrative order was issued to "temporarily close all essential business for the Jackson County 4th Circuit Court, 12th District court and Probate Court to the public in recognition of the states of emergency declared by the governor of Michigan and President of the United States," according to a statement sent to News 10 from a 12th District Cour administrator.

The statement said the 60-year-old female was a courthouse employee.

The statement said the court will be closed completely on Tuesday, March 12 through Friday, April 3, 2020.

The statement said only these functions will be allowed:
-Only essential and/or emergency hearings to be determined by the individual judges.
-No court hearing to be held in the Courthouse.
-Only essential custodial and facility personnel may enter premises.

Earlier Tuesday morning, a General Motors employee, who works at the Global Technical Center in Warren, has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The center said the employee works out of the fifth floor of the Cole Engineering Center and was last there on Thursday, March 12.

The center said GM Medical has been in contact with the family and the center has put an emergency response plan into action.

GM released a statement to News 10 regarding the virus:

"Since January, we have been taking decisive action around the world to prevent the spread of coronavirus because the health and safety of our employees and everyone who enters our facilities is our top priority. We learned today that an employee who works at the Cole Engineering Center in Warren has tested positive for the virus.

We have been in contact with the family and put our emergency response plan into action, building on the preventive measures we have already taken, which include directing employees at the Cole Technical Center and other sites to work remotely if possible.

In addition, our medical team is contacting individuals who may have had direct contact at work with the affected employee. They will be directed to self-quarantine for 14 days and the GM medical team will help them coordinate care if they develop symptoms. We have been in contact with public health officials and we have moved quickly to deep clean and disinfect work and common areas at the site. Going forward, we will continue to take aggressive steps to help prevent the spread of the virus and keep families safe."

On Monday, March 16, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order temporarily closing theaters, bars, casinos and limiting restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders.

Gov. Whitmer's office said the order applies to restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos.

The governor's office said the order does not apply to these locations: office buildings, grocery stores, markets, food pantries, pharmacies, drug stores, and providers of medical equipment and supplies, health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities, warehouse and distribution centers, and industrial and manufacturing facilities.

The restriction is in place until Monday, March 30 at 11:59 p.m.

To view the fill order, click here.

The governor has also expanded unemployment benefits amidst the coronavirus.

Several Mid-Michigan communities have declared a state of emergency including the City of Lansing, Lansing Township, Delhi Township, the City of East Lansing, Eaton County, City of Jackson, Delta Township, Shiawassee County and Meridian Township.

The City of Jackson says it has implemented 10 handwashing and sanitizing stations throughout the city.

Delta Township said township parks will remain open, but the public is encouraged to use social distancing.

The Ingham County Animal Shelter has also announced it will be closed due to the coronavirus. The shelter said it will be closed until further notice.

The shelter said staff and volunteers will be making pet food available for low-income households in weather-resistant containers that will be left outside of both the Outreach Center in Lansing and the ICACS in Mason.

The Diocese of Lansing has announced it has canceled all masses beginning Wednesday, March 18 through Sunday, April 8.

Several schools are continuing to offer meals after Gov. Whitmer ordered that all schools be shut down until April 5.

Waverly Community Schools and Gardner International Magnet School are holding food drive-thrus this week to bring food to low-income families.

Lansing Catholic High School is providing free breakfast and lunch to any school-age children. The meals are not limited to Lansing Catholic students.

The school said the meals cannot be eaten on-site and parents and students can pick up meals for all children in their household.

For more information, click here.

The state began a new method of reporting on Tuesday, March 17.

Cases and deaths will be counted by county, and measured by gender and age range. To see the full break down, click here.

The Michigan Department of Health says it will no longer report the number of pending tests or the number of people under investigation.

MDHHS will provide daily web updates at 2 p.m.

Here is a list of the current, confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan:
Bay: 1
Detroit: 8
Ingham: 2
Jackson: 1
Kent: 5
Leelanau: 1
Macomb: 8
Monroe: 1
Montcalm: 1
Oakland: 16
Otsego: 1
Ottawa: 1
St. Clair: 2
Washtenaw: 7
Wayne: 9

As numbers for the coronavirus continue to change, there are steps residents can take to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold that will also help prevent coronavirus disease, including:
• Washing your hands with soap and water.
• Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
• Avoiding contact with people who are sick.
• Staying home if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider.

COVID-19 symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as 14 days after exposure to the virus. They include:
• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath

The state of Michigan has set up a coronavirus hotline, 1-888-535-6136, for those who have questions about the virus. The hotline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

To view a map of the global cases of coronavirus, click here.

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