UPDATE: Third case of coronavirus confirmed in Michigan

Published: Mar. 11, 2020 at 2:10 PM EDT
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The coronavirus has made its way into the Midwest and people are getting prepared for what could come.

A third case of coronavirus has been confirmed in Michigan.

At this time there is no information on the individual's age, where they live, or who they've been in contact with.

On Thursday, Dexter and Saline public schools announced they will be closed beginning Friday, March 13 until the second week of April.

Several universities have switched to online-only instruction including MSU, U of M, WMU, CMU, EMU and Davenport University.

On Wednesday morning, Michigan State University made the decision to transition all of it's classes to online-only until Monday, April 20. The university said an individual linked to campus is being monitored for the coronavirus.

"The campus will remain open during this period. However, the university is evaluating large events already scheduled, many that are associated with outside groups and organizations. We will provide more information soon and urge everyone to consider the health implications of large gatherings and evaluate the essential nature of the events. We will not be scheduling new events with more than 100 individuals in a confined space during for this time period unless there are special circumstances," President Samuel Stanley said in a statement.

A couple of hours later, Central Michigan University made the decision to switch to online-only classes. The university said the transition will happen after spring break through March 20.

The university said residence halls will remain closed for all but international students and student-athletes until Sunday, March 22 at 9 a.m. However, the university said the East Community(Celani, Emmons, Fabiano, Herrig, Saxe and Woldt Halls) graduate housing, Northwest Apartments and Kewadin Village will remain open for students already on campus.

Wayne State University is also preparing for the coronavirus tweeting, "Alert: Wayne State has extended spring break for students and canceled all classes until Monday, March 23, 2020. Housing and dining will remain open."

Wayne State said a subcommittee has been "analyzing alternative modes of instruction and limiting face-to-face instruction." Wayne State also said that all events with 100 people or more will be canceled to adhere to the CDC's recommendation for social distancing.

U of M has also canceled classes for the remainder of the week at its Ann Arbor, Dearborn and Flint campuses. In a tweet, the U of M said classes will "resume remotely in alternative formats. Classes will not meet in person through the end of the semester, April 21."

Following other universities, U of M said events that would bring 100 people or more are canceled.

Oakland University has also canceled class for the rest of the week and will switch to online beginning next week.

Michigan Tech tweeted it has switched to online until at least April 17.

Western Michigan University sent an alert to students saying they "will begin delivering instruction through distance education effective on Monday, March 16 through Friday, April 3."

The university said it will determine if that time frame needs to be extended on March 27.

Davenport University has also made the switch to online-only.

Eastern Michigan University is also making the transition to online-only.

On Thursday, the Big Ten Conference canceled the Men's Basketball tournament.

"The Big Ten Conference announced today that it will be canceling the remainder of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, effective immediately.

The Big Ten Conference will use this time to work with the appropriate medical experts and institutional leadership to determine next steps for moving forward in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The main priority of the Big Ten Conference continues to be the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, fans and media as we continue to monitor all developing and relevant information on the COVID-19 virus."

The MHSAA has also announced that all winter tournaments are suspended, effective immediately and indefinitely, according to a post on their website.

“Based on the events of the last 48 hours and with things changing by the minute, we believe we have no choice but to suspend our winter tournaments immediately,” MHSAA Executive Director Mark Uyl said. “This is a suspension until we have a better handle on the situation. The health and welfare of everyone involved is our number one priority.”

Uyl said more information and updates will be coming over the next few days.

Major League Baseball suspends spring-training games and delayed the start of the regular season by at least two weeks.

The NAAC canceled Men's and Women's Division 1 basketball tournaments amid coronavirus fears on Thursday.

East Lansing Public Schools and the Lansing School District also put restrictions in place regarding their extracurricular activities.

On Thursday, the Michigan Senate approved $25 million for state efforts in combating the coronavirus, according to a statement sent to News 10.

Mayor Andy Schor also released a community mitigation plan Thursday.

Mayor Schor's office said a memo was sent to the City of Lansing employees "providing important steps to help mitigate the spread of coronavirus in the workplace."

“The City of Lansing has provided guidance to employees on measures and potential measures to slow the transmission of COVID-19 in Lansing,” said Mayor Schor. “We are taking these measures to keep our employees and residents safe. I encourage everyone to do their part by having good hygiene and take the appropriate steps to keep our friends, families, neighbors and co-workers safe.”

The City of Lansing has told all employees to take the following steps to help reduce the spread of the virus in the workplace:

•All nonessential business travel outside of Clinton, Ingham and Eaton County will be suspended until further notice.

•All employees are expected to stay home, or they will be sent home, if they exhibit any reported symptoms of COVID-19, including fever, cough and shortness of breath.

•Departments will provide facial tissues, gloves, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes in meetings, as available.

•All employees are expected to sanitize their hands and work areas frequently.

•Face-to-face meetings of three or more people are discouraged until further notice.

The mayor said a committee is also in the process of developing a plan for how the City of Lansing will continue to function if high rates of absenteeism occur.

On Wednesday, Governor Whitmer held a press conference giving recommendations to help prevent the spread of the virus.

“I urge all Michiganders to take these recommendations seriously and to share them with their friends, families, and coworkers,” said Governor Whitmer. “It’s on all of us to be safe and be smart for ourselves, our loved ones, our coworkers, and the public at large. We are encouraging schools, universities, businesses, and other organizations to use their best judgment about what steps are most appropriate to keep people safe and slow the spread of the disease.”

The governor discussed community mitigation strategies, which she said "provide essential protections to individuals at risk of severe illness and to health care and other critical infrastructure workforces.

Gov. Whitmer said to avoid large gatherings, stay at home if you're sick, avoid non-essential travel. She said she is telling employers to support workers who are sick.

"We are Michiganders first and we must take care of one another," Whitmer said.

Ingham County Health Department Spokesperson Amanda Darche told News 10 Wednesday that three people are currently being tested in Ingham County for possible coronavirus including an MSU student.

Darche said that five people have been tested in less than a week. The first two, who were tested last week, came back negative.

Darche told News 10 that the testing criteria has changed and is less strict now than it was last week.

"In general, I'm thinking we'll be testing people more in general as time goes by," Darche said.

All three people are in isolation she said.

On Tuesday night, Governor Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency after two cases of coronavirus were found in Michigan.

One case of the coronavirus was confirmed in a female Oakland County resident who had a recent history of international travel.

Another case was confirmed in a male Wayne County resident who had a history of domestic travel.

The state lab tested them, but the samples need to go to the CDC for official confirmation.

The governor said the virus has the potential to impact everyone's lives.

“We are taking every step we can to mitigate the spread of the virus and keep Michiganders safe,” said Governor Whitmer. “I have declared a state of emergency to harness all of our resources across state government to slow the spread of the virus and protect families. It’s crucial that all Michiganders continue to take preventative measures to lower their risk, and to share this information with their friends, family, and co-workers.”

One patient is being treated at U of M and is in stable condition, according to the hospital.

Governor Whitmer has created several task forces aimed at combating the virus.

Her office said the four task forces are:

1. The COVID-19 Task Force on State Operations, covering all aspects of state operations, including employment and facilities;

2. The COVID-19 Task Force on Health and Human Services, covering the provision of medical and human services, including protecting the healthcare workforce;

3. The COVID-19 Task Force on Education, covering K-12 public schools and universities and colleges; and

4. The COVID-19 Task Force on Economy/Workforce, covering general economic impact, workforce, supply chain, business continuity, and related issues.

Meridian Township has also created a task force for the coronavirus.

The township's website indicates the focus of the Meridian COVID-19 Task Force is to "deliver basic emergency services" including police, fire, medical response, water and wastewater if there is a coronavirus outbreak in the area.

In Eaton Rapids, a staff member is being quarantined at home for 14 days after showing up to work following a trip to Italy.

Eaton Rapids Public Schools said the risk of students catching the coronavirus from the staff member is low.

That's not stopping some parents from pulling their kids from school.

"I took my lunch break and decided to come pick him up," said Cheyenne Thomas.

Thomas was one of many parents picking their kids up early from Greyhound Intermediate Tuesday.

Thomas said she was worried about her son bringing the virus home to younger siblings.

The Michigan Department of Corrections(MDOC) said it is taking a series of measures to protect its staff, the prison population and the community against coronavirus.

The MDOC said anyone coming into the prison facility will be asked a series of screening questions and might have their temperature checked before being allowed into the prison.

The MDOC said the policy stands for all staff, visitors, volunteers and contractors.

Michigan is not the only state to declare a state of emergency. In fact, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine declared a state of emergency earlier this week.

On Monday, the Ohio Department of Health confirmed three cases of coronavirus leading Gov. DeWine to announce a state of emergency.

Music festivals such as Coachella have also been canceled due to coronavirus concerns.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization declared the coronavirus a global pandemic.

WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said via Twitter that COVID-19 was the first type of coronavirus to cause a pandemic.

“Pandemic is not a word to use lightly or carelessly," Tedros said. “It is a word that, if misused, can cause unreasonable fear, or unjustified acceptance that the fight is over, leading to unnecessary suffering and death.”

The World Health Organization considers a pandemic the worldwide spread of a new disease for which most people do not have immunity.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said pandemic diseases are new global viruses able to easily infect people and “spread from person to person in an efficient and sustained way.”

The assessment comes as Italy is weighing even tighter restrictions on daily life and has announced billions in financial relief to cushion economic shocks from the coronavirus.

Premier Giuseppe Conte says he will consider requests to toughen an already extraordinary lockdown.

The hardest-hit region of Lombardy is pushing for a shutdown of nonessential businesses and public transportation on top of travel and social restrictions.

The death toll in Italy has risen to 631.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has told a U.S. House committee that the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. is going to get worse.

CDC Director Robert Redfield reports that U.S. virus deaths now up to 31 and confirmed cases are over 1,000.

The CDC is also awarding over $560 million to state and local jurisdictions to support efforts in tackling the coronavirus.

"State and local health departments are on the frontlines of responding to the COVID-19 outbreak, and we are deeply grateful for their work," said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. "CDC is distributing this new funding extremely rapidly, as called for by Congress. President Donald Trump, and his entire administration will continue working to ensure state and local jurisdictions have the resources they need to keep Americans safe and healthy."

As the coronavirus continues to spread, companies are figuring out how to handle sick leave.

Walmart is enacting an emergency leave policy for its 1.4 million hourly U.S. workers that allows them to take time off without penalty if they fear the spread of a new virus.

Employees will receive up to two weeks' pay if they are diagnosed with coronavirus or forced to quarantine, the company stated.

Walmart will allow its employees to not be penalized for taking time off if they feel uncomfortable working because of fear of the spreading new virus.

The nation’s largest private employer said Tuesday that a worker at its store in Cynthiana, Kentucky, tested positive for the COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The worker is receiving medical care and her condition is improving, according to an internal memo.

The retailer consulted with state and local health experts after learning of the case, reinforced its cleaning and sanitizing protocol, and the store remains open after Walmart conferred with the state government.

Other nationwide chains, including Apple and Olive Garden parent company Darden Restaurants, announced changes to their paid sick leave policies.

Darden stated Monday it would become one of the first restaurant chains to offer up to 40 hours of paid sick leave annually to hourly employees, The Washington Post reported.

Apple said it would provide unlimited paid leave to employees, including those at is retail stores, who display symptoms similar to COVID-19. Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft also said they would provide 14 days of sick pay to drivers who were infected with the virus or quarantined.

Google is also telling all of its North American employees to stay home until at least April 10. A spokesperson for the tech giant confirms the move saying "all offices in North America are now on recommended work from home status, if roles allow." Google wants to reduce the density of people in offices to help top the spread of the virus. More than 100,000 Google workers are based in North America.

Creating a vaccine for the virus is in the works.

Emergent BioSolutions is working with Novavax to develop the vaccine.

The company along with a facility in Lansing told the federal government it was capable of handling a vaccine.

"For 21 years our mission has been to protect and enhance life. We do that by partnering with the U.S. government and allied nations. Our focus has been on public health threats and emerging infectious diseases," said Dino Muzzin, Emergent BioSolutions Senior Vice President of Manufacturing.

To monitor global cases for the virus, click

To monitor cases in Michigan, click

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

Classes Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 are canceled. Classes will resume with remote learning on Monday, March 16.

Posted by Oakland University on Wednesday, March 11, 2020
WATCH: Gov. Whitmer gives update on coronavirus

WATCH: Gov. Whitmer gives update on coronavirus

Posted by WILX News 10 on Wednesday, March 11, 2020