Michigan-wide stay-at-home order kicks in to help slow virus


DETROIT — A Detroit police dispatcher who traveled outside of Michigan died from COVID-19, officials said Tuesday, as the state's stay-at-home order kicked in to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer barred employers from requiring workers to leave their homes unless necessary to protect life or conduct minimum basic operations. There are exceptions, including grocery stores, banks, gas stations and businesses offering carryout food.

In Petoskey, in northern Michigan, Emmet County Sheriff Pete Wallin said deputies will investigate complaints about people violating Whitmer's command but "there will not be any arrests." Other police agencies have offered similar messages.

At least 1,328 people have tested positive in Michigan for the coronavirus, and COVID-19 deaths have climbed to at least 15.

"This disease can't spread person to person if we're not out there," Whitmer said Monday in pleading with people to stay home.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the 911 police dispatcher who died Monday was a 38-year-old man who wasn't feeling well when he returned to work on March 16 after a trip.

Separately, 282 Detroit officers were off work awaiting test results or self-quarantining, although 152 were expected to return by the end of the week, Duggan said. The department has about 2,200 officers, according to its website.

Oakland University in Oakland County, which sent its students home, has offered its dorms, arena and parking lots for makeshift medical purposes. The president, Ora Hirsch Pescovitz, who is a physician, predicts local health care providers will become swamped.

The pandemic has also led to acts of kindness and generosity. A Lansing-area man showed gratitude at an Ingham County grocery store by twice dropping off $1,000 to be shared with employees.

"I think he just wanted to support people that are still working. He's pretty special," Jamie Robinson, owner of Darrell's Market & Hardware, told the Lansing State Journal

Facebook Comments