Two coronavirus infections reported in Michigan, governor says

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WINDSOR TOWNSHIP — Two people in the Detroit area have tested positive for the coronavirus infection, Michigan officials announced late Tuesday.

A woman in Oakland County had traveled outside the country, while a man from Wayne County had traveled within the U.S., said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan's medical executive.

They were in hospitals and are middle-aged. Both cases still need to be reviewed and confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appeared with Khaldun at the state's emergency operations center near Lansing and again recommended that people wash their hands for 20 seconds and often, avoid touching their faces, stop shaking hands with others and instead bump elbows, and cover their mouths when coughing or sneezing.

"These sound simple, but they work" and will help slow the spread, said Whitmer, who declared a state of emergency.

Khaldun said the state was working closely with local health departments to learn more about the COVID-19 cases. Local officials will identify who has been in close contact with the infected adults and make sure they are tested, if necessary, and monitored, she said.

"It is very likely that we will see more cases and that there will be community spread," she said.

Khaldun urged the elderly and those with chronic health conditions to consider postponing long travel, including flights, and staying away from crowds. Whitmer said her administration probably will announce additional recommendations in coming days.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. In mainland China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.

In Michigan, 77 people had been tested as of Tuesday. Fifty-seven were negative, two positive and results were pending for 18.

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