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Published 3/12/2020
11:08pm
Updated 3/13/2020
12:05am

Governor: All Michigan Schools To Close for Three Weeks

10 New "Presumptive Positive" COVID-19 Cases In Michigan On Thursday, More Expected As Testing Continues 7 Days A Week

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Governor Whitmer announced on Thursday evening a mandatory closure of all Michigan K-12 school buildings for three weeks, beginning Monday March 16th until April 5th, as 10 new COVID-19 cases "presumptive positive" confirmed in Michigan today.

State officials say they expect more confirmed cases of Coronavirus in Michigan as the state lab is testing suspected cases 7 days a week.

Here is the official statement issued by Governor Whitmer's office following Thursday night's announcement:

Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that in order to slow the spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan, she is ordering the closure of all K-12 school buildings, public, private, and boarding, to students starting Monday, March 16 until Sunday, April 5. School buildings are scheduled to reopen on Monday, April 6.

As of tonight, the number of presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan is 12.

“This is a necessary step to protect our kids, our families, and our overall public health,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am working with partners across state government to ensure educators, parents, and students have the support they need during this time, and to ensure our children who rely on school for meals have access to food. I know this will be a tough time, but we’re doing this to keep the most people we can safe. I urge everyone to make smart choices during this time and to do everything they can to protect themselves and their families.”

“Closing our K-12 school buildings is the responsible choice that will minimize the risk of exposure for children, educators, and families and mitigate the spread of coronavirus,” said Michigan State Superintendent Michael Rice. “The Department of Education will continue to work closely with our partners in state government to help our students and educators in each school district get through this time. This is about protecting the most people in Michigan.”

Governors across the country, including Mike DeWine (R-OH), Andy Beshear (D-KY), and Larry Hogan (R-MD), have taken similar steps to close schools and ensure the protection of children and families in their states.

“Closing our school buildings is the smart thing and the right thing to do for the public’s health,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “These actions will help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. I will continue to work with Governor Whitmer and our four COVID-19 task forces to ensure we protect our children, our families, and our communities.”

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

• Fever
• Cough
• Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

• Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
• Avoid contact with people who are sick.
• If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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3/8/2020 Update

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants former Vice President Joe Biden to be the Democratic nominee for president. Whitmer said Thursday she is endorsing Biden and that she plans to vote for him in Tuesday's primary.   

The former head of the United Auto Workers Union has been charged with embezzlement. Gary Jones is accused of taking one-million dollars from the union and may plead guilty to the charges.   

A family is happy to have their dog, Max, back after a tugboat crew rescued him from Muskegon lake Monday night. The dog had been missing since Sunday when captain Dave Wellington spotted the pup floating on a piece of ice.

Vista Charter Academy in Wyoming canceled all classes Thursday due to a threat made against the school. School officials say they received a threat of violence Wednesday. 

The Regional Transit Authority of Southeast Michigan has announced the start of a new bus service between Detroit and Ann Arbor. The D2A2 bus line will begin operation on March 16th.

Saginaw County may be closer to settling on a location for its $11.4 million animal shelter. The project has been held up while county officials select a place to build it. The county has a purchase agreement on property in Kochville Township.

Saturday, March 28, Olivet College will host the third annual Out of the Darkness Campus Walk. The walk will be held in the Olivet College Square. There is no cost to participate, but registration is encouraged.

Despite bankruptcy, Goodrich Quality Theaters says it will be able to keep its doors open. The theater chain headquartered in Grand Rapids filed for chapter 11. They run one theater in northern Michigan, in Cadillac.