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Gov. Whitmer creates 4 task forces to combat spread of coronavirus

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Posted at 3:41 PM, Mar 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-03 16:20:37-05

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is helping prepare the state for a possible coronavirus outbreak by creating four task forces to combat the spread of the virus.

The task forces include:

– COVID-19 Task Force on State Operations - covers all aspects of state operations, including employment and facilities
– COVID-19 Task Force on Health and Human Services - covers the provision of medical and human services, including protecting the healthcare workforce
– COVID-19 Task Force on Education - covers K-12 public schools and universities and colleges
– COVID-19 Task Force on Economy/Workforce - covers general economic impact, workforce, supply chain, business continuity, and related issues

“While there have been no confirmed cases in Michigan yet, we must recognize that this virus has the potential to impact nearly every aspect of our lives,” Whitmer said. “From our public schools, colleges, and universities to our businesses and hospitals, we must harness all of the resources we have to ensure we can prevent the spread of coronavirus and keep Michiganders safe. This is a strong, smart team that will make protecting our public health their number one priority and work closely with me to protect the people of our state.”

Last week, the governor activated the state's Emergency Operations Center to coordinate the response to coronavirus.

The state currently has no known cases of the disease and five tests have all come back negative.

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