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On Feb. 28, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activated the State Emergency Operations Center to maximize coordination with state, local and federal agencies, as well as private partners, and to help prevent the spread of the disease. The administration continues to work with schools, businesses, medical providers and local health departments to make sure they have the information and resources they need to collaboratively address this health crisis. MDHHS also launched a campaign to raise awareness of appropriate hand washing techniques to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
As part of Michigan’s efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19, Governor Whitmer created four task forces on Tuesday, March 3: 

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

Since then, task forces have been meeting to go over response plans and determine potential resource needs to respond to COVID-19.  On Tuesday, March 10, Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency as Michigan’s first positive cases of COVID-19 were identified. The emergency declaration now enables the state to quickly deploy state resources (equipment, supplies and/or personnel) to local jurisdictions that request resources to support their response efforts to combat the spread of COVID-19. The declaration places Michigan at a heightened state or preparedness for response. It does not change the authority of law enforcement or implement restrictions on residents. However, all Michiganders are encouraged to follow the recommendations from MDHHS and the CDC to protect themselves and slow the spread of COVID-19.

MDHHS continues to participate in national calls to stay up to date on the national investigation and response, and is implementing all CDC disease prevention guidance. MDHHS will continue to update statewide healthcare providers with this information as it is received.

The best prevention for respiratory illnesses, in general, are to practice good hand hygiene (wash hands often with soap and water), stay home when ill and to get recommended vaccinations.