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MDHHS state lab completes first in-state test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), results come back negative


CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin,

LANSING, Mich. – Marking its first in-state test for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Bureau of Laboratories today received and tested a specimen from an Oakland County resident that yielded negative results.

Based on the patient’s symptoms and no other known source of illness, healthcare professionals suspected COVID-19. A clinical specimen was collected and sent to the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories where it tested negative. On Feb. 27, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expanded its testing criteria which led to this patient meeting criteria for being tested. 

The MDDHS lab was able to begin testing for the virus as of Feb. 27.

“I am pleased that the process for testing at our state laboratory is working well, and that we were able to get this result within hours,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health at MDHHS. “While the current risk to the general public in the U.S. is low, we expect to see more cases, including cases where we are uncertain of the source of their infection. We encourage everyone to continue to practice good hygiene by washing hands often, covering coughs and sneezes appropriately, and staying home if they are ill."

For privacy reasons, no additional information will be provided about this individual’s health status or location.

There are steps residents can take to prevent spread of flu and the common cold that will also help prevent coronavirus disease, including:

  • Washing your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoiding touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoiding contact with people who are sick.
  • Staying home if you are sick and contact your healthcare provider.

To date, there have been 22 cases of COVID-19 identified through the U.S. public health system, including one death. There are some cases where the exact source of the infection is unknown.

Today, the U.S. also elevated its travel advisory to a level 3 for the areas affected by the virus in Italy and South Korea and will restrict entrance into the country for foreign nationals who have traveled to Iran in the past 14 days.  According to the CDC, the risk to the general U.S. public remains low. 

COVID-19 Symptoms may appear in as few as two days or as long as fourteen days after exposure to the virus. They include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of Breath

In previous weeks, specimens from five Michigan patients were sent to CDC for COVID-19 testing and all were negative for the virus.

This is a rapidly evolving situation. Updates, including information on testing results, will be posted to and


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