Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency late Tuesday after confirming Michigan’s first two cases of the new coronavirus, an infectious disease first found in China and now spreading through the United States.
An Oakland County woman with a recent history of international travel and a Wayne County man with a recent history of domestic travel have tested positive for COVID-19 and are hospitalized, said Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive.
Officials are calling these “presumed” cases while awaiting confirmation from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Both patients are middle-aged.
“It is very likely that we will see more cases and that there will be community spread,” Khaldun said in a 10:45 p.m. news conference with Whitmer at the Michigan emergency operations center. “We need everyone to do their part to prevent the spread of the disease as much as possible.”
Khaldun said the state learned of the diagnoses hours earlier. She was unable to detail recent travel by either patient but said local health officials are working to identify anyone who had close contact with the patients for possible testing or monitoring.