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Coronavirus updates, Sept. 16: 680 cases, 11 deaths reported

Here are the live updates for Wednesday, Sept. 16.
Credit: WZZM/CDC

MICHIGAN, USA — Here is the latest information on the coronavirus in Michigan, including the number of cases state offices report and other updates affecting West Michigan.

Wednesday's cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 680 daily cases of coronavirus Wednesday. The total has reached 113,863.

See the cumulative data here. 

There were 11 deaths recorded. The death toll is now at 6,623.

The latest data on recoveries is from Friday, Sept. 11. It shows that 85,513 people have recovered from the virus. The state updates this data every Saturday. A recovery is counted as anyone who is 30 days out from the onset of their symptoms.  

Hospitalizations are fluctuating. There are 548 suspected/confirmed COVID-19 adult patients in Michigan hospitals, 65 patients on ventilators as of Sept. 16.

Michigan is reporting the number of cases at long term care facilities. That data can be seen here. The state is also now reporting school-related outbreaks and that data can be viewed here.

Whitmer gives update on state's response 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer provided an update Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. on the state's COVID-19 response. She was joined by several people including Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who spoke about election preparations. 

Watch the press conference here. 

Ottawa County issues 'stay in place' order for GVSU students

Ottawa County's health official has ordered a 'stay in place' order for all Grand Valley State University students living on or off campus in Allendale.

Per the order from Ottawa County Department of Public Health, students are to remain in their designated residence at all times for 14 days beginning at 12:01 a.m. Sept. 17 and ending at 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 1. Students cannot return to their home address unless it's an emergency, the order states. 

Read more here.

Grandville Christian reports first COVID-19 case

A staff person at Grandville Christian School has tested positive for the coronavirus. The school said in a letter home to families that the staff member had been wearing a mask and following protocols around students. The staff member's students have all been asked to quarantine and will continue with remote learning during this time. 

West Ottawa Public Schools: 3 students test positive for COVID-19

Three students within the West Ottawa Public Schools district has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the district's COVID-19 dashboard.

The district shared an update to their data Monday, Sept. 14. Currently 51 students, who were considered close contacts with the students who tested positive, are quarantining. 

None of West Ottawa's staff members have tested positive or are currently quarantining. 

School officials did not identify which schools the three students who tested positive attended. 

Each Monday, the district will update it's COVID-19 dashboard with more information. 

Muskegon Public Schools: 2 students test positive for COVID-19

Two students within the Muskegon Public Schools district have tested posted for COVID-19, according to a letter sent to families and staff.

The letter states the students were exposed to the virus outside of the school system. They will self-isolate, along with close contacts, who have been notified by Muskegon’s public health department. 

Students and staff who have not come into close contact with those students will not be notified, and will not have to quarantine

Read more here.

Michigan launches $10 million COVID-19 in wastewater surveillance grant program

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced Monday that a $10 million grant for a three-month pilot program to fund local public health department efforts to coordinate with counties, universities, and other institutions across the state on COVID-19 wastewater testing programs. These local efforts have the potential to be an early warning system for the spread of COVID-19 within a specific community or for coronavirus outbreaks on college campuses and at other densely populated facilities, EGLE explained.

The grant is funded by Michigan’s allocation of federal money under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the $10 million grant program will target existing COVID-19 wastewater surveillance programs in the state to establish a standardized and coordinated network of monitoring systems operating by Oct. 1, 2020.

Testing wastewater for viruses, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, can be an effective tool for monitoring transmission of COVID-19 within a local community or at individual facilities. The virus is shed in human waste, including people who are not ill or have not yet become ill. The virus can then be detected by testing samples taken from sewers and wastewater treatment plants, with results often being available earlier than human clinical samples. These results can then inform local public health actions to prevent further spread within that community.

During the three-month pilot project, EGLE will coordinate sample collection, lab analysis, data reporting, and communication with the local monitoring teams across Michigan. MDHHS will provide project support to participating local health departments, including how to integrate local wastewater data with other types of COVID-19 surveillance and public health responses.

As part of the program, Michigan will leverage its existing network of laboratories involved in monitoring the state’s beaches for E. coli. These labs are equipped to test for viruses like the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 and are capable of supporting local wastewater testing efforts.

Tuesday's cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 571 daily cases of coronavirus Tuesday. The total has reached 113,183.

There were 11 deaths recorded, which included five from a review of death certificate data. The death toll is now at 6,612.

See Tuesday's update here.

State recommendations for COVID-19

People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe illnesses. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC. The symptoms include:

  • Fever  
  • Cough  
  • Shortness of breath 
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea 

*Note: This list does not include all possible symptoms. It will be updated as the CDC and health officials learn more about the virus. 

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

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • 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.    
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.


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