Zorn urges calm, preventive steps with coronavirus case in Monroe County

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Monday urged residents to stay calm and to follow recommended procedures to slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) following Saturday’s announcement of a confirmed case in Monroe County.

“While the news that someone in our community has tested positive for COVID-19 is sad and unfortunate, it’s not reason to be scared or to panic,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “I encourage everyone to be calm but persistent. COVID-19 is highly contagious, but with smart, preventive practices — like washing your hands and avoiding direct interaction with other people as much as possible — you can drastically reduce your chances of getting the virus or spreading it to others.”

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced on Saturday that an adult woman in Monroe County had tested positive for COVID-19.

As of March 15, there have been 53 positive COVID-19 cases in Michigan.

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath and may appear in as few as two days or as many as 14 days after exposure to the virus. Residents who are experiencing any of these symptoms, or are not feeling well, should stay home and consult their doctor.

It is recommended that residents avoid large crowds when possible, and especially avoid people who are sick. People should wash their hands regularly using warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds and do their best to avoid touching their face.

The state has launched a hotline about COVID-19. Residents with any questions about the virus can call 1-888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.

Regularly updated information about this outbreak in Michigan is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus.

One of the helpful materials under the site’s “Resources” tab is a document of “Frequently Asked Questions About Coronavirus Disease 2019” that can help answer many questions that residents have.

In addition to having declared a state of emergency and ordering all school buildings to be closed until at least April 5 to help slow the spread of COVID-19, the governor is now ordering all bars and restaurants in Michigan to close for dine-in guests by 3 p.m. Monday. Delivery and carryout will still be allowed. Several other states, including Ohio, have already taken this step.

The governor’s executive order will be in effect until March 31 and also applies to coffee houses, movie theaters, fitness and recreation centers, indoor sports and exercise facilities, and casinos.   

The order does not apply to office buildings, grocery stores, food pantries, pharmacies, drug stores, health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, juvenile justice facilities, warehouse and distribution centers, and industrial and manufacturing facilities, and providers of medical equipment and supplies.