Governor Coronavirus Daily Update 3/16/20

Below is an update on the 2019 Coronavirus outbreak as of 11:30 PM on 3/15/2020                        

Governor Whitmer knows Michiganders are strong and resilient, but we all must work together to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). Watch the video below for more guidance about how everyone across Michigan can do their part to protect the public health.  

Video from Governor Whitmer: 



  • Since Friday, the state announced additional positive cases of COVID-19 throughout the state bringing the total cases to 53 
  • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services  launched a statewide hotline to respond to health-related questions about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) on Saturday. The hotline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Public health and other experts will answer health-related questions about COVID-19. The team can also direct residents, providers and more to the right resources in their local communities and in other state government departments.  

“As we continue to take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in our state, we want to ensure Michiganders have the information they need to stay healthy, address concerns and know where to go for the care they need if they experience symptoms,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. 

  • In response to COVID-19, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-5 to cancel or postpone all events over 250 people and all assemblages in shared spaces over 250 people beginning on Friday, March 13 at 5:00pm and ending on Sunday, April 5 at 5:00pm. The governor’s executive order also closes all K-12 school buildings to students from Monday, March 16 until Sunday, April 5. Child care facilities will remain open during this time, whether they are attached to schools or free standing. 

“This is about protecting the most people we can from the spread of coronavirus,” said Governor Whitmer. “My administration will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread, and to ensure our children, families, and businesses have the support they need during this time. We are going to get through this, but we must be flexible and take care of each other.”  

  • She also signed Executive Order 2020-7 to impose temporary restrictions on entry into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities. The governor also signed Executive Directive 2020-2 to order state public bodies to postpone the public meetings that they can and to facilitate remote participation in the meetings that do occur. 

We are taking every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is a hard time for families, and we will continue to put their health and safety first when making these decisions. During this crisis, we must ensure that state meetings remain open and accessible to the public. I also want to remind everyone to continue doing everything they can at an individual level to protect themselves and their families, like washing their hands and practicing social distancing. We will get through this together.” 

“We will continue to take every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families,” said Governor Whitmer. “In these challenging times, we need to come together as Michiganders. This order will help protect consumers from price gouging. Additionally, I’m working jointly with the Attorney General to enforce these orders, to protect consumers, and to hold bad actors accountable. We will get through this together.” 

Both the governor, MDHHS and the CDC are urging people to continue to take the following basic measures to prevent the spread of the virus: 

  •  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.  
  • Replace handshakes with elbow bumps.  
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.    


  • The Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) will cease in-person visiting of prisoners effective immediately for the safety of staff, prisoners and the public. This will also include outside volunteers and other tours and groups who routinely come into the prisons. 
  • Michigan Department of Attorney General is requesting more information from additional business after receiving complaints of price-gouging related COVID-19. As of 1 p.m. on Friday, the Attorney General’s office had received 75 price-gouging complaints related to COVID-19. Four businesses have been contacted by the Attorney General’s office to gather more information on their consumer-reported price-gouging, with the latest letters being mailed today. Responses from the businesses will be evaluated to determine what action is appropriate.
  • The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has granted the Michigan Department of Education’s (MDE) request to waive the regulatory requirement that children eat meals together and at schools during unanticipated school closures. This waiver takes immediate effect. 

These meals, served under the program called Unanticipated School Closure SFSP, are available to all children at no cost. Under the waiver, the meals would not be required to be served in a group setting. This waiver assists Michigan’s school food service staff to make sure kids receive nutritious meals during the school closure announced by Governor Gretchen Whitmer March 12, 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. 

  • The Michigan Department of Transportation announced on Sunday that they will exempt motor carriers and drivers providing direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks from seasonal weight restrictions. 

“Knowing the importance of getting food and other supplies to retailers during this time, we are taking steps to ensure carriers can make deliveries as quickly and efficiently as possible,” said MDOT Director Paul C. Ajegba. “We are going to get through this by working together and taking collective action for the greater good.” 

  • Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson announced that all 131 Michigan Secretary of State branch offices will be changing operations to slow the spread of the coronavirus. During the three-week period from March 16 to April 6 branches will only offer services for critical transactions that must be conducted in-person and only by appointment. “Walk-ins” will be asked to make an appointment, for the same day if available. 

“The goal is to eliminate any potential crowding in our offices, and thereby support the work of Governor Whitmer and her administration to protect the health of all state employees and Michiganders,” said Benson. 


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