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For Immediate Release
Contact: Susan Ringler-Cerniglia
Washtenaw County Health Department
Washtenaw County Health Department Reports 7 Additional COVID-19 Cases
Number of Washtenaw cases double; community spread now likely
YPSILANTI, Mich., March 19, 2020 – Washtenaw County Health Department is reporting seven additional presumptive positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) as of March 19, 2020 at 10:00 am. The total case count is now 14, doubling our previous total.
There is evidence of community spread locally. Five of the new cases had no known contact with confirmed cases of COVID-19 or recent travel. The other two cases had recent history of domestic travel. All cases are in adults. Washtenaw County Health Department has been working with the individuals to identify and notify close contacts.
“Evidence of community spread means we will change how we respond to local cases, especially as the number of tests increases every day,” says Jimena Loveluck, MSW, Washtenaw County Health Officer. “But, we must remember this is exactly why we have community mitigation strategies and unprecedented restrictions in place. Our collective goal remains to slow the spread of cases as much as possible. Together, we can do this. Take every possible opportunity to practice prevention and social distancing.”
Because there is evidence of community spread, the Washtenaw County Health Department is no longer naming public low-risk exposure locations. Residents can assume there is a possibility the virus may be present when they are in public places in the community. The Health Department is not announcing evidence of community spread to cause panic, but to reinforce that people should be taking all recommended prevention measures.
“Assume the possibility for infection exists, as it does with many common illnesses. Most people will recover at home without medical care,” says Juan Luis Marquez MD, MPH, Medical Director with Washtenaw County Health Department. “Isolating at home if you’re sick and contacting your health care provider by phone for guidance will help prevent additional spread and make the best possible use of critical health care resources.”
Washtenaw County declared a state of emergency yesterday to shift resources quickly to assist residents, businesses and communities affected by the novel coronavirus.
The Health Department is now updating the number of cases, hospitalizations, and recovered persons on their website. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is providing statewide information at 2 p.m. each day, including some demographics.
REMEMBER: Discrimination harms public health. People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get coronavirus than anyone else.
Washtenaw County Health DepartmentThe Washtenaw County Health Department promotes health and works to prevent disease and injury in our community. Our mission is to assure, in partnership with the community, the conditions necessary for people to live healthy lives through prevention and protection programs.
The Washtenaw County Health Department has achieved national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. Visit us at washtenaw.org/health or call 734-544-6700.