The state reported 20 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the
Michigan total to 53. Included in the new positive tests is the
first child, a boy in Oakland County, and the first in Ottawa
County west of Grand Rapids.
Whitmer, who has declared a state emergency, closed all schools
and prohibited gatherings of more than 250 people, said she saw
``incredibly disturbing`` photos on social media of patrons
still cramming into establishments and not observing social
``Certainly at the local level there are some decisions being
made, but I think you'll see some at the state level in short
order,'' Whitmer said when asked about bar and restaurant
closures ordered in other states.
She urged residents to stagger their visits to groceries so they
can restock shelves, and encouraged President Donald Trump to
declare a federal disaster to help workers qualify for
unemployment benefits as a result of the global pandemic. She
also scrapped earlier guidance to do elbow bumps instead of
handshakes and said to keep at least 6 feet between one another.
``We are going to get through this. But it's going to require
every one of us to do our part,'' Whitmer said.
Her temporary measure, which takes effect Monday, restricts a
person or business from reselling goods or products that are
``grossly in excess of the purchase price of the product.''
Also, a business or individuals cannot sell a product at more
than 20% higher than the purchase price unless the increase is
``due to bringing the product to market.''
A violation would be a misdemeanor. The restrictions are in
place through April 13.
The Michigan attorney general's office said it received more
than 75 complaints of price-gouging.
``Businesses cannot and will not use this state of emergency as
an economic opportunity,'' said Attorney General Dana Nessel.
For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate
symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older
adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause
more severe illness, including pneumonia. The disease has
infected over 162,000 people worldwide, and more than 6,000
people have died so far.
Whitmer said the Gaming Control Board was working to
temporarily close the three commercial casinos in Detroit. The
agency does not have jurisdiction over Michigan's 24 tribal
casinos, though at least one—FireKeepers Casino Hotel
near Battle Creek—said it was closing.
Also Sunday, Michigan's chief medical executive, Dr. Joneigh
Khaldun, said for the first time that the state lab was
having trouble quickly reporting results given the rising volume
of tests. Private labs and hospitals have started doing tests in
recent days, too.
``We do have a capacity challenge that we're working as quickly
as we can to address,`` Khaldun said. ``We will have to think
differently about how we prioritize testing across our state.''
Those getting priority include those most likely to have contact
in contact with the disease and those who are most likely to get
very ill if they have it, Khaldun said.
The Michigan Supreme Court also announced emergency steps
Sunday, including allowing trial courts to reduce the number of
cases to limit crowds in lobbies and corridors and encouraging
the use of technology for remote participation. The measures
will be in effect until April 3.
In the Grand Rapids area, officials in Kent County—the state's
fourth largest—announced Sunday that they were cutting legal
occupancy in half at food service establishments, entertainment
venues and gyms after the state's second largest county, Oakland
in the Detroit suburbs, did so a day earlier. Ingham County,
where Lansing is located, announced a similar restriction for
Violators could face jail time or fines.
Follow AP coverage of the virus outbreak at https://apnews.com/VirusOutbreak
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