LANSING — State health officials believe that Michiganders will have to take personal precautions to avoid spreading COVID-19 until a vaccine or treatment is found.

During a coronavirus briefing in Lansing on Wednesday, April 28, Michigan chief medical executive Joneigh Khaldun said that individuals should continue to take precautions from COVID-19, even as stay home restrictions from the state are phased out.

“I know it’s getting warmer outside, and people are coming out of their homes now, and that's okay,” she said. “And we want to make sure that even if you go outside to get fresh air. Please remember to practice social distancing when you're out and strongly consider still wearing even a homemade mask when you're out, just in case you come in contact and close contact with someone else.

“We can beat this disease, but it will really be a long term effort that will likely go well into next year, until we have a vaccine or hopefully an anti-viral treatment that works.“

Khaldun also said that while overall cases are beginning to slow, counties in West Michigan are continuing to see rising case numbers.

“Counties are actually seeing an increase in the rate of rise of cases in their areas, and particularly in the western part of the state,” Khaldun said. “We're also seeing some outbreaks in places where people are congregating such as nursing homes at homeless shelters and some workplaces.

“We're working closely with our local health departments to make sure these places are getting the appropriate testing, and the appropriate protocols are in place to protect employees and residents.”

COVID-19 cases in Michigan
Infogram

Michigan now has 40,399 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 3,670 confirmed deaths from the disease, according to the latest figures reported by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, 1,137 new cases and 103 new deaths were reported.

The Allegan County Health Department reported the county’s second death from COVID-19 on Wednesday. The county has 95 confirmed cases and two total deaths.

ACHD is also reporting 13 additional “probable cases.” Probable cases are defined as individuals having symptoms of COVID-19, but have not been tested yet.

Probable cases are also listed when individuals come into close contact with individuals lab confirmed or symptomatic probable cases.

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health reported 224 total cases and nine total deaths on Wednesday. The county also reported a total of 42 recoveries. Earlier in the week, the county reported 69 recoveries, but that figure was incorrect, per an OCDPH statement.

A case is judged as recovered when an individual who tested positive for COVID-19 is 30 days removed from the onset of symptoms.

Officials from both the OCDPH and the ACHD believe there is evidence of community transmission of COVID-19, and that individuals should assume they could come into contact with the disease any time they are in public.

— Contact reporter Arpan Lobo at alobo@hollandsentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @arpanlobo.