Why did coronavirus spread so fast in Michigan compared to neighbors?

In three weeks, coronavirus has swamped Michigan, making it the fourth hardest-hit state in the nation, while the outbreak has grown far slower in neighboring states.

The virus came to the Great Lakes states around the same time, with Michigan confirming its first two cases on March 10, when Illinois had 19 cases and Ohio had three.

Now, the numbers are vastly different: As of Tuesday, Michigan had 7,615 cases, Illinois had just under 6,000, and Ohio, Indiana and Wisconsin all have less than 2,200. 

The wide difference raises questions about how the states could follow such different paths. Epidemiologists warn that it’s too early in the crisis to make conclusions, but some experts wonder if Michigan’s caseload would be different if public officials moved faster in the early days of the outbreak.


“They’ve all done the same thing,” said David Hutton, a health planning and policy professor at the University of Michigan. 

But timing makes a big impact, he added: “Days can make a difference.”

As with states across the nation, Michigan closed schools, shut bars and restaurants and limited large gatherings in mid-March and ultimately issued a “stay at home” order.

On March 20, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker ordered state residents to “stay at home” the following day. At the time, the state had 585 confirmed cases of COVID-19 while Michigan had 549.

Asked that day if Michigan would follow suit, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said “we’re not there yet.” Over the next two days, Michigan’s business community lobbied the governor against a broad order they said would hurt the economy.

She issued the order March 23 and like those in Ohio and Indiana, it went into effect the next day. 

But by then, Michigan had more than three times the number of cases than Ohio, 1,535 to 567, while Indiana had 365. Wisconsin’s stay at home order went into effect the next day, when it had 585 cases.

Now, just over a week later, Michigan has more than 1,600 cases more than Illinois and, as of Monday, more than double the deaths: 259 to 99 for Illinois. All other Great Lakes states have far fewer cases and deaths.

Hutton said that in retrospect “it would have been more prudent” to enact the measure “a few days earlier.”

Tiffany Brown, a spokeswoman for Whitmer, said the governor has moved aggressively, activating the "State Emergency Operations Center to closely monitor the situation and make sure the state was prepared to respond before Michigan even had its first case of COVID-19."

"Since that time she has taken numerous proactive actions and signed executive orders, including 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' to mitigate the spread," Brown said in a statement released Tuesday night. 

"In fact, Gov. Whitmer spoke with President Trump earlier today. The focus was on the importance of getting PPE and resources to Michigan for health care workers, slowing the spread of COVID-19, and protecting the people of Michigan.

Hindsight is a huge benefit, of course, and Hutton acknowledged numerous other factors could be at play including simple “bad luck.”

Michigan could have been hit harder because the virus may have already been in the community for days or weeks before the symptoms or testing.

Among the possibilities Hutton and others have mentioned for the rapid spread in Michigan:

  • Detroit Metropolitan Airport, which has a large international hub and flights to Wuhan, China, where the outbreak originated in December and its airport remained open until Jan. 23. 
  • Supply lines between Detroit automakers and Wuhan, a major auto hub and home to five car manufacturers including Dongfeng Motor, one of the biggest in China. General Motors has 15 assembly plants in China with its partners, while Ford has six and Fiat Chrysler has two. 
  • Ties between automakers, particularly FCA, and Italy, which has more than 77,000 cases and 12,000 deaths.
  • Michigan's March 10 presidential primary and big campaign rallies leading up to it, including one that drew 6,000 in Detroit for Bernie Sanders on March 6. In contrast, Ohio cancelled its March 17 primary.

Michigan, as with other states, could have benefited from an earlier crackdown on gatherings and social contact, said Dr. Vikas Parekh, associate chief clinical officer for the University of Michigan Medicine’s adult hospitals.

UM researchers have concluded that strict adherence to social distancing guidelines can cut hospital admissions by 65 percent.

“We know that, the earlier that you implement social distancing measures in the life of an epidemic, the more rapidly you can halt the rise and the quicker that you can get control so that is true for Michigan as it was true for every country that has had a coronavirus,” Parekh said.

Without social distancing, the infection rate doubles every three days, he said. 

That rate slows to every eight days if most people social distance — a huge difference for the hospitals tasked with caring for the ill; at UM, it could mean the difference between having nearly 6,000 patients on May 4 or nearly 3,200 on May 16.

Experts said it could take extensive research to know how the virus spread and the lack of early testing makes that difficult.

“We’ll have a much better idea in the coming days and weeks, though there is certainly reason to hope that states which rigorously enforce social distancing will help flatten the peak of infections,” said Christopher Adolph, associate professor of political science at the University of Washington.

He wrote a recent paper noting that Republican governors had enacted restrictions a few days later than Democratic governors.


At the time Whitmer issued her order, only six other states had done the same, including the then harder hit states of California, New York and New Jersey.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine issued his order the day before Whitmer but it went into effect the same day.

DeWine, a Republican, has been ahead of most of his regional peers, three of whom are Democrats: Whitmer, Pritzker and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. 

Gov. Eric Holcomb of Indiana is a Republican and is the only one of the five who has typically enacted orders later than the others. He has only recommended that people not gather in groups of 50 or more and his K-12 schools closure was several days after the other states.


Facts matter. Trust matters. Journalism matters.

If you learned something from the story you're reading please consider supporting our work. Your donation allows us to keep our Michigan-focused reporting and analysis free and accessible to all. All donations are voluntary, but for as little as $1 you can become a member of Bridge Club and support freedom of the press in Michigan during a crucial election year.

Pay with VISA Pay with MasterCard Pay with American Express Donate now

Comment Form

Add new comment

Dear Reader: We value your thoughts and criticism on the articles, but insist on civility. Criticizing comments or ideas is welcome, but Bridge won’t tolerate comments that are false or defamatory or that demean, personally attack, spread hate or harmful stereotypes. Violating these standards could result in a ban.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.


Emily M
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 7:18pm

I am surprised you didn't mention the Michigan Primary on March 10th which our neighboring states did not have. At that point there was only talk of washing hands and not touching your face, not much else. And there we all were voting, waiting in lines, sharing pens and going in little cubicles. Look at the increase in numbers 7-14 days after the primary... Is it a coincidence? Seems like it was already in our communities but a perfect state wide "spreader event" happened on March 10th.

Joel Kurth
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 7:30pm

Hi Emily. The primary is mentioned in the article!

Pam Weinstein
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:39am

Emily’s point still stands, I think. You mention the primary but it’s just a passing reference. You don’t give any numbers (how many voted in person?) or consider the political pressure Whitmer would have been under not to cancel or delay the primary. The primary was doubtless a vector.

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 10:34pm

My thought exactly, all these numbers are shown and words are directed towards you leaning to come to a certain conclusion but no numbers are shown on any of the factors listed in a passing reference. Detroit has direct flights from Wuhan how does that compare to our neighbor states and now we know it might take multiple days before any symptoms present themselves and how easy it is to spread. Would like to see more complete journalism so we could could best come to our own conclusion instead of leaving our final conclusion be based on what information the journalist decided to include.

Dennis M Bierlein
Fri, 04/10/2020 - 7:38am

Besides the normal traffic, during the initial phases of this epidemic, Detroit was one of 11 designated destinations for international travelers.
It seems those cities are also the ones suffering more.
"All American citizens who have traveled in China within 14 days of their arrival home to the United States will be directed to one of 11 major airports in New York, Newark, Chicago, Detroit, Dallas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Honolulu, Atlanta or outside Washington."

middle of the mit
Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:21pm

Did you not take advantage of the no reason absentee ballot voting? YOU might be one those on one side of the aisle that thought this was a democrat hoax.

Sorry for you. I am also sorry you get your news from facts are not news! That would be FOX KNEWS, but then they changed their opinon! After they fired a couple journalists( oh! sorry! opinionists) for putting out crap!

So who are you going to blame for what? I am waiting on baited breath to hear the answer.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:48am

Real classy response.

middle of the mit
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:34pm

Classy? Who said I had class? I thought this was the era of NON political correctness. Did I hear wrong?

Because If you want class Matt, I could just as easily show multiple posts from possibly even the person I posted in response to, calling our Governor, Halfwhitmer. OR possibly Governor Himmler. Of course these were when you conservatives were under the impression that there was nothing to worry about. Which gets back to my original post.

Would you like me to show you the posts that came from just Bridge articles that referred to the Governor as Gov Himmler? I can do so.


Fri, 03/13/2020 - 7:39am

The governor's press conference was sad pathetic joke.

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 12:11pm

Carole, I interpret your post as proof of the lefts turning a health issue into an anti Trump and conservative diatribe. I don't recall Trump ever saying Covid-19 is a hoax, fake news or deep state conspiracy to hurt him. He imposed travel restrictions on China and Europe to try to prevent the spread of it only to be scathed by the left and msm as "racist" and "xenophobic". But at the same time claiming he's inept and doing nothing about it

Fri, 03/13/2020 - 9:56am

Tempest in a teapot? I was born in and lived in Michigan for 50+ years but now live in Georgia. The closings remind me of standard school policy here. If there's even a CHANCE of flurries the next day schools are cancelled for "the safety of staff and students". If the temps below 30, children are kept in for recess because "sending them outside in the cold is child abuse". The thought of an inch of snow sends people into a panic. Store shelves are stripped of bread, milk etc. Govt officials on TV assure "search and rescue teams are on standby!" I honestly think Georgia students get more snow days than Michigan kids. And it's only snowed once in the 6 years I've lived here and only an inch at that

This one hits YOU Matt!!

Barry Visel
Thu, 03/12/2020 - 3:00pm

“may be a certain amount of hysteria around it” ...Ya think? From the info I’m seeing, it’s mostly elderly WITH UNDERLYING HEALTH ISSUES that are in danger of dying. That’s not good, but for the rest of us getting sick appears to mean a few days of not feeling good, but more importantly, an opportunity for our immune system to develop defense against a return of this virus. This is like last Fall when mosquitos were transmitting EEE, and local governments thought they had to spray chemicals to kill them (and who knows what else), when there were simple precautions people could take to avoid mosquitos. I’m sure someone will respond to tell me what I’m missing, but this seems like a grossly overreacting panic.


Thu, 03/12/2020 - 8:56pm

And miss the endless opportunities for Monday morning quarterbacking and finger pointing?


Concerned Citizen
Thu, 03/12/2020 - 8:56pm

To a certain degree you are probably right - but why not err on the side of caution? It is spreading exponentially in other parts of the world and even if you as a healthy person aren't effected - what about the people you come in contact with? Yes - the percentage of people being effected is small and the percentage of deaths is even smaller - but this is just getting started in the US. If we all pretend its not happening it will spread and not all of us will survive. Are you ok with that?


And here Matt is where I shove things down your throat! FACTS!

Michigan’s first election with no-reason absentee voting and same-day registration Tuesday resulted in long lines at city clerk offices and an accusation of voter suppression from Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders.

More than 13,000 people registered to vote and cast a ballot on Election Day, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson told reporters Tuesday night. Just over 6,000 of those registered and voted after 4:30 p.m. Many were young people voting for the first time.

Around 1 million people voted absentee — nearly doubling the total number of people who voted absentee in the 2016 presidential primary and on par with the number cast in that year’s general election.

If we could do this from early registration and not having to go the polls, why do republicans including the President hate vote by mail? I will tell you why in a classy way.


Georgia House Speaker David Ralston (R) told Fetch Your News that efforts to make it easier to vote by mail in the state amid the coronavirus pandemic would harm Republicans.

Said Ralston: “The president said it best. This will be extremely devastating to Republicans and conservatives in Georgia.”

I hope those conservative replies to how the Governor is or isn't dealing with the Pandemic before or after conservative media and or Governors deflecting to what liberal Governors had already done doesn't dissuade you in any way in realizing that you were WRONG!

Your gig is up!

And I am done listening to your crap.

You want classy? Try electing someone who has class to the highest office in the land.

Otherwise, I am going hit you with everything I can. Because we know that there is no class in the highest office.

If want to hit your mark, you need to challenge someone that can't hit the target. DEAD CENTER

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 9:01pm

Did we ask for class in the highest office? I don't recall asking for that. Oh wait, he beat the best, brightest and classiest woman in the world, Hillary "I'll never be president" Clinton. Scoreboard!

middle of the mit
Sat, 04/04/2020 - 7:34pm

So...You just admit that the President has no class, YOU KNew it and WiN!

Yet the man with no class is blaming the last President for something the CURRENT Business man in Chief can't handle?

Yeah! Bigly win for America!

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 11:14am

You are too lazy a thinker to get into a contest about political ethics and 'class'. You are either too young or have a convenient memory about the people who have lived in the White House or you are unwilling to accurately judge the actions of politicians.
Whether I like or dislike our President’s personal style I can appreciate how it has been affected by the continuous attacks since he decide to run for President. In January when many believe it was a critical time for decisions on the response to Covid 19 the focus in Washington and the national media was on Impeachment of President Trump rather than the news from China, and yet the President still engaged his staff on the topic [ban China travel to US in January]. If you want to talk about 'class' let’s remember LBJ was known to be using the toilet [#2]while conducting Presidential meetings, we know what WJC was doing with an intern during many Oval Office phone calls to Congressman and others [Hillary mercilessly vilified every one of her husband’s victims].
As much as I would like to move the daily Covid 19 briefings along, I do understand the importance of challenging reporters on their questioning and what they are trying to achieve. One of the most valuable thing President Trump has done was to raise the recovery to equal status of the Covid 19 battle, he did several things that are the responsibility of a leader; he let people know the battle against Covid 19 was fully engaged, that the resolution was in the foreseeable future so we must now begin planning for after the virus is beaten, he began getting the ‘experts’ to lift their heads/their thinking to what is next and the impact beyond the immediate problem, he gave us all hope. He did this in his own inimitable way and that gave it credibility.
Before taking on conversation, especially one about politics and politicians, you need to be honest with yourself about the facts and what you hope to achieve.

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 10:59pm

You need to be honest with your facts as well, How can our Great president of our great nation not see what was happening in Wuhan, Italy, Spain. We saw a huge amount of deaths around the world before we really took action. Congrats to our president he banned people coming in from China, why did he stop there? Should we not fear disease because of our awesome prowess. The president and the media were distracted by the impeachment, what good does that bring us if the president of the greatest nation is easily distracted like that and not see what was in play. If this disease was much more fatal where would we stand now or even worse once the pandemic was over. Lessons learned for everyone I hope. Without a healthy workforce we don’t have a healthy economy, without an economy and a good infrastructure what good is the need of our government. You need society for the existence of a government. After all we created the best government when this nation was born, if we want to stay the greatest nation it might be time for a more robust system or a better way for the party’s to get things done if we don’t want to loose the status quo of greatest nation

Thu, 04/09/2020 - 9:57am


I am not sure what constitutes 'huge' number of reported deaths is, it seems China reported its first Covid 19 death January 11, 2020, first reported US Covid 19 death by the CDC was February 29th, the reported death in Seattle was March 1st and that was the same date that South Korea reported their 1st death. It doesn't seem the President waited for a set number of deaths to close travel from China, January 31.
As for how people's reacting to the unknown, people tend to react based on what they have learned, and the severity of theory actions tends to be progressive from less severe to the most severe based on the balance of consequence/unintended consequences. I must admit I prefer making the decision to put 10s of million of people out of work, the shuttering of 10s of thousands of businesses, be deliberate and weighing how to protect the health of the country with the shutting down of the country's financial survival.
I am not clear on why you see Impeachment as trivial [only the 3rd of a President in the over 200 year history] and would not draw the attention of the target of such a severe action, especially when it is only the latest in over three years of personal attracts by the very government he was elected [by the country] to manage, by the opposition Party, by the national media. The Impeachment was simply the official action to remove the President from office. I am surprised that you a expect a person not only under personal attack while managing the government of millions, setting emphasis on such a wide range of social, financial, political issues across the country and the world, trying to defend a nations from the deadly attacks from countries and organizations around the world, in a matter of days is to pivot to an event [that is outside the understanding of the 'experts'] in a remote community in a matter days if not hours and change the whole of our country's social and economic structure.
Thank you for your comments, you have caused me to reflect on what President Trump be able to do in the past few months and that review has elevate my appreciation of breath and depth of his performance, his ability to be the center of emphasis, of criticism, of forward thinking, his elevation of the credibility of knowledgeable government experts, and the list goes on. I saw him as the best alternative, now I see him as the right person, at the right time, delivering the right results. You can watch his personal style in the daily Covid 19 press conferances; his personal style can be grating, challenging, and makes himself the lightning rod for critism, but with all that he then brings forward the government experts and let's them present their views and data, he brings forward heads of the agencies implementing the programs and delivery of materials. He had taken all the criticism from the media with his time at the dais, so when all those including the VP Pence come to the dais it is about the factions, the actions, the knowledge and experiences which both elevates the credibility of those people and allows the public hear what they need to know. The President even introduced the idea hope to America by raising the importance of planning for reopening the country's economy [to both the public and to those in government and to those businesses that will do the reopening].
Thank you for your perspective, thank you for encouraging me to give a more detailed look at the last few months of events and how the President has facilitated all of that.

Fri, 04/10/2020 - 9:10pm

Well said, Duane. Democrats must think that pretty much all American voters are dumb. Why else would Nancy Pelosi sit on those articles of impeachment for a full month and finally send them to the Senate for trial just in time for the virus to hit our shores?

I used to be a democrat. But after what they've done to this country for the past four years I will never vote for one again. They care FAR more about foreigners (especially those in China) and illegals here than they care about American citizens. And yes, the way they have treated President Trump (and by extension the 63 million of us who voted for him) should never be forgiven or forgotten.

First they spied on his campaign. Then they spied on him while he was president. Obama placed hundreds of "operatives" in positions to leak and thwart everything Trump tried to do. He changed the way classified info is shared - conveniently just before leaving office, so it wouldn't harm him, but would result in dozens of leaks of classified information when Trump took office. Then they started a 2-year special counsel investigation based on nothing but lies that they KNEW were lies. When that failed, they immediately announced the next hoax - impeachment.

Considering that timeline, I'm not sure why I'm troubled to wonder if in fact it wasn't the Chinese who released this virus to kill thousands around the world, but whether it was the democrats. Watch their cable news outlets; all they do is spew absolutely insane hatred 24/7. I'm in my late 50s and the level of psychosis displayed is unprecedented. There *has to be* a reason for it; what exactly is driving these people insane? What are they so afraid of?

For the first time in our nation's history, there was not a peaceful transfer of power on January 20, 2017. There were dozens of crimes committed, and they will come to light. I continue to believe those responsible will pay; many have been fired, but they need to serve time IMO. And all of this makes their criticism of Trump serves only one purpose. It makes me despise them even more, no matter how hard I try to prevent from doing so.

Mon, 04/13/2020 - 11:01am

"Democrats must think that pretty much all American voters are dumb. " They do, the foundation of the Democratic Party is loyalty [blind loyalty], watch the disagreements within the Republicans and yet if you watch Debbie [even Gary] around Chuck Schumer it reminds you of one of the bobble head dogs on the dash of a car, their head always going up and down, never a side to side.
Where do you think the term 'yellow dog Democrat' came from?

Sun, 04/12/2020 - 10:41am

Governor was always late on dicisions and always folowing.never leading.Stay at home issued couple day's to late could be the worst out of anything she made acall on.

Same Old Blame Game
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:42am

If you're looking for somebody to blame, just wait and the governor will call another press conference to blame everybody else for her severe lack of leadership. People got sick because of her petty bickering with the President and her posturing for the national media. Apparently, begging for attention and trying to get her name on a potential VP list was far more important than actually doing her job.

Donald McDonald
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 7:39pm

Same old Republican b.s.. You would follow that red headed, lying sack of crap anywhere. He is the one who is at fault for not taking it seriously.

Good Point
Sat, 04/04/2020 - 5:58am

To be fair, Trump thought capitalism would save us from the plague and he's still struggling to let go of that idea as he reinvents himself as the biggest socialist in the history of this country. Still he refuses to provide healthcare for all. He and the GOP just don't think poor and working class people deserve it, even when the cost is possibly to infect friends and family of the king. The people who can't afford healthcare are just going around unknowingly infecting others because they were told this was just the flu and it would be gone by April.

Sun, 04/05/2020 - 2:43pm

I wonder why you are so disdainful of the private sector and capitalism, of their efforts in the battle against Covid 19.
I realize President Trump evokes strong emotions, but I don't understand why splashes others with those emotions without regard for their efforts.
I believe the private sector is critical in this battle with Covid 19. To me those making the ventilators, the PPE , testing, vaccines, etc. are integral to the success we will have over this virus.
I wonder what your view is of those government organizations that were recommended to inventory items such as ventilators for just this type event and ignored the recommendations, leaving their 'cupboard' bare.

Dennis M Bierlein
Fri, 04/10/2020 - 7:46am

You mean that Covidian who bought out a competitor who was able to manufacture ventilators cheaper than their product and then stopped production of the cheaper ventilators to save Covidian's profit margins? That private sector and Capitalism?

Fri, 04/10/2020 - 1:15pm

So you condemn the whole of capitalism because you can find one company that did not act to meet your standards, you will ignore all those that invested to produce ventilators though that had not experience and little of the equipment or materials necessary to make them. If you can one exception, one that falter you will condemn a system that facilitate a country that is the beacon of liberty around the work, system that fostered the creativity that improve the quality of live around the world better than any other system has.
If your standard is perfect then when humans are involve you will never find your ideal system, you will always be disappointed.
I must admit my standards are lower than yours, for I look to the overall impact of a system, for the opportunities it provides, and since I am one of the humans working ii it I understand the flaws and foibles that a system must accommodate.

White House
Sun, 04/12/2020 - 2:01pm

According to reality, Trump did take it seriously. Starting in January 3rd the Trump administration began to act. Don't you remember when Democrats were critical of all of the actions he took? There are hundreds and hundreds of examples of serious actions that he took, most of which were opposed by Democrats.
Are you not aware of them because you are ignorant, or do you know about them and just ignore them because you're a liar?

middle of the mit
Sat, 04/04/2020 - 7:42pm

Is that like President Trump blaming Oblame-0 for not securing stockpiles and making a plan for a pandemic even when President Trump shut all of those en devours down?

President Trump has been President for over 3 years now. Even if we extrapolated to months, it is MORE TIME than you gave Obama to fix the Global economic crisis that hit the last time you conservatives were in control and put finance and mammon in front of peoples lives.

Take some personal responsibility.

Trust me. You will hear a lot of that from me.... from now on.

Fri, 04/10/2020 - 11:09pm

If the blame game [along partisan lines] wasn't well established, as Obama blamed Bush throughout his presidency, I doubt Trump would have even run for office and thus not be our President today.
As much as I disdain blame because it hides/distorts the facts, it undermines efforts to prevent/mitigate events that people are being blamed for, it discourages honesty, openness, new/innovative ideas in investigation, analysis's, and recommendations, it is the reality we have to live with.

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 11:42pm

These factory's in Michigan should have been closed down Early even though it's a huge economic impact there's just no way to social distance they can implement ideas but they will all fail these places are like little city's it's just not possible

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 11:48pm

While Pure Michigan is in a hiatus right now, Michigan spends much more on tourism promotion year in and year out than our neighboring states. New York is another big spender on tourism promotion.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 6:45am

I’ve been hearing rumors of people who are refusing to social distance on principle, and in fact are behaving in ways that are directly contributing to the spread of this thing. It sucks, but it’s time to start arresting them. If you’re trying to spread a killer disease on purpose, that makes you a violent criminal.

Bob P
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:30am

Jan...you are absolutely right.
An infected person knowingly walking next to me is deliberately endangering my life and that of my family.
Carrying an assault rifle is no defense.
Anyone deliberately endangering the public is a hazard and should be dealt with accordingly.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:53am

Sadly, they are not rumors. This "I will do what a want because I am an American and no one can tell ME what to do with my freedom," attitude will kill us all. Examples: Kid Rock keeping his restaurant open, preachers holding church services, etc . I personally know a person with a history of cancer who is going to a son's house to celebrate his anniversary because there will only be "a few" people there. Like the virus will not infect you if you gather with less than 10 people, right?

This Freep article yesterday about Dearborn is terrifying . https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/wayne/2020/03/31/dearbor... Families continue to go visiting each other's houses all day long and groups of kids are playing basketball in the parks. If you only endanger yourself, so be it, but you are endangering EVERYONE you come into contact with. Plus is is against the law at the moment. I totally agree with you that "it’s time to start arresting them."

Read the consti...
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 12:33pm

Telling people they can't have church services is a violation of the first amendment. Freedom of religion and right to assemble, there's no exception in the constitution for disease. We likely had the virus before testing was going on, think critically.

Nick Ciaramitaro
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:36pm

Are you saying its ok to yell fire in a crowded church?

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 5:04am

Please study some science. Disease vs constitution -- disease will win all the time . You really think that the coronavirus can distinguish between houses of worship and other places???? Seriously? A virus does not discriminate as to where it takes over. It is NOT OK for religious practice to be a disease vector and spread death. The US govt is already projecting 100,000 to 200,00 deaths. Be responsible to everyone in society and stay home and pray.

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 11:07am

You need to stop fighting with each other and figure out constructive and productive ways to fight the virus. Quit wasting the energy on interpersonal anger. The only thing that will accomplish is further alienation of the other "side". You can't change what's already happened, but you can learn from it.
There is a primary election in Wisconsin today. I'll be following what happens with covid-19 in Wisconsin over the next week or so. Maybe we can use the information to start planning for the November general election.

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 5:46am

Jan, those are not rumors. I know many delusional people in their 70's who think they are healthy and don't want to be told what to do. They won't acknowledge their underlying health problems. Some of these people are snowbirds who right now are packing their cars to come back to Michigan from Florida, Arizona, and Georgia, states that have not taken this seriously at all. Those governors refused to shut down because they liked getting money from the snowbirds. Now those governors are happy to rid themselves of the imminent strain on their local hospitals. So we will have to undertake the responsibility at our already overburdened hospitals when these people return.

Believe it or not people who have been exposed to others who tested positive and have low grade fevers are walking around nonchalantly among the public while they wait days for their test results, instead of self-quarantining. A couple of these people worked in nursing homes where patients tested positive. Also people are still gathering for church services in large and small groups, sometimes in private homes.

It's a perfect storm that will catapult Michigan into the number 1 spot for COVID-19. It will place an even bigger burden on our hospitals, especially the small ones in northern Michigan. These "freedom-loving" people are so selfish. They should shelter in place wherever they are now and wait to return when there is no more shelter in place order. So many healthcare professionals are putting their lives on the line, risking infecting themselves and their families, for people that only care about themselves. It's very unpatriotic.

Wed, 04/29/2020 - 1:24pm

Jan, are you suggesting that the government start arresting people for freely associating with their friends and family? Jan, what would you do if these people resisted arrest- shoot them? Let's say a group wasn't socially distancing and they were in their own home, perhaps celebrating the birthday of a young niece- would you suggest that the police break down the door and try to arrest them? What if people resisted being arrested in their own homes for having a birthday party- would you suggest that they be killed?

Jan, you are a horrible horrible person. You are the reason that tyranny exists. Far far far far more people have been murdered by governments taking your advice than will ever conceivably be killed by this virus. You are a violent person who wants to take other people's rights away- and that makes you dangerous to my life, liberty, and property. I will defend myself from fascists and communists like you- you can count on it, Jan.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 6:45am

You might want to mention one major exemption to the public gatherings in Michigan. Churches are exempt and still holding services. There is a church still open in my town. I’m sure that is contributing to the spread here.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:17am

Where is that? This is just bonkers! Our families religious place of worship closed and stopped holding services even before the stay at home order to protect human life! That is terrible

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:54am

In Burton and it is absolutely absurd.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 3:54pm

That doesn't explain Detroit.

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 6:03am

You don't think people go to churches in Detroit?

Sat, 04/11/2020 - 1:51am

I lived there for years, no they don't...if you think Church gatherings are the reason for the widespread infections in Wayne County, it's no wonder a governor can (and does) infringe upon the Conditional rights of so many citizens...

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:31am

Every major city that has had an initial mass outbreak has direct flights from Wuhan, in several cases cheap flights on China Southern airways (Seattle, NYC, Chicago). If one looks at the dynamics of the outbreak, based on genetic drift of the virus (https://nextstrain.org/ncov), the "seeds" in these cities all came from Wuhan and were here much earlier than other places in the US. Given the minor differences in social distancing between the states this travel would seem to be the most important issue behind the SE Michigan outbreak.

Amy Krycinski
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 12:04pm

Good point. Chicago area doesn't have it as bad as Detroit per-capita, but they do have a lot of cases spread out through the greater Chicago area around O'Hare. My daughter's city in Lake County, Illinois has twice as many cases as my entire Eaton County, Michigan.

Gomar Nehasapee...
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 6:26pm

Detroit Metro DTW has no nonstop flights to Wuhan.

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 6:06am

Some traveled because of Chinese New Year.

Bob F.
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:49pm

Issue is as people ran from Iran via Amsterdam to DTW...

Greg Bouse
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 12:13am

Good catch. Delta had 5 flights/week to/from Detroit w/Delta. Using the Boeing 777's with about 268 seats, put an estimated 5,360 travelers per month (5x268x4) people entering and 5,360 leaving Detroit for essentially both Dec & Jan. Maybe that is 10,000 infections per month, or some fraction of that. GM/Ford/Chrysler helped build 23 automotive plants in the Wuhan area, which requires constant "service" between US & China plants. Then mix those travelers with the auto workers having a transmission rate of about 2.5. As these travelers came and went for at least 6 weeks put a tremendous number of "seeds" from Wuhan into Detroit. I think the Rally's just helped spread the virus.

Sun, 04/05/2020 - 8:59pm

If the major trigger was automotive travel between Wuhan and DET, think we we would have seen earlier cases in the automotive industry and a larger outbreak in white collar automotive folks. As I recall the first cases were folks who traveled from Italy. But maybe more info is needed.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:41am

Why no mention of the role that people play? One can self distance, avoid handshakes, sneeze into their elbow, quarantine, and lots of other little measures without being told by anyone in government.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:46am

Why do we even pretend to believe positive counts when such a small percentage of active cases are being tested? Death counts are much more valid even if they still have room for improvement.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:49am

Why such difficulty here? There always seems to be such a difficulty acknowledging that any of many problems in Michigan are concentrated in one fairly small area while the rest of the state sees little effect. Seems you always have to paint the entire state with this brush. Your own county by county map (which you left out of this article) shows exactly this! Kind of like we can't call this the China Virus because it will hurt their feelings, we can't state Detroit has a monster problem while most Michigan counties find little to nonexistent cases? Some kind of PC thing going on here? An article exploring the why fors which you started to touch on would be much more interesting.

William Krul
Thu, 04/09/2020 - 6:45am

I believe you have a good point. The virus propagates best in hosts with compromised immune systems. Therefore the high number of cases suggests that there are many people in MI that have compromised systems, no more no less. I'm willing to bet the hot spots are in the areas with the greatest poverty and health care opportunity. Basically MI has more health compromised people than the surrounding states. The solution is therefore obvious.

Doby Joe
Thu, 04/30/2020 - 7:56pm

William, you make a great point. The solution is to focus all of our resources on protecting the vulnerable populations. Every effort put into other issues is wasted. The measure of success on our battle with this virus is how well we protected those in nursing homes and others with underlying conditions.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:59am

With so much biased news (conservative and liberal) out there today, it is refreshing to read an article that is highly supported by data and written professionally. Thank you.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:12am

One factor you did not mention was the spring breakers. Even though there was a social distancing, then a 'stay home' order announced, hoards of spring breakers still came to Florida, where the Governor did not issue even announce social distancing orders. Then they went through airports in Florida, on planes, and airports in Michigan. The end of spring break and the week that followed showed a huge uptick in cases.

dennis muchmore
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:38am

This is ridiculous and I hope Bridge can stop fostering the blame game. Whitmer has reacted as best she can with the information she has at her disposal. Michigan’s inter-action with China is many times more intense than our surrounding states and therefore envites a great deal more intro-spection than the reactions of others.

From experience I can tell you that’s it’s a lot easier to back bench and Monday morning quarterback than it is to be in the Executive Office knowing things that very few people know outside that office. There’s a lot of moving parts all coming at the same time. Some of these “you should have done this or that people” never have to consider more than their narrow little focus while she has to balance a myriad of issues.

Quit complaining, just do your job. And, of all things, I hope Bridge never uses that childish journalism rock to hide behind, you know the one where irresponsible media says: “we just report the story”. We all know journalists only say that when they want to.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:39am

good p ost

Dave F.
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 1:06pm

Considering the way Bridge Magazine treated your boss, your response is commendable. Bridge was part of the mob mentality that led to the politically motivated criminal charges brought about in Flint, and you could be calling for the same treatment of Whitmer and her administration.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:46am

Testing, testing, anyone listening?

Trump can blame Obama or whomever, but when he was elected, Republicans owned both chambers of Congress and instead of heeding Obama's warnings, they systematically dismantle our government, installed incompetent family, friends, and donors, then voted for the biggest tax cut in history.

Remember how Trump very oddly talked about "carnage" in his inauguration speech? The easiest way to avoid all the COVID-19 carnage we will see now would have been to test everyone early and practice containment, things we still aren't doing today.

Sorry, but the difference between South Korea with few deaths/economic catastrophe and the USA with complete destruction of our country on all levels is TRUMP, the absolute most incompetent president in the history of the USA.

I have little faith that his zombie groupies will ever acknowledge this let alone change their ways. They literally vote against their own self interests just to spite Democrats. Crazy crazy crazy! Geez, we surrender; you win. Now let's think of others and act like adults! Our children and grandchildren deserve better.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 5:42pm

That’s right, everything is Trumps fault. Just like Hitler blamed everything on the Jews. Stop for a second and try to think rationally; the blame game causes more problems than it solves and your one of those playing the game!

I Call BS
Sat, 04/04/2020 - 6:15am

Trump blames Obama. How can you explain our country being unprepared when Trump was president for three years?

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 6:18am

Wait, are you saying Trump is like Hitler, but blaming the Mexicans, instead of the Jews? Got it!

John S Walker
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:48am

Fast food restaurant employees are in grave danger.
There is no way to maintain social distancing.
The cleaners they use do NOT kill coronavirus.
Employee sicknesses are not being reported to the health department.
They have no voice, no one is looking out for them, most of our lawmakers have turned their back on them.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:52am

So we can blame business lobbyists for stalling needed earlier action, even though we saw what was happening in Italy. We worship money.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:55am

Very good article with data! Congratulations to Governor of Ohio who canceled primary election!

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 12:05pm

Governor of Ohio safe many lives by postponing elections! Governor of Michigan owes us explanation for her decision to proceed with election in the mist of epidemic?

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 10:06am

It is worth noting the differences in population. Indiana & Wisconsin have roughly half the population of Michigan. Illinois & Ohio have slightly larger populations, so they are the most comparable when making these types of statements about "who has more". I think you can throw out Indiana & Wisconsin unless your statistic is on a "per capita" basis.

As most people should know, you can manipulate the statistics to come up with very different conclusions. It is a fair comparison to see why Michigan is outpacing Ohio.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 10:06am

It is worth noting the differences in population. Indiana & Wisconsin have roughly half the population of Michigan. Illinois & Ohio have slightly larger populations, so they are the most comparable when making these types of statements about "who has more". I think you can throw out Indiana & Wisconsin unless your statistic is on a "per capita" basis.

As most people should know, you can manipulate the statistics to come up with very different conclusions. It is a fair comparison to see why Michigan is outpacing Ohio.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 10:19am

Not sure it's a surprise Mi conrovirus is so much worse here for starters someone explain to me how we have shut down most of the economy to save lives but still allow people to use self serve fountain drinks or coffee that make us hit a button to fill I watched 18 people use it nobody had gloves of washed there hands

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 10:30am

Why are you protecting Michigan's incompetent, ambitious, political driven governor?

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 2:09pm

Incompetent? She declared a state of emergency way back on March 10. She ordered businesses to close a few days later. She relentlessly pressed for hospital supplies from the beginning, as recommended by medical people that she listened to. Compare this to other states, especially ones that are just NOW announcing stay-at-home requirements, 3 weeks later.

Mon, 04/20/2020 - 12:58pm

Are you suggesting that she's incompetent because according to the numbers Michigan had the worst response of any state in the Midwest? Are you suggesting that she is ambitious and politically driven because she is going on television show after television show making appearances? That's crazy talk.

Jo Wahler
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 10:34am

Michigan and New York both have large airports with international flights.
The virus was brought in from the airport, then takes two weeks to affect the first Michiganders, then two more weeks to double, etc, etc, until you have numbers like ours, many weeks later.

Wed, 04/08/2020 - 7:55am

I'm wondering why Illinois ( with the Chicago airports) isn't showing numbers like Michigan.

Sondra Shaw Hardy
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:05am

Today's Bridge verifies my earlier suspicions that you are anti Governor Whitmer. I agree with the person who said you are sounding very much like Fox news. Interesting that you compare the five governors and distinguish them by party as if that makes a difference. And were you really comparing apples and apples? I don't think so. Perhaps you should do more to be helpful during this time instead of being so critical in both your headlines and your content.

Jo Wahler
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:06am

I would remember two important things. (1) Michigan has a huge international airport, like New York. So the virus can enter easily. (2) Michigan did not have a lot of available tests- or did not use them much- until recently. So early numbers looked low. Now, with more testing, they look high. So the slope looks steeper in Michigan. What I want to know, is, why wasn't testing widely available and encouraged early on? In early March, when I had a cough and a possible fever, I was told to rest at home and not come in for a test. (I got better quickly, fortunately.) But if this was the norm for several weeks, can you imagine how many cases were missed? And many of those mild cases- and infected people without symptoms- all in the dark, and still going to the grocery store.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:06am

I think the huge political rallies in your state by Trump and Sanders are the main contributers.

Mary Duncan
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 11:22am

The “elephant in the room” on this must be the 140,000 home water shut offs in Detroit that were not addressed by the Michigan Governor until March 28!!! From what I have learned, it could take more than 30 days to get them turned back on. I’m not a Bernie Sanders person on all issues but he wisely raised this openly and loudly in his Michigan campaign in the primary so the Governor DEFINITELY knew about the problem. Everyone knows that lack of water spreads disease anywhere in the world and it is deadly because where there is no water, there is no sanitation! This DANGEROUSLY unbelievably late date was written about in USA Today from valid information sourced to the Associated Press. Thousands of Detroit residents were unable to follow even the basic protocol of hand washing due to her GROSS negligence on this issue. She has been pointing fingers at the federal government while not addressing the most SERIOUS and OBVIOUS matter under her direct control. This, coupled with her very late mandate to shut down social interaction and her vocal opposition to allow well know therapeutic medicines to be allowed to help virus victims, speaks to her lack of leadership in crisis and should never be forgotten by Michigan residents!! I hope that one or more qualified investigative reporters will research the actual count of the number of people deaths in Detroit that are caused by this horrific negligence. This water deprivation needs to make national news so it never happens anywhere in our country again! The loss of life from this ineptitude is horrific!

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 12:29pm

Finally an article that has *some* analysis of the situation and not just a spokesperson for Governor. However, I would like to add that the LACK OF ACTION from March 1-March 10 (election day) is CLEARLY the reason why Michigan's curve breaks any curve in the country. Even if there are "other" reasons such as connection to China, that would've been exposed/effected much earlier and is not UNIQUE to Michigan. Plenty of states has way more connection to Asia than Michigan. In terms of poverty or adhering to social distancing, it exists in MANY states. California has more homeless people/connection to Asian and Florida is full of people hanging out on the beach. The ONLY unique thing to Michigan is that we were one of the latest state to announce cases and we had a huge primary election with related activities. Furthermore, she did not do anything until AFTER the election and now there is huge spread in the community. Most of the spread is unrelated to companies/travel but local community because Michigan is not MORE susceptible to the virus given our location etc. Here is a timeline that clearly illustrates this:
Feb. 29 Washington declares state of emergency
March 1. Florida declares public health emergency
March 3 Ohio governor cancels spectators for the Arnold sports festival (clearly a smart move, but was then criticized by the Washington post)
March 4 California declares state of emergency. Washington Bans gathering over 250 people. Whitmer does nothing.
March 5 Maryland declares state of emergency. Michigan claims that they have 24 hours turnaround time for testing, and yet over 10 cases has been "pending" for over a week.
March 5 It has been reported that several people connected to Biogen conference in Boston has the virus. Many out of state people were also diagnosed with the virus that are link to this conference. Furthermore, it is known now that more than 100 infected people can be link to that one conference. However, Michigan events still continue to go and governor does not take ANY actions knowing how contagious it is.
March 6- Kentucky declared state of emergency. Utah declares state of emergency. Indiana declares state of emergency. Pennsylvania declares state of emergency. Police and Pancake event took place in Detroit which is the reason why over 400 Detroit PD employees are under quarantine right now. No events were canceled and no actions or announcement other than "wash your hands" were given by Michigan to the people. Sanders held four events in Michigan over the past week including Detroit on Friday (march 6) and Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids on Sunday (March 8th)
March 7 New York declares state of emergency. Florida escalates state of emergency. Michigan still tells everyone there are no cases and taken no action whatsoever to curb spread of the virus.
March 8 Oregon declares state of emergency. No action from Michigan
March 9 Ohio declares state of emergency. New Jersey declares state of emergency. Iowa declares state of emergency. Illinois declares state of emergency. Meanwhile Michigan continues with Biden Rally in Detroit - indoor, enclosed among other primary/election activities. Nothing is being communicated in terms of cases that are circulating among us already.

State only communicated negative results at this point. Tests were limited, but as tested people stayed the same, negative results continue to rise and get reported along with "pending" results also continue to rise, however, positive results remain zero.
March 10 (during the day) 37 state already had announced confirmed cases. Colorado declares state of emergency. Massachusetts declares state of emergency. North Carolina declares state of emergency. Connecticut declares state of emergency. Meanwhile in Michigan, it's election day, our governor is even ACTIVELY ENCOURAGING EVERYONE to get out and vote! More than 2.3 million michigan residents cast ballots with no regards to people's lives and what's happening around the country.
Result for the Primary announced around 9PM
March 10 (late night -around 10:40PM) Governor finally announced 2 confirmed cases and declared state of emergency. It really did not make the a difference to people until the next day March 11 since it was almost midnight when she declared it, clearly was waiting for the election results.
March 11 - 9AMish - announced 10 more cases in Michigan just overnight... (magically 10 more confirmed results overnight when nothing could be confirmed for weeks)
After March 11, It is true that Governor took very aggressive actions such as closing school almost immediately. However, that sent people rushing to the stores and buying up everything and cross contaminating possibly making things worse. However, it is clear now that by this time the damage has been done. Too much, too late. She was on the short-list for VP, so it is clear her motivation to leave the people to die. Now, she is simply bankrupting the state and blaming the fed to cover up for her mistake and lack of care for the people. Everyday she just complains about other people, but given a bench marking between ALL states in the country, she is clearly doing the worst possible job. I don't understand why anyone would be supporting her considering she literally left you all to catch the disease or whatever when she clearly withheld information prior to election, but people can believe what they want I guess.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 4:28pm

Thank you for the breakdown :)

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 6:26pm

Awesome. Thanks for the facts.

paul key
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:20pm

Michigan is well known for bureaucracy in the public and private sectors. That explains all.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:13am

Completely agree. I’ll add this that on Feb 29 the FDA relaxed standards that so hospitals and labs could develop their own tests. It was well known within the Detroit area medical community that there were hundreds of presumptive Covid infection cases by March 10. Mayor Duggan, the former CEO of DMC, was clued in...he had been begging Gov Whitmer for days to turn the water back on for his most vulnerable residents. That directive was finally approved on March 9. It should also be noted that on March 4 the Archdiocese of Detroit sent a letter to all parishes advising to no longer use a communion cup and avoid shaking hands.
The March 10 primary election was likely one of the Covid superspreaders that could have been avoided by simply extending absentee balloting which Ohio has since done. It certainly appears that our Public Health officials and elected local and State officials placed politics above the safety and health of the citizens of Detroit and all of Michigan. To announce the “first” confirmed case a mere 2 hours after the polls closed was completely disingenuous.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 12:30pm

Hard to believe this is because we didn't enact a lockdown sooner, this is because we had flights from Wuhan. Don't forget that China and the media suppressed news of this in December and down played the severity for months. Chinese officials killed the whistleblower that said this virus was a problem. China MUST be held accountable for this.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 4:29pm

China can be held accountable, but plenty of cities have flights from Wuhan....
What's happening in Michigan comparing to other states is unrelated to China or flights from Wuhan. We want to believe there is somehow something special with Michigan, but there's really isn't anything unique about Michigan other than the election on March 10 and plenty of election related LARGE gatherings happening from March 1-March 10 and obvious an incompetent Governor that cares more about politics than people's lives. This is the ONLY thing unique to Michigan as other states did not have this and many states canceled large gatherings and told people to social distancing. Many, many other states has more poverty, more connection overseas, more people, more mass transportation, more international airport, etc. However, we are the only "more populous" state that did not take any action until March 10...really March 11. Also Michigan was one of the LAST States to announce confirm cases. And given her aggressive actions AFTER the election, it is clear that she KNEW there were cases and how bad it was. Who host press conferences LATE at night to announce confirmed cases and declare emergencies? Such a coincidence? And then somehow 10 more cases appeared overnight on March 11 morning. She acts like this is a joke and people are dying because of her. That's the only thing unique about Michigan unfortunately.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 4:38pm

Whitmer is doing exactly what China did.

Jo W
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 12:55pm

1. Detroit airport had direct flights from Wuhan. Early entry of Covid19.
2. Detroit's serious poverty. Problems with sanitation/water and close living quarters. Reliance on public transportation. Buses.
3. Snowbirds. Many Michiganders travel elsewhere in the winter and return by March.
4. Testing testing testing. Tests weren't even available until very recently (those with mild symptoms were told NOT to come in for tests.); now that testing is becoming more available, the numbers are going to spike. And think of all those people who weren't encouraged to test..still going to the grocery store.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 3:58pm

It's not serious poverty that is the issue. Anybody who lives near Detroit can tell you that. Some groups want to congregate. Go into any store and you will see the difference. Leave your family at home when you go shopping.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 1:37pm

Chicago is a very large International hub and population with Michigan not even close.
Illinois is under reporting and incompetent as usual with silence like the Chinese Communists.
Gretchen is over her head and very indecisive since her ideology can't keep up with reality.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 2:59pm

Illinois is NOT under reporting. Been following it closely all along because my kids live in Chicago in Cook County where most cases are! Their great hospitals report directly to the National Center for Disease Control, not the state, and are not run by communists. They are all privately, not state owned, and are some of the best in the Nation and have no reason to lie to lower case numbers because that would only suppress the material help that they are getting everyday from FEMA, etc. A head Nurse from Rush Hospital was on Chicago 560 Am radio today reporting that Rush Hospital in Downtown Chicago, the designated ground zero center for covid 19 emergencies in Cook County, is successfully managing their high case load.. They are operating well in patient care and have acquired all needed supplies and ventilators, even with the high Chicago numbers. They set this hospital aside FAST completely for this and are treating only carona virus cases! Well organized and doing a great job with the federal govt! I was relieved to learn that they are managing as well as they are with their high number of patients!MI governors incompetence is her own, Illinios is a blue state and doing a great job because it’s leadership on this is doing a great smart cooperative job with FEMA plus our huge inner city has no water major water deprivation problems, like Detroit, that the Governor ignored for too long, making spread worse!

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 2:59pm

Illinois is NOT under reporting. Been following it closely all along because my kids live in Chicago in Cook County where most cases are! Their great hospitals report directly to the National Center for Disease Control, not the state, and are not run by communists. They are all privately, not state owned, and are some of the best in the Nation and have no reason to lie to lower case numbers because that would only suppress the material help that they are getting everyday from FEMA, etc. A head Nurse from Rush Hospital was on Chicago 560 Am radio today reporting that Rush Hospital in Downtown Chicago, the designated ground zero center for covid 19 emergencies in Cook County, is successfully managing their high case load.. They are operating well in patient care and have acquired all needed supplies and ventilators, even with the high Chicago numbers. They set this hospital aside FAST completely for this and are treating only carona virus cases! Well organized and doing a great job with the federal govt! I was relieved to learn that they are managing as well as they are with their high number of patients!MI governors incompetence is her own, Illinios is a blue state and doing a great job because it’s leadership on this is doing a great smart cooperative job with FEMA plus our huge inner city has no water major water deprivation problems, like Detroit, that the Governor ignored for too long, making spread worse!

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 1:42pm

I have to say Marion County (most populated county in the state) in Indiana restricted school attendance and shut the schools a full week before Michigan did then some other counties followed until the governor shut them all down.. I know this because I was working in Indianapolis at the time and co-workers were scrambling trying to figure out how to stay home with the kids. I'm sure this helped Indiana. Also, Detroit as stated is a major international hub with many direct flights to China. In fact the 'regular' flu here this past year has been very hard on everyone and the symptoms are much the same as this Corona virus so I'm wondering if the people coming/going to/from China brought it here much earlier to Detroit, but it went undetected since no one was talking about Corona at the time??

Nellie Dwyer
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 2:56pm

Just an observation that I made but I looked up Michigan colleges' spring breaks and almost every college in Michigan had their spring break the first week of March. This is also spring break for New York/Long Island. Florida and the airlines didn't want to lose all that money, so they let Spring Break go on as usual. I think this was a big factor. Just like Mardi Gras for New Orleans was the factor.
If you recall, colleges started cancelling classes(about the 11th?) before the governor cancelled school for the children (on the 13th but no classes as of the 16th). Were there already known cases at colleges at that time for them to start cancelling classes?

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 3:56pm

We must keep in mind, that nothing like this has happened in this country ever before. Nobody had a guide. FEMA requires all Michigan Counties to have a Hazard Mitigation Plan on file for disaster management but not this stuff. Nobody has any guidelines to refer to or even a colleague to consult with. You can bet your sweet bippy the survivors will put one together and critique with microscopes what decisions were made and what decisions were not made, plus the pros and cons under pressure, plus the dates, etc. This is an altered reality for all of us. It's the new normal and it's in flux. Time to pitch in however you can. Have a machine shop in your garage, could you make parts for respirators? Or if you can sew really good, protective cloth marks are desperately needed. Let's try not to focus on the political he/she/they. It's a real downer and solves nothing.

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 3:59pm

Wear a mask if you can get them. The News media is lying to you.

William Green
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 4:29pm

The spread was caused by the Governor not acting quickly enough to close Detroit casinos. They outright ignored the <250 order and continued operating until they were forced to close. Maybe you can do some investigative journalism to see how many patrons and workers contracted Covid-19 from the casinos?

D Dodge
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 7:07pm

Exactly. If trump would have took action to protect the U.S. from pandemics as far back as 2017, we would not be in this nationwide crisis.

More Likely
Wed, 04/01/2020 - 8:43pm

Buried in the article are the far more likely reasons for the spread-
"*Detroit Metropolitan Airport, which has a large international hub and direct flights to Wuhan, China, where the outbreak originated in December and its airport remained open until Jan. 23.
*Supply lines between Detroit automakers and Wuhan, a major auto hub and home to five car manufacturers including Dongfeng Motor, one of the biggest in China. General Motors has 15 assembly plants in China with its partners, while Ford has six and Fiat Chrysler has two.
*Ties between automakers, particularly FCA, and Italy, which has more than 77,000 cases and 12,000 deaths."

One of the reasons Italy may have been hit hard is that it had strong connections to China- Italy is part of the “One Belt and One Road” roadmap, a map that includes other nations hard hit by the virus.

These three reasons probably do far more to explain how the virus got in and spread.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 3:40pm

No GM employees died of coronavirus infections.

Sat, 04/04/2020 - 6:28am

That's just not true.

Joe C.
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:45pm

40 Chinese workers landed in the Lombardy region of Italy in January of this year and all had COVID-19. There are over 300,000 Chinese workers in the Lombardy region of Italy as they signed up for the Chinese belt and road initiative and the only G7 nation to do that. Iran is also Belt and Road participant. In fact you can follow this around the world to see was they are all infected and a hot spot.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 12:31am

This not the time to second guess or judge actions around this pandemic, this not a time for blame or rationalization of actions, it is surely not a time to try to inject partisan politics [as this article segregates Governors by Party], this is the time act and react to the problems and challenges being faced each day.
Once the pandemic is under control then we must do an in-depth assessment of events and actions and outcomes. This assessment must be focused on prevention/mitigation of future events and not about wallowing in recriminations. We need to create a ‘Emergency Response Book’ that will capture the learning we gain from the current crisis, we need to make this part of the institutional memory of each organization involved in the current response efforts, the ER ‘Book’ becomes the first thing reached for when an unplanned event the crosses our community [Country, State, community].

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 7:16am

What is going on is Fenton is absolutely appalling. I had to pick up a prescription and noticed the town is jam-packed with people and the parking lots of every business claiming to be “essential” are full. Why are Home Depot, AutoZone, and Dollar Tree open? Why are restaurants like Jersey Mikes allowing groups of people in their lobbies to place orders and loiter there while waiting? The inept governor allowed business interests to shape her weak, vague stay-in-place order and the people of the state flitting about seem absolutely clueless about the seriousness of COVID-19.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 7:23am

Yep, it's always Trump or Fox News that are to blame! You Liberal P.O.S. can't even honor or support the very troops that provided you the freedom to run your mouth and have your opinion even if it is moronic! China did this, in my opinion, to the world! Pay attention to what's going on around you! Karma will get you for your biased stupidity, mark my words!

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:51am

A little misleading because while not orders, Ohio's governor cut large events like the Arnold Sports Festival (250k people) from all meeting, This event was scheduled March 5-8th.

Anne Stanton
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 10:08am

It's also important to note that some of the first covid-19 victims were police officers-apparently many had attended a pancake breakfast. When you consider the way a traffic stop proceeds and how much interaction the police have with the public this picture looks a little different.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 11:28am

I feel if she really wants to protect the people of Michigan she should implement much stricter guidelines, asking people not to hoard supplies is not working there are still empty shelves in every store so people can't even get the things they need to sanitize and keep their families safe. You still have people going to the grocery stores risking their health!!! Why not close all stores to the public and implement online shopping only with more employees available to shop for people and dispense their groceries at drive up location then people aren't forced to expose themselves and their families.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 12:01pm

I have a highly negative opinion of Whitmer and her ideologue supporters. That said, versus looking in the rear view mirror, what is the plan going forward? If days are the criteria between success and failure, what is the next move? There should be plans A, B & C being worked on now, if not completed. Locking down is essential, but there has to be more than that and every statist whining about churches is not part of the solution. Isolate the infected areas. Conduct testing in those areas. Use HCQ to reduce potential ICU cases. Again, what is the plan?

Deborah Harkness
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 3:48pm

Gov also stopped allowing some therapy that had shown to help they could have saved some of the deaths. Mayor in Flint had to issue a curfew from 9 to 6am because of people gathering in almost every party store parking lots. Now she wants to go into June. She could always check to see how things are going the end of May. Put if people are not going to follow guidelines it probably will go that long. Then the media doesn't want to hear from the President.

Joe C.
Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:40pm

Folks the issue is the airport DTW, all international travel (not just China) needed to be shut down at the same time. This is why it hit New York so hard as people running from Italy and Iran. I was in Germany until the end of February and I saw the burn rate and left ASAP as I knew it was going to get bad as I was in China when SARS-1 hit and I know how the Chinese Government can lie. I also saw the people running then as AMS is major hub for DTW and Delta. Also if you look at the John Hopkins COVID Map early on all the outbreak centers where around major international airports with a secondary effect at feeder airports. Keep in mind that most Europen travelers make land fall in either New Your (JFK or LaGuardia) or New Jersey at Liberty. If you go Inland the next major European port of call will be either Detroit or Atlanta (both now hot spots). This is way Michigan is a hotspot focus on the three counties around Metro airport...

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 4:51pm

Most of the dates and data for Ohio are incorrect. Governor DeWine announced all K-12 needed to be closed before Match 17th when we only had 3 cases of COVID-19 in the state. He has been incredibly proactive long before other leaders.

Marlene Augst
Sat, 04/04/2020 - 1:42pm

The world is finding out how many unhealthy people there are in the world and maybe modern medicine can't outsmart mother nature.

Sun, 04/05/2020 - 3:37am

The virus was already here. Consider 2 cities Detroit & New Orleans;
- Both cities have an unusually high number of cases and deaths for their size.
- Both MI and LA have noticeably more cases than neighboring states
- Both cities hosted a BIG EVENT the last weekend of February 2020.
- Detroit had a record-breaking concert at Ford Field, packing in 70,000 people for 4 hours on Saturday, February 22. Downtown Detroit was packed that whole night.
- New Orleans Mardi Gras parties are enormous the last weekend before Mardi Gras (February 22) as well as Mardi Gras day of course.
-People traveled into the area to attend.

6 states held primary elections the same day as MI, but they all didn’t have large positive case numbers or deaths. Only Washington also had a high number of cases and deaths, but they were already on that path long before March 10th.

Sun, 04/05/2020 - 4:48pm

Why Michigan reported the first case on March 10th, later than many other states, but now the third in the nation in terms of number of confirmed cases? Could people get tested in early March? How many patients participated the democratic rally in early March?

Mon, 04/06/2020 - 5:40pm

Could the Art Van Going Out of Business sales been super spreading events throughout metro Detroit?

Abby Burke
Mon, 04/06/2020 - 8:53pm

I’m not at all surprised that Gretchen Whitmer did not come to the aid of Michiganians sooner. Holding rallies and the primaries in early March when the virus arrived in our state was her first priority. I supported her when she was running for office. However, Like #45 and the Mayor of Detroit she doesn’t seem to possess much empathy. Her political ambitions outweigh her desire to help the people of her state. When Detroiters were crying out to have their water turned back on during the early pandemic days she did not order Mayor Duggan to comply. Also, in her campaign speech she promised economic justice advocates in the city that she would appoint a poverty secretary to her staff. Disappointedly, this was not done. Joe Biden must leave Gov. Whitmer off his so-called short list and consider the likes of Stacey Abrams instead. I assure you I’ve lived in this state long enough to know that a Biden-Whitmer ticket will not be accepted by Michigan voters.

Dave Burton
Wed, 04/08/2020 - 1:12pm

Nationwide, the spread of this disease is closely associated with public transit in big cities. Unfortunately, Democrat mayors and governors are been extremely reluctant to shut down their buses, trains and subways, even in NYC, where that reluctance has cost thousands of lives.

Sat, 04/11/2020 - 10:21am

This article is very informative and full of data. Thank you!

It’s very nice to compare our status to other states. I hope to see more articles like this.

Couldn't Keep Quiet
Sat, 04/11/2020 - 9:00pm

Read about 50 comments and NO ONE mentioned that the govenor prohibited the use of hydroxcholoroquine. Medication not politics is the problem. Per New York Post 'At the hospital, Whitsett learned that the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, under Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, had issued a state order prohibiting the use of hydroxychloroquine. Though that order was retracted several days later, at the time, Whitsett struggled to get her hands on the medication.' When hours count this could have caused the high numbers?

Sun, 04/12/2020 - 11:25am

I wonder what the thinking was behind the State's first order. It seems the FDA had previously approve hydroxychloroquine for off label treatments of other immune system related illnesses.

Richard H
Thu, 04/16/2020 - 9:08am

I do not feel that the Corona Virus data is telling the complete story. It would be helpful to have each Michigan county reported as cases and deaths "per capita" as well as the totals. It is difficult to look at the numbers without putting them in relative terms.

Thu, 04/16/2020 - 9:59pm

I would like the writer to look into how long each Governor allowed the cosmetologists, estheticians, massage therapist, barbers, dentists, gynecologists, and nail techs to function in their full capacity per state listed. The numbers you cited jump from "school closings" to "stay at home order". I would like to compare how accurately each goverened their state (and how specific each was in their orders) per industry placing you in physical contact with multiple people daily.