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Michigan governor urges steps to limit spread of new virus

Novel coronavirus graphic
PBS
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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday urged residents to follow simple steps to help limit the spread of a new type of virus that has not been confirmed in Michigan but could be eventually.

People should wash their hands, not touch their face, replace handshakes with elbow or fist bumps and cover their mouth when coughing or sneezing, she said.

“The main goal of these efforts is to help slow the spread of the virus,” Whitmer said. “I urge all Michiganders to take these recommendations very seriously and share this information with their friends, family and co-workers.”

Whitmer briefed the media after activating the state’s emergency operations center near Lansing to coordinate the response to the virus that has infected more than 83,000 globally, killing about 2,800. The illness caused by the coronavirus is called COVID-19.

State officials said more than 350 people in Michigan who traveled from China have been or are being monitored for symptoms — during which they self-quarantine at home for 14 days and limit their travel. None have shown symptoms to date.

Five people who were previously screened for the disease tested negative, said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive.