By Jon King /

As had been expected, a confirmed case of the COVID-19 virus has turned up in Livingston County. Michigan also reported its first death from the outbreak Wednesday.

According to the Livingston County Health Department, an adult female with no history of travel has tested as a presumptive positive case of COVID-19. Officials say that at this time, there are no known exposure locations within Livingston County from this individual, whom they did not provide any age or hometown for. Medical Director Dr. Don Lawrenchuk tells WHMI the patient had no history of travel, either internationally or domestic so they have to assume she acquired it in the community. He says she was exposed sometime during the incubation period, had symptoms and decided to get tested. Lawrenchuk says the woman is being isolated and will stay home for the next 14 days to minimize exposures. He says the Health Department is also currently doing contact tracing with people who have been in close contact with the individual to see who might have been around her when she was communicable. That is all happening currently. Lawrenchuk added they expect to see additional cases but said he was happy to report they’re getting excellent cooperation from the individual so are not concerned about her spreading the disease. He says they are concerned about others out in community who might be infected but aren’t taking precautions because they’re not aware they’re infected.

As a precaution, LCHD is asking anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 to self-isolate for 14 days and avoid potentially exposing others. COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath, and may appear between two and 14 days after exposure to the virus.

The local case is among at least 80 confirmed in Michigan since Gov. Whitmer declared a state of emergency on March 10th. She later followed up with an order closing all of the state’s K-12 schools through April 5th, while also banning dine-in customers at restaurants and closing all bars, movie theaters, gyms and other sports facilities through March. She has also prohibited public gatherings of more than 50 people.

The measures are meant to try and slow the spread of the virus. Unlike influenza, no one has immunity from COVID-19 and officials are concerned that if too many people become ill all at once it could overwhelm the state’s medical infrastructure. The Detroit Free Press has reported that in a widespread coronavirus outbreak, as many as 147,000 people in Michigan could have severe or critical symptoms that require hospitalization. However, the state only has roughly 25,000 hospital beds and only about 9,000 of those are available on an average day.

As for the recent death, a man in his 50s with underlying health conditions died early Wednesday morning at a Beaumont Hospital in Wayne County due to complications from COVID-19.

Michigan’s State Emergency Operations Center, which is coordinating the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak, has issued the following guidelines on what residents can do to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases:

· Always cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
· Stay home if you are sick and advise others to do the same.
· Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
· Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
· Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, if soap and warm water are not available.
· Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (computers, keyboards, desks, etc.).
· It’s not too late to get your flu shot! While the influenza vaccine does not protect against COVID-19 infection, it can help keep you healthy during the flu season.

State Representative Hank Vaupel of Fowlerville, in a statement released Thursday morning, said his "heart goes out to family impacted by this diagnosis." He said local health care officials are working diligently to contain the virus and protect Michigan families. Vaupel has recently supported two emergency budget plans to address the evolving challenges with the virus. Vaupel is Chair of House Health Policy Committee, and said he has been in regular contact with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, which is working closely with health care providers, health departments, and the CDC to actively monitor the patient.

State Rep. Ann Bollin of Brighton Township issued the following statement: "Our country is dealing with an unprecedented public health crisis, and our community is not immune. Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services notified Livingston County Health Department of a presumptive positive coronavirus disease or COVID-19. The health department will contact people who have been in close contact with the individual and they will be assessed for symptoms and monitored appropriately. While it is understandable to be concerned, it is important to remember that now is the time for all of us to come together and support our neighbors and follow the advice of the medical experts. We can all do our part by taking the recommended precautions to level the spread by covering coughs and sneezes with tissues and throwing the tissues away the tissue in the trash; practicing social distancing by staying 6 feet way from others; routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched items, especially those you take outside your home, like your purse, wallet, phone and debit cards; and staying home if you are sick. This is an ever-evolving situation and we are working together, at all levels of government, to make sure immediate needs are being met to address public health concerns and that we are doing all we can to mitigate the impacts of COVID-19.”

For more information and local updates, visit

For details on the response from the Michigan Department of Health & Human Services - CLICK HERE

For details on the response from the federal Centers for Disease Control & Prevention - CLICK HERE