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State leaders mark anniversary of first Michigan COVID-19 cases

Posted at 7:48 PM, Mar 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-10 19:48:05-05

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and her team marked the anniversary of the first COVID-19 cases being identified here in Michigan, saying the year has been marked by grit, grace, horror and heroism.

Joined by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Whitmer shared Michigan's grim death toll: more than 16,000 people who lost their lives to the virus.

State officials say, despite the progress that’s been made, some of the numbers are up including hospitalizations, test positivity rates and the number of cases per million.

But Khaldun says there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“This week we were able to provide additional vaccine allotments to over 20 partnerships statewide. These partnerships between providers and community organizations including health departments, hospitals, local health centers, community organizations and faith leaders," she said.

This time last year things moved very quickly, and the state had to act fast to protect residents.

“The next day on the 11th, the WHO declared it a global pandemic. By the 13th it was declared a national American emergency. On the 23rd, I issued the Stay Home: Stay Safe order," Whitmer recounted.

Whitmer asked residents to turn on their porch lights between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. tonight in a solidarity as the fight against COVID-19 continues.