State activates emergency coordination center due to coronavirus spread

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LANSING (WJRT) (2/3/2020) - State health officials are stepping up their response to the coronavirus threat, as the number of cases in the U.S. increases.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services activated its Community Health Emergency Coordination Center on Monday to manage the state's response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus.

China has reported 361 deaths and more than 17,000 confirmed cases of the illness. Eleven cases have been confirmed in the U.S. -- none of which involve Michigan residents -- with no deaths.

The state coordination center will start by focusing on distributing guidelines and educational materials to public health agencies and health care providers.

Officials also will work with the Detroit and Wayne County health departments, because Detroit Metropolitan Airport has been designated a screening location for coronavirus. Any U.S. citizen who traveled to China in the last two weeks will be diverted there or to one of 10 other airports around the country.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared coronavirus a public health emergency in the United States.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is imposing a mandatory quarantine for any citizens to traveled to the Hubei province in China within the last two weeks. Travelers who visited other parts of China will undergo health screening when they return to the U.S.

Many foreign travelers from China who are not immediate family members of U.S. citizens, permanent residents or flight crew members will not be allowed in the country until further notice.

Saginaw Valley State University announced on Monday that a China trip for nursing students in the spring has been canceled. Administrators cited the growing coronavirus threat and travel restrictions for the decision.

They are considering alternate overseas locations for nursing students to study abroad this year.