Third case of coronavirus confirmed in Michigan

Michigan health officials are confirming a third case of coronavirus in the state. (MGN Image)
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LANSING (WJRT) (3/12/2020) - Michigan health officials confirmed a third case of coronavirus in the state Thursday evening.

UPDATE: All K-12 schools in Michigan closing for 3 weeks starting Monday
UPDATE: Michigan now reporting 12 cases of coronavirus

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services identified the patient as a middle-aged male from St. Clair County. He recently traveled in the U.S., according to the St. Clair County Health Department.

Officials say the patient is recovering in stable condition at home. He took precautions soon after becoming ill, so the health department doesn't believe he exposed many other people to coronavirus.

"The health department does not want the community to panic," said Medical Health Officer Dr. Annette Mercatante. "If you feel well, you do not need to be tested."

She said anyone who feels mildly ill should stay home and call their doctor for guidance on treatment.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state's first two coronavirus cases late Tuesday. They are a woman from Oakland County who recently traveled internationally and a man from Wayne County who recently traveled in the U.S.

State officials say 97 people in Michigan had tested negative for coronavirus while 26 test results were pending around the state Thursday evening.

Whitmer declared a State of Emergency on Tuesday and made a series of recommendations on Wednesday to slow the spread of coronavirus.

While testing continues, no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Mid-Michigan as of Thursday afternoon. COVID-19 is the illness caused by coronavirus.

Eight people in Genesee County have been tested for coronavirus, but none have been confirmed with the illness.

The Saginaw County Health Department says five people have been tested there. Four already came back negative and one test was pending Thursday afternoon.

The Shiawassee County Health Department also hasn't confirmed any cases of coronavirus and had nobody under observation or testing on Thursday.

Only people showing symptoms of coronavirus or with a recent history of travel to a known hot spot for the illness are being tested.

The Genesee County Health Department remains in constant contact with the county's three major hospitals to monitor the situation and coordinate preparedness.

Ascension Genesys Hospital in Grand Blanc Township, Hurley Medical Center in Flint and McLaren Flint Hospital all have imposed visitor restrictions similar to guidelines that had in place during flu season.

The hospitals remain open to treat anyone who believes they need medical help. However, patients are asked to visit an emergency room only when it is absolutely essential. Doctor’s offices and urgent care centers can see patients who aren't critically ill.

Anyone who is sick in any way should avoid visiting other patients in the hospitals.

The health department and the hospitals are encouraging everyone to practice proper handwashing techniques, stay home when sick, regularly sanitize frequently touch surfaces and avoid touching their faces.

Coronavirus symptoms include mild to severe respiratory illness, fever, cough and shortness of breath. The best ways to prevent coronavirus and other viruses include:

-- Washing hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds.
-- Avoid touching the eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
-- Covering to cover your mouth and nose when coughing or sneezing.
-- Avoiding contact with sick people and staying home when ill.