Metro Detroit’s Latest COVID-19 Updates: Tuesday, March 24

A quick look at what’s happening locally
covid-19 ford motor co metro detroit
Dave Jacek, 3D printing technical, is photographed in a medical face shield printed at Ford’s Advanced Manufacturing Center. // Photograph courtesy of Ford Motor Co.

On March 23, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order in attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19. The order directs all Michiganders to stay in their home for at least the next three weeks unless they are considered an essential worker — such as healthcare and food service workers — safely participating in an outdoor activity, or completing a necessary task, such as picking up a prescription from the pharmacy or buying food. Here’s what’s happened since then:

On March 24, the state reported nine new COVID-19-related deaths, bringing the number of deaths in Michigan to 24. The case total, which spans 42 counties, is now just over 1,790 in Michigan. [Metro Times]

Saint Joseph Mercy Health System, which has hospitals in Ann Arbor, Oakland, Livingston, Livonia, and Chelsea, is now accepting supplies from local businesses and the community. Those interested in donating goods like hand sanitizer, Clorox or Lysol wipes, nasal testing swabs, eyeglass shields, regular masks, and N95 masks should contact restricted funds manager Kim Niethammer ( to coordinate a drop-off at their local St. Joseph Mercy hospital. [St. Joe’s]

Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced plans to manufacture and donate more than 1 million face masks per month to police, EMTs, firefighters, and those who work in hospitals and medical clinics. The Auburn Hills-based company is also working with an Italian company to make ventilators. Meanwhile, Ford Motor Co. is working with 3M and GE Healthcare to expand the production of air-purifying respirators, ventilators, face shields, and the like. [DBusiness]

Building off Gov. Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order, the Oakland County Health Division has released an emergency order that requires essential businesses to engage in social distancing and screen their employees’ health and exposure to COVID-19. In a remote news conference held on March 24, Oakland County Executive David Coulter explained that starting at noon on March 25, businesses that are currently open in Oakland County must conduct a daily screening of all their employees. Staff will be required to answer questions about their health and recent travel, and depending on their response, they may be asked to stay home for up to two weeks. [Oakland County Health Division]

A 38-year-old member of the Detroit Police Department, who worked for the city for more than a decade, has died from COVID-19. As of March 24, nine officers with the police department have also tested positive for the novel coronavirus, and nearly 300 have been asked to self-quarantine. [Fox 2 Detroit]

Wayne County Jail is in the process of releasing inmates who are identified by jail medical staff as being at greater risk for the novel coronavirus, such as those who have health conditions or are pregnant. The prosecutor’s office and judge must approve any release, and inmates who are accused of crimes like assault or a felony are not being considered.  [The Detroit News]

Allen H. Vigneron, the archbishop of the Archdiocese of Detroit, has confirmed that Southeast Michigan’s Catholic churches will remain closed on Easter. He encourages parishes to look for creative ways to practice their faith at this time and provided guidelines for churches interested in live streaming their mass. [Deadline Detroit]

Michigan’s Secretary of State offices are closing for three weeks. As a result, Michigan motor licensing officials plan to ask Gov. Whitmer to issue an executive order that extends deadlines for those whose driver licenses will expire while the Stay Home, Stay Safe executive order is in effect. [Detroit Free Press]