Metro Detroit’s Latest COVID-19 Updates: March 31

A quick look at what’s happening locally
Buddy's Pizza covid-19
Buddy’s Pizza has launched a new program called Feeding the Front Liners to give back to those aiding in the fight against COVID-19. The Detroit-style pizza chain is also offering specials in April. // Photograph courtesy of Buddy’s Pizza

The CDC is reporting that there are now 163,539 cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. and there have been 2,860 deaths. As the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the nation, DOW dropped 400 points today and stocks closed out their worst month since 2008. Meanwhile, while epidemiologists predict that the pandemic will kill close to 100,000 Americans over the coming months, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allery and Infectious Diseases, says that social distancing efforts are beginning to dampen the outbreak. Here’s what’s happening in metro Detroit:

There were 1,117 new COVID-19 cases and 75 deaths reported in Michigan today. In total, there have been 7,615 cases in the state and 259 deaths. [

In a news conference today at Eastern Market, Mayor Mike Duggan said that 2,000 tests have now been completed at the Michigan State Fairground drive-up testing site. The mayor also said that FEMA is currently sending 200,000 swabs to the state of Michigan, which will allow the fairground site to go up to 1,000 tests a day. Since yesterday’s news conference, 22 Detroit doctor offices have reached out to the city to share that they can take on new patients. The clinics and their contact information will be available on the city’s website. In an update on public safety, Duggan shared that the Detroit Police Department now has 76 members who have tested positive for COVID-19 and the Detroit Fire Department has 17 members. The full news conference can be viewed on the City of Detroit Facebook page. [Facebook: City of Detroit Government]

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources closed Tippy Dam Recreation Area in Manistee County today after noticing an increase in visitors from across the state in the last two weeks. The department is encouraging residents to continue to maintain smart health practices when visiting outdoor spaces so other state parks can stay open. Guidelines include only being out if you feel healthy, not engaging in long-distance travel to visit a state park, washing hands often, leaving the park if the parking lot is full, and maintaining 6-feet of distance around others. Those who fail to follow the latter may face up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine up to $500. [

Buddy’s Pizza is supporting those aiding in the fight against COVID-19 with its new Feeding the Front Liners program. The community is welcome to visit this form to submit the name of local organizations that are working the frontline during the pandemic so the Detroit-style pizza chain can provide food to them. Buddy’s is also offering 50% off to all first responders and healthcare workers throughout April, and the restaurant is launching a deal in which customers can order $4 half-baked pizza — it’s good 72 hours in the fridge or 30 days in the freezer — from 1-4 p.m. every day. Simply use the code “halfbaked” when checking out online at or calling in an order. [Buddy’s Pizza

The Detroit Institute of Arts is now asking its Instagram followers to use objects in their home to recreate their favorite artworks at the museum. To join in, simply post a photo of your creation to Instagram with the hashtag #RecreateDIA, and the DIA will repost select photos across its social media platforms. [Instagram: Detroit Institute of Arts

The state of Michigan is encouraging residents to use the Pure Michigan Talent Connect online portal, which can be accessed at, to post and search for job openings. Kroger, Beaumont Health System, and Amazon are among the companies hiring in metro Detroit. “Michiganders are tough and hardworking, especially in times of crisis,” says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a press release. “Tens of thousands of open jobs are available right now with more than 2,000 Michigan companies and organizations hiring to continue providing critical services.” Employers who are looking to hire during the pandemic should fill out the COVID-19 On-Demand Hiring Intake Form to appear in the COVID-19 Job Portal section of the site. [

A new report from the University of Michigan’s Parenting in Context Research Lab has found that stress from the coronavirus pandemic may be playing a role in parents’ relationship with their children. Most of the nearly 560 adults surveyed from the study say they feel closer to their children during this time, but still, there has been an increase in verbal and physical punishment. Four out of 10 parents have yelled or screamed at their kids in the past two weeks, and about one in six said they have spanked or slapped their children once during this time. At the same time, 50% of parents surveyed are worried that they won’t be able to pay their bills, and 50% also say that social isolation is affecting how they parent. [Parenting in Context Research Lab: Report

To continue to protect its workers from COVID-19, Ford Motor Co. is delaying the restart of production at its plants in North America. Originally, the Dearborn-based auto company planned to reopen plants between April 6 and 14. Ford is still on track to begin production of the Model A-E ventilator, in collaboration with GE Healthcare, on April 20 at its Rawsonville Components Plant in Ypsilanti. Five hundred paid UAW volunteers will manufacture the ventilators, and the goal is to produce 50,000 of them by July 4. [Ford Motor Co.] 

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