Metro Detroit’s Latest COVID-19 Updates: May 27

Michigan State University prepares to welcome back students in the fall, the City of Detroit offers free COVID-19 testing to suburbanites, and actress Gal Gadot surprises Henry Ford Health System emergency workers
Michigan State University
Michigan State University photo: IStock

John Hopkins University is now reporting 1.69 million cases of COVID-19 and 99,983 deaths in the U.S. Today, new procedures were approved so the UFC can host two of its upcoming events — sans spectators — in Las Vegas, officials with Vermont announced that the state now only has one hospitalized COVID-19 patient, and a new report shows that deaths in the U.S. are now more than 10 percent higher than previous years. Here’s what’s happening in metro Detroit:

The state of Michigan today reported 504 new COVID-19 cases and 68 deaths. Fourteen of today’s reported deaths were identified following a review of old death certificates. In total, the state has seen 44,508 cases and 5,334 deaths. [

During his press conference today, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan shared that the city has now seen 1,344 deaths from COVID-19. Between May 18-24, the city had 21 deaths, which is nearly half of what it saw the previous week. “Everything we’re doing is continuing to work,” he said. Duggan also shared a chart that compared the city’s State Fairgrounds Testing Site positive rate with the suburbs. From April 28 to May 8, nearly 12 percent of Detroiters and close to 8% of suburbanites tested positive for the coronavirus. Since May 9, however, 4% of Detroiters and nearly 5% of suburbanites are testing positive. Duggan says the reduction in positive cases in the city is a testament to Detroit residents strictly following social distancing protocols and wearing masks. Yet, he acknowledges that to beat the coronavirus, the region will have to come together as one. “Unless we beat COVID-19 as a region, we’re not really going to wipe it out,” he said. Therefore, starting today, residents of Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties can be tested for the coronavirus at no cost at the State Fairgrounds site without a prescription. Those interested in being tested must first make an appointment by calling 313-230-0505. Watch the entire video, here. Duggan [Facebook: City of Detroit Government

Bloomberg reports that Bangladesh-based company Beximco Group is setting up a plant in Detroit to produce N95 masks. The company is investing $20 million into the plant, which is expected to be ready in nine months. [Bloomberg]

Michigan State University students will return to campus this fall. In a letter shared today, MSU President Samuel L. Stanley explains that the university will offer in-person and online components to classes in the upcoming semester. All in-person instruction will end before Thanksgiving, and the remaining three weeks of the semester — including final exams — will be done remotely. “The fall 2020 semester will look different from any previous semester at MSU,” Stanley says. “The driving factor behind our decisions will continue to be the health, safety, and well-being of students, faculty, and staff.” [Michigan State University

To reduce the spread of the coronavirus, Ford Motor Co. is offering law enforcement officials a new heated software enhancement for their vehicles. The technology — available now on Ford’s 2013-19 Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles in the U.S., Canada, and other countries — raises the interior temperature of the car to more than 133 degrees for 15 minutes. The software reduces viral concentration by 99 percent. “First responders are on the front lines protecting all of us. They are exposed to the virus and are in dire need of protective measures,” says Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer. “We looked at what’s in our arsenal and how we could step up to help. In this case, we’ve turned the vehicle’s powertrain and heat control systems into a virus neutralizer.” [Ford

As part of an ongoing tribute to frontline workers, Good Morning America arranged a video call between emergency workers at Henry Ford Health System and Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot. According to MLive, the group of employees at the Detroit health system are known for dressing up as superheroes at work. [MLive]

The Detroit Free Press reports that the city is losing nearly $600,000 a day in tax revenue from the shutdown of MGM Grand, MotorCity, and Greektown casinos. Duggan says it could be more than six months before they reopen at full capacity. [Detroit Free Press]

The Campus Health Center at Wayne State University is going digital during the pandemic. Through its Health Programming Gone Virtual initiative, the center is offering webinars, an “ask-an-expert” social media program, and digital resources on topics such as mindfulness techniques, nutrition, and dental hygiene. “While we miss having the face-to-face engagement with students and our WSU community, we are making our programming available online and in different formats to best serve the changing needs of our campus,” says Erika Blaskay, a community outreach nurse with the center. [Wayne State University Campus Health Center