Metro Detroit’s Latest COVID-19 Updates: Thursday, March 26

A quick look at what’s happening locally
college of pharmacy - covid-19 metro detroit updates
Students at University of Michigan’s College of Pharmacy have teamed up with Michigan Medicine to create hand sanitizer. // Photograph courtesy of U-M

As of March 26, New York leads the country in the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths, and Michigan falls within the top 10 states to be affected by the novel coronavirus, according to ongoing reporting by The New York Times. In total, the CDC reports there are now 68,440 cases in the U.S. and nearly 1,000 deaths. As the pandemic continues to spread, the Senate voted last night to approve a $2 trillion stimulus package that would support the economy. Today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi predicted that the House will pass the package on March 27 with bipartisan support. Here’s what’s happening in metro Detroit:

According to Michigan government, there are now 564 new cases of COVID-19 and 17 new deaths in the state. In total, there are 2,856 cases and 60 deaths. []

In a news conference this afternoon, Mayor Mike Duggan shared updates about how the city is handling the spread of the coronavirus. Duggan shared that 25 of the city’s police officers have tested positive for COVID-19, and nearly 400 are in quarantine. Within the next few days, about 130 of those officers should be back at work. He also shared that the city has seen a 15-20% drop in 911 calls and crime since the governor issued her executive order on March 23. The full conference — which also covers food programs for children, the new drive-up testing that will launch at the Michigan State Fairgrounds on March 27, and more — can be viewed on the mayor’s Facebook page. [Facebook: Mayor Mike Duggan]

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to President Trump on March 26 requesting that the federal government issue a major disaster declaration. “While the people and businesses of the great State of Michigan have shown incredible resilience and cooperation throughout this difficult time, we cannot weather this storm alone,” says Whitmer in a press release. The declaration, if granted in full, would help Michigan provide meals, temporary housing, and even mental health services to residents. The declaration would also provide funding that the state could use to set up field hospitals and other health care facilities. []

Detroit’s College for Creative Studies has launched a Student and Campus Impact Fund to further assist its students who are being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Those interested in making donations can visit, Prior to launching the fund, the college had transitioned to online-learning and supported students by refunding housing and meal plan costs for those moving home, offering wellness check-ins, ensuring housing to international students, and providing technology to those staying on campus. [College for Creative Studies]  

Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford and his wife, Kelly Stafford, have partnered with Roadside Bar and Grill in Bloomfield Hills, Zingerman’s Deli in Ann Arbor, Wahlburgers in Royal Oak, and Slows to Go in Detroit to provide up to three carry-out meals a day to local hospital employees. Those who wish to order food through the partnership must state they are a hospital worker when they call to order their food, and they will be asked to show their work badge when they pick up their meal. In an Instagram post shared on March 26, Kelly says, “This is such a crazy, scary time in life, and we couldn’t imagine what your days are like on the front line of it all. Please know we are thinking about y’all, praying for y’all, and how grateful we are for the selfless service you are providing.” [Detroit Lions]

University of Michigan College of Pharmacy students are teaming up with Michigan Medicine to compound hand sanitizer. Currently, they’re able to make a total of 1,200 liters of sanitizer, creating 200 to 300 16-ounce bottles daily. [University of Michigan]

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued a consumer alert on March 26 urging residents to look out for scammers who are using the news of the federal government’s plan to issue payments of $1,200 to millions of Americans to steal personal information. Nessel’s office says that Michiganders should be on high alert as scammers are likely to text, email, or call claiming to be from the government, and that official information about the federal stimulus payments can be found at  []