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Michigan reports first two coronavirus cases

Michigan has reported its first two presumptive cases of novel coronavirus, state officials announced Tuesday night.

The two cases are in Wayne County and Oakland County, state health officials announced alongside Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D).

"It has moved into Michigan," Whitmer said. "Please make sure your family and friends are taking every preventative measure possible."

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Thirty-nine people in Michigan have already tested negative for the virus, with another 63 approved to undergo testing and hundreds being monitored, ABC affiliate WXYZ reported.

Whitmer activated the state Emergency Operations Center in late February and created four task forces to stem the spread of the virus.

These include task forces covering the provision of medical services, K-12 public schools and higher education, the workforce, and state operations, including state-owned facilities.

“I’ve signed an executive order declaring a state of emergency in order to maximize our efforts and assist local governments and officials to slow the spread. It’s crucial that Michiganders continue to take preventative measures,” Whitmer said Tuesday, advising residents to regularly wash their hands and cover their mouths when coughing.

“All these sound simple but they work and they will help mitigate the spread. The main goal of these efforts is to slow the spread of the virus, not to stop it,” she said.

The emergency operations center on Tuesday also activated Michigan’s Joint Information Center to better coordinate communications between state agencies in response to the virus.

“During emergencies, whether it be a natural disaster or a public health issue, the Joint Information Center is used to track important information and provide it to the public,” Capt. Emmitt McGowan, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division, said in a statement Tuesday. “Timely and accurate communication is key to ensuring the safety of Michigan’s residents.”