We are living in unprecedented times in regards to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. The information available and the actions being taken are changing by the hour. In the coming days, I encourage you to seek accurate and reliable information about this public health crisis. I will do my part to provide as much information as possible as it becomes available to me.
What we do know as of the time of this writing is that 53 Michigan residents have tested positive for the disease and there have thankfully not been any fatalities to date in our state. Furthermore, none of the individuals live in Newaygo, Lake or Oceana counties. While the actions being taken may seem extreme, especially for such a small number to date, I assure you they are based on science and from lessons learned from countries such as Italy, South Korea, and China who are several weeks ahead of us in this outbreak. The virus is expected to spread rapidly and will overwhelm our medical system as it has done in these countries if we do not take proactive steps to slow it’s spread.
I encourage you not to panic as we have experts actively monitoring the situation and also have the most advanced health care system in the world. Where we can all be of help in this situation is to follow the recommendations and rules directed by the governor in recent days. This includes avoiding large gatherings of people, making physical contact such as shaking hands, and following the orders to close gyms, dine-in restaurants, bars, and casinos. What will not be helpful is spreading false or misleading information on social media and hoarding supplies such as hand sanitizer or toilet paper.
We will get through this event as we have all other challenges our country has faced in the past. For reliable and up to date information please visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirus and www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/. For any health related questions about COVID-19, Michigan residents can call 1-888-535-6136. The hotline is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Thank you for your cooperation as we work through these coming days.
Representative Scott VanSingel
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