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Michigan up to 33 cases; MSU has case, postpones graduation

March 15, 2020 GMT
FILE - In this Tuesday, March 10, 2020, file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces the state's first two cases of coronavirus, at the Michigan State Police headquarters in Windsor Township, Mich. Coronavirus cases in Michigan rose sharply late Thursday, March 12, 2020, as officials announced more cases, and as some K-12 schools began announcing closures while others began training staff to potentially move to online learning only. (AP Photo/David Eggert, File)
FILE - In this Tuesday, March 10, 2020, file photo, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces the state's first two cases of coronavirus, at the Michigan State Police headquarters in Windsor Township, Mich. Coronavirus cases in Michigan rose sharply late Thursday, March 12, 2020, as officials announced more cases, and as some K-12 schools began announcing closures while others began training staff to potentially move to online learning only. (AP Photo/David Eggert, File)

DETROIT (AP) — Michigan State University reported a coronavirus case Saturday and also said that May graduation events would be postponed for thousands of students.

“We were notified (Friday) of our first confirmed case related to our MSU community, and we anticipate there will be more,” the school said on Twitter.

No other details were released. Meanwhile, state officials said there were eight new cases, raising the number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan to 33, all announced since Tuesday night.

Christian Wood, a player with the Detroit Pistons, has tested positive, a person with direct knowledge of the situation told The Associated Press.

A staff member at Osborn High School in Detroit also was infected, although the staffer has been released from a hospital, said Superintendent Nikolai Vitti. The city health department recommended 14 days of self-quarantine for students or faculty who had primary contact with the staffer.

“Other staff members have indicated they are demonstrating symptoms of COVID-19,” Vitti said.

For most people, the virus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. But for some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

“The spread of coronavirus is very serious, and Spartans need to understand the critical importance of social distancing and how the virus can spread quickly in large crowds. We need everyone’s cooperation in this crisis,” MSU said.

School President Samuel Stanley Jr. said he’s been “very concerned and troubled” to see news coverage of long lines of students waiting to get into East Lansing bars, especially after in-person classes were canceled Wednesday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has closed all K-12 school s and banned most gatherings of more than 250 people through April 5.

The University of Michigan, which also has stopped all in-person classes, canceled spring commencement Friday. MSU had nearly 8,000 graduates in May 2019.

“We will make every effort to reschedule and allow our Class of 2020 an appropriate time and place to celebrate their successful Spartan journey,” MSU said.

Elsewhere, Spectrum Health, a major health-care provider in Grand Rapids, erected a tent and opened a drive-up testing station for people with a doctor’s order in western Michigan.

The chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, meanwhile, is at home in suburban Detroit awaiting the results of a coronavirus test after experiencing a fever and flu-like symptoms, a spokesman said.

Tests for strep throat and flu were negative, but Ronna McDaniel’s doctor “determined a test for COVID-19 was necessary given her symptoms,” spokesman Michael Ahrens said.

Oakland County, which has nine cases, ordered certain businesses to reduce occupancy by 50 percent, starting Monday through April 5. It covers places with a food license as well as fitness centers and entertainment venues. Grocery stores are exempt.

“Strong measures are necessary to flatten the curve of coronavirus cases,” health officer Leigh-Anne Stafford said.

In Pontiac, cars lined up to get one of 1,300 bags of free food in an effort by the Oakland County sheriff’s office, Meijer stores and a children’s charity. The distributions are common, organizers said, but they’re even more important since the closure of schools due to the virus.

“These are obviously times filled with anxiety,” Sheriff Mike Bouchard said.

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The Associated Press receives support for health and science coverage from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.

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AP sports writer Tim Reynolds contributed to this story.

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