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Plus, Detroit will begin free testing for all residents in the latest round of updates. 

As of May 18, Michigan has seen a total of 51,915 positive cases of the novel coronavirus, with 4,915 deaths. However, data shows that the state’s cases are on the downfall as Michigan moves forward with Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “MI Start Safe” plan to re-engage the state’s economy. 

The city of Detroit leads all of Michigan with 10,394 cases and 1,263 deaths. Wayne County, excluding the city of Detroit, follows with 8,760 cases and 966 deaths and Oakland County comes after with 8,059 cases and 910 deaths. 

Southern Oakland County in particular has been hit the hardest. According to the county’s Zip code map, Oak Park is the single Zip code that has seen the largest number of cases, reporting a total of 518 positive cases and 54 deaths.  

The four Zip codes that make up Southfield also show a high number of cases. In its entirety, Southfield has seen a total of 1,554 cases and 199 deaths. The Zip codes include 48075, 48076, 48033 and 48034. 

Oakland County began drive-thru testing in Southfield on May 4 on Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. by appointment only at the South Oakland Health Center. Testing also occurs on Tuesdays and Thursday by appointment only at the Oakland County government campus in Pontiac. The Novi Civic Center hosts drive-thru testing on Fridays. 

On April 30, Oakland County also began testing all residents and staff members at senior independent living centers throughout the county.  

The Detroit News reported that on May 17, Detroit had no new deaths from COVID-19 for the first time since the pandemic hit the city. However, according to their data, there is a delay in reporting. Detroit also reported a low of 13 confirmed COVID-19 cases in the city on May 18. 

The state of Michigan recorded their record low of deaths, counting 11 deaths throughout the entirety of the state on Sunday, May 17. As data shows, Michigan and the city of Detroit have not recorded these low numbers since the pandemic began back in March. 

Detroit will now be expanding its testing to cover all residents, regardless of whether or not they are symptomatic. The testing was originally only for first responders and essential workers, then evolved to include senior members of the community, but now has been opened to all residents of Detroit. 

The testing takes place at the Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit. Residents must make an appointment and provide proof of residency. Residents can call (313) 230-0505 to schedule their appointment. 

Whitmer Announces Partial Reopening for Northern Michigan 

Governor Whitmer announced on Monday, May 18 the partial reopening of Northern Michigan by signing Executive Order 2020-92, allowing the reopening of retail businesses, office work that cannot be done remotely, and restaurants and bars with limited seating. The plan includes the Traverse City region and all of the Upper Peninsula.  

The Traverse City region, which encompasses 17 counties, has seen a total of 441 cases and 37 deaths. The entire Upper Peninsula has confirmed 101 cases and 15 deaths.  

The partial reopening will begin on Friday, May 22, in time for the Memorial Day holiday. All businesses that will reopen must adopt adequate safety measures by providing COVID-19 training to workers that cover workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, notifying the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected/confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and how to report unsafe working conditions.  

Restaurants and bars will also have to limit capacity to 50% of their normal seating, to keep groups at least six feet from one another, to require their servers to wear face coverings and to follow rigorous disinfection protocols.  

“This is a big step, but we must all remember to continue doing our part to protect ourselves and our families from the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said in a press release. “It’s crucial that all businesses do everything in their power to protect their workers, customers, and their families. And as we approach Memorial Day weekend, I encourage everyone to be smart and be safe. My team and I will continue to work around the clock to protect the people of Michigan.”  

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