Photo courtesy the Office of the Governor
Photo courtesy the Office of the Governor

The hardest-hit city in Michigan is showing improvement handling the coronavirus pandemic, and access to tests is getting easier across the state. 

MICHIGAN — In her update on the novel coronavirus Tuesday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that it would no longer take an order from a doctor to get tested for the virus. Those with mild symptoms or those who must leave their homes for work can and should get tested, Whitmer said.

This was part of a new order issued by Whitmer, Executive Order 2020-104

People eligible for testing include those showing symptoms, who have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 or coronavirus symptoms, who have worked outside the home for at least 10 days or who live or work inside a nursing home, prison or other congregate setting.

“If you fit this expanded criteria, I hope that you will find a test site near you and go get tested,” said Whitmer, who directed residents to a website with a list of testing locations.

Whitmer additionally announced that nurses and other medical professionals will be able to order tests. Anyone who leaves home to go to work can be tested without securing a doctor’s order in advance. This includes self-swab testing that is being piloted by CVS pharmacies across Michigan. 

RELATED: Here’s Gov. Whitmer’s Step-By-Step Plan to Reopening Northern Michigan Businesses

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, noted that while cases have largely slowed and stabilized on the east side of the state, cases on the west side are increasing. 

Cases are steadily declining in southwestern Michigan and the hard-hit Detroit area, where a hospital network said it had less than 100 COVID-19 patients for the first time in more than two months. Cases continue to be low in northern Michigan. The Grand Rapids region has the highest rate of new cases, she said, at about 40 cases a day per million residents.

The state also unveiled a tool that shows risk and spread across the various “laborsheds” identified by the MI Safe Start plan. Most of the state remains in Phase 3, or Medium-High Risk, while Traverse City and the Upper Peninsula fall in Phase 4, or Medium Risk. 

“We’ve been twelve weeks into this,” Whitmer said. “COVID-19 is still very present, though. It’s still a reality here in Michigan.”

Michigan reported 54 new deaths and 504 new diagnoses Wednesday. Additionally, 14 previously unreported deaths have been identified and added to the Michigan Disease Surveillance System. Michigan’s totals have risen to 55,608 cases and 5,334 deaths. 

SEE ALSO:  How Wayne County’s Sheriff is Leading By Example During Michigan’s Coronavirus Crisis

According to the daily update from the state, the county-level breakdown is as follows:

  • Alcona: 12 (1 death)
  • Allegan: 211 (6 deaths)  
  • Alpena: 95 (9 deaths)
  • Antrim: 12 
  • Arenac: 33 (1 death)  
  • Baraga: 1
  • Barry: 62 (2 deaths)
  • Bay: 294 (22 deaths)
  • Benzie: 4
  • Berrien: 600 (48 deaths)
  • Branch: 105 (2 deaths)
  • Calhoun: 351 (22 deaths)
  • Cass: 79 (2 deaths)
  • Charlevoix: 15 (1 death)
  • Cheboygan: 21 (1 death)
  • Chippewa: 2
  • Clare: 17 (2 deaths)
  • Clinton: 142 (10 deaths)
  • Crawford: 58 (5 death)
  • Delta: 17 (2 deaths)
  • Dickinson: 5 (2 deaths)
  • Eaton: 179 (6 deaths)
  • Emmet: 21 (2 deaths)
  • Genesee: 1,971 (247 deaths)
  • Gladwin: 18 (1 death)
  • Gogebic: 5 (1 death)
  • Grand Traverse: 23 (5 deaths)
  • Gratiot: 74 (8 deaths)
  • Hillsdale: 169 (24 deaths)
  • Houghton 4
  • Huron: 42 (1 death)
  • Ingham: 717 (25 deaths)
  • Ionia: 145 (3 deaths)
  • Iosco: 89 (9 deaths)
  • Isabella: 74 (7 deaths)
  • Jackson: 439 (26 deaths)
  • Kalamazoo: 814 (51 deaths)
  • Kalkaska: 19 (2 deaths)
  • Kent: 3,454 (76 deaths)
  • Lake: 5
  • Lapeer: 188 (30 deaths)
  • Leelanau: 11
  • Lenawee: 147 (4 deaths)
  • Livingston: 391 (26 deaths)
  • Luce: 3
  • Mackinac: 6
  • Macomb: 6,558 (784 deaths)
  • Manistee: 11
  • Marquette: 54 (10 deaths)
  • Mason: 31
  • Mecosta: 20 (2 deaths)
  • Menominee: 8
  • Midland: 80 (8 deaths)
  • Missaukee: 16 (1 death)
  • Monroe: 464 (19 deaths)
  • Montcalm: 65 (1 death)
  • Montmorency: 5
  • Muskegon: 606 (33 deaths)
  • Newaygo: 96
  • Oakland: 8,260 (961 deaths)
  • Oceana: 85 (2 deaths)
  • Ogemaw: 21
  • Osceola: 11
  • Oscoda: 5 (1 death)
  • Otsego: 100 (10 deaths)
  • Ottawa: 715 (31 deaths)
  • Presque Isle: 11
  • Roscommon: 21
  • Saginaw: 1,002 (107 deaths)
  • Sanilac: 40 (5 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft: 4
  • Shiawassee: 237 (26 deaths)
  • St Clair: 431 (37 deaths) 
  • St Joseph: 109 (2 death)
  • Tuscola: 186 (23 deaths)
  • Van Buren: 131 (6 deaths)
  • Washtenaw: 1,305 (97 deaths)
  • Wayne: 19,999 (2,406 deaths) (Detroit alone has 10,872 cases and 1,347 deaths)
  • Wexford: 11 (2 deaths)
  • Michigan Department of Corrections: 3,348 (64 deaths)
  • Federal Corrections Institute: 138 (4 deaths)
  • Unknown: 16
  • Out of State: 64

Total: 55,608 cases, 5,334 deaths

The Associated Press contributed to this report.