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

The barber from Owosso is trying to get his licenses back, but Michigan’s chief health official says that risks lives.

LANSING, MI — Salons and barbershops operating in defiance of the Stay Home, Stay Safe orders and the MI Safe Start re-engagement plan pose an “imminent threat” to Michiganders’ safety.

That was the opinion of Michigan’s highest-ranking medical expert, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, who testified in a state administrative hearing that began by conference call Tuesday. The hearing was about Karl Manke, the Owosso barber who has lost his licenses as a result of defying orders to remain closed during the novel coronavirus pandemic, trying to get those licenses back. 

“It is an imminent threat to public health,” she said, adding, “I don’t believe someone can cut hair and be six feet away.”

Khaldun referred to social distancing standards set by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that say six feet is the minimum safe distance to maintain to help mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus. As The ‘Gander reported, that may be a conservative estimate — some studies suggest the virus can spread 13 feet through air. 

READ MORE: This Barber Defied the Stay-At-Home Order. He Just Had His License Pulled.

She was also concerned that supporters of Manke traveled across the state to get their hair cut by him both in Owosso and at Operation Haircut in Lansing. The ‘Gander previously reported that these kinds of events have been shown to potentially carry the imminent threat posed by the virus hundreds of miles and across state lines. 

“You would have people mingling, if you will, from different areas of the state where there may be different rates of community spread,” Khaldun said.

Across the state, 406 new coronavirus diagnoses were made Thursday, and the state announced 38 deaths. Those bring Michigan’s total confirmed cases to 56,014, of which 5,372 have died. As a whole, America hit the sobering milestone of 100,000 coronavirus fatalities, The ‘Gander reported

Michigan’s case fatality rate is 9.6%, showing a rise over the past week. The fatality rate in Detroit specifically is up to 12.4%. As the overall rate of cases and deaths continue to fall, the fact that new confirmed cases are falling faster than daily deaths means the fatality rate continues to climb. 

Manke won’t testify because of the pending tickets, said his attorney David Kallman.

SEE ALSO: Detroit Cases May Be Falling. That’s Not True Of Grand Rapids.

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

  • Alcona: 14 (1 death)
  • Allegan: 214 (6 deaths)  
  • Alpena: 94 (9 deaths)
  • Antrim: 12 
  • Arenac: 33 (1 death)  
  • Baraga: 1
  • Barry: 62 (2 deaths)
  • Bay: 296 (22 deaths)
  • Benzie: 4
  • Berrien: 606 (49 deaths)
  • Branch: 109 (2 deaths)
  • Calhoun: 357 (22 deaths)
  • Cass: 80 (2 deaths)
  • Charlevoix: 15 (1 death)
  • Cheboygan: 21 (1 death)
  • Chippewa: 2
  • Clare: 18 (2 deaths)
  • Clinton: 139 (10 deaths)
  • Crawford: 58 (5 death)
  • Delta: 17 (2 deaths)
  • Dickinson: 5 (2 deaths)
  • Eaton: 186 (6 deaths)
  • Emmet: 21 (2 deaths)
  • Genesee: 1,983 (249 deaths)
  • Gladwin: 18 (1 death)
  • Gogebic: 5 (1 death)
  • Grand Traverse: 23 (5 deaths)
  • Gratiot: 74 (8 deaths)
  • Hillsdale: 169 (24 deaths)
  • Houghton 5
  • Huron: 44 (1 death)
  • Ingham: 729 (25 deaths)
  • Ionia: 147 (4 deaths)
  • Iosco: 90 (9 deaths)
  • Isabella: 76 (7 deaths)
  • Jackson: 445 (27 deaths)
  • Kalamazoo: 820 (54 deaths)
  • Kalkaska: 19 (2 deaths)
  • Kent: 3,540 (79 deaths)
  • Lake: 5
  • Lapeer: 188 (30 deaths)
  • Leelanau: 11
  • Lenawee: 150 (4 deaths)
  • Livingston: 391 (26 deaths)
  • Luce: 3
  • Mackinac: 8
  • Macomb: 6,586 (787 deaths)
  • Manistee: 11
  • Marquette: 54 (10 deaths)
  • Mason: 31
  • Mecosta: 20 (2 deaths)
  • Menominee: 8
  • Midland: 81 (8 deaths)
  • Missaukee: 16 (1 death)
  • Monroe: 468 (19 deaths)
  • Montcalm: 65 (1 death)
  • Montmorency: 5
  • Muskegon: 619 (36 deaths)
  • Newaygo: 101
  • Oakland: 8,281 (971 deaths)
  • Oceana: 85 (2 deaths)
  • Ogemaw: 21 (1 death)
  • Osceola: 11
  • Oscoda: 5 (1 death)
  • Otsego: 100 (10 deaths)
  • Ottawa: 744 (31 deaths)
  • Presque Isle: 11
  • Roscommon: 21
  • Saginaw: 1,013 (108 deaths)
  • Sanilac: 40 (5 deaths)
  • Schoolcraft: 4
  • Shiawassee: 239 (26 deaths)
  • St Clair: 438 (37 deaths) 
  • St Joseph: 110 (2 death)
  • Tuscola: 186 (23 deaths)
  • Van Buren: 134 (6 deaths)
  • Washtenaw: 1,313 (100 deaths)
  • Wayne: 20,059 (2,410 deaths) (Detroit alone has 10,903 cases and 1,351 deaths)
  • Wexford: 11 (3 deaths)
  • Michigan Department of Corrections: 3,604 (65 deaths)
  • Federal Corrections Institute: 142 (4 deaths)
  • Unknown: 3
  • Out of State: 70

Total: 56,014 cases, 5,372 deaths

The Associated Press contributed to this report.