LANSING, Mich. — State Sen. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, issued the following statement Tuesday, updating his constituents on the COVID-19 coronavirus:
“COVID-19 is a newly identified type of coronavirus that is highly contagious and causes respiratory illness. Symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath.
“As of today, March 17, Michigan has 65 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with one case in Leelanau County.
“Yesterday, the governor also ordered all bars and restaurants in Michigan to close for dine-in guests by 3 p.m. Delivery and carryout will still be allowed. Several other states, including Ohio, have already taken this step.
“We are living in extraordinary times. With the spread of COVID-19 and subsequent disruptions to our daily lives due to these and other actions taken to help keep people healthy and safe, life is not business as usual.
“But life carries on, and there are several guidelines we should all follow to help ensure our own safety and the safety of others.
“First, it is vitally important that families take social distancing precautions seriously. Health care professionals have encouraged everyone to limit their social interactions to slow the spread of this virus.
“For example, if you must go to the store to replenish necessities, only one person from the family should be going. Be sure to also check in with the elderly, whether a relative or neighbor, to see if you can pick up their groceries or medications for them while you’re out.
“Follow these basic steps to help ensure you stay healthy:
• Wash your hands with soap and water;
• Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands;
• Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing;
• Avoid contact with people who are sick; and
• Stay home if you are sick and contact your health care provider.
“Above all, let us remember that while this virus poses a serious threat, it is not a reason to panic. As we continue to practice good hygiene, limit our exposure to crowds, and look after one another, we will all get through this together.
“Take this time to reflect on all we have, enjoy time with your family, and help those who are older and working parents with kids at home.
“And please don’t hesitate to contact my office toll-free at 1-855-347-8035 or by email at SenCVanderWall@Senate.Michigan.gov.
“This past Sunday we were called to a day of prayer by our president. As a man of faith, I have assurance of things hoped for and conviction of things not seen. Join me during this time for prayer and a deepening of our faith.”