Governor: People with virus symptoms - stay home

By David Eggert and
Corey Williams
Associated Press

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday ordered that people with principal symptoms of the disease caused by the new coronavirus — a fever, atypical cough or unusual shortness of breath — stay home for a minimum number of days after the symptoms resolve.

The order in a state hit hard by COVID-19 — at least 417 had died thus far  — applies to all residents who test positive or have at least one of the three main symptoms.

They can leave for medical care and — if delivery is not an option — food, medicine and other life-sustaining supplies as long as they wear a homemade mask or other face covering. Outdoor exercise also is allowed.

People must stay home until three days after their symptoms go away and until seven days since they first appeared.

Others who have had close contact with infected individuals or those displaying symptoms should remain home for 14 days since the last contact or the symptomatic person tests negative.

The order also prohibits employers from firing or retaliating against employees if they or one of their close contacts have the disease or symptoms.

Commercial ovens can be used to resterilize N95 masks worn to protect against COVID-19, according to researchers.

The method could help guard against shortages of the masks which are sought by health care workers and first responders, the Lansing State Journal reported.

A team from Michigan State University met recently with officials at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing to find out if the school could sanitize or decontaminate protective equipment.

They built on a Stanford University study and then developed a process that uses forced, heated air in commercial ovens to decontaminate the respirator masks, MSU Extension Director Jeff Dwyer said.

More testing is needed and work is being done at the school’s Food Processing and Innovation Center, he added. The masks will be collected this week from local health care providers.

The process is expected to soon be used to sterilize masks for doctors and nurses.

N95 respirator reuse is often referred to as “limited reuse,” according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Limited reuse has been recommended and widely used as an option for conserving respirators during previous respiratory pathogen outbreaks and pandemics, the CDC said.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems are among those particularly susceptible to more severe illness, including pneumonia.

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