virus

The state health department's daily report of coronavirus cases for Monday is delayed due to technical difficulties, the agency said on its website.

Michigan added a total of 1,088 new confirmed cases of the virus since Saturday, bringing the cumulative total to 112,612. There were 10 deaths related to COVID-19 in the state Sunday and Monday, bringing Michigan's confirmed death toll to 6,601.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has stopped releasing numbers on Sundays. According to its website, Monday's "daily case count represents new referrals of confirmed cases to the MDSS since Saturday, Sept. 12. Over the two days, the average number of new confirmed cases is 544 per day."

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health reported 17 new cases of the virus and no new deaths Monday. The county's total number of cases is now 2,968, with 1,907 recovered and 65 deaths related to COVID-19. 

The Ottawa County health department reported 30 new cases Sunday and 19 on Saturday.

Michigan launches $5M in ads to urge masks to fight virus

LANSING (AP) — Michigan on Monday launched a $5 million advertising campaign to urge people to wear a mask to fight the coronavirus, with a focus on appealing to those who believe the state's requirement infringes on their rights.

The "spread hope, not COVID" message includes three public service announcements. Two feature military members saying they wear a face covering to protect their freedom and the freedom of others, saying it can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 by 70 percent. A sergeant shown in both ads puts on a mask showing the American flag.

"The more we wear masks, the sooner this is going to end, the sooner we can return to normal. Whether we wear masks is going to have a direct effect," Robert Gordon, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services, said in an interview. "We want to speak to folks who are skeptical in a way that's respectful, that honors their perspective and says, 'Yes, freedom's important. But wearing masks protects freedom and gets us close to day when this is over.'"

The ads are based on a survey of about 2,000 residents and are being funded with federal virus relief aid.

The goal, Gordon said, is to "reinforce in a hopeful way" the importance of social distancing and wearing a face covering even if it is a burden. The ad campaign is separate from one, known as "Rona," that targets young adults and is funded primarily by businesses.

"This campaign is geared toward all Michiganders," he said.

Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's order requires face coverings in enclosed public spaces and crowded outdoor places where distancing cannot be consistently maintained. Masks also are mandated in many organized sports.

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