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MSU says health care grads can help; deaths rise to 259

DETROIT — Hundreds of new health care graduates from Michigan State University are available to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, the school said Tuesday.

State officials have made a desperate plea for health professionals as the number of cases rises each day. MSU said the state has created a temporary license for nurses who are typically required to first take a national exam.

Doctors from the colleges of Human Medicine and Osteopathic Medicine also can work ahead of their medical residencies, which start in July, MSU said.

The state’s medical executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said Michigan needs nurses and acute-care doctors.

THE LATEST

A nursing home in western Michigan said 31 residents and five staff members have COVID-19, the illness caused by the coronavirus. Metron of Cedar Springs is 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Grand Rapids. Two residents were being treated outside the nursing home.

“The rest remain in our care, are stable and it does not appear as if any of them are at risk to be transferred at this time,” said Paul Pruitt, operations director.

The number of coronavirus cases reported statewide reached 7,615 Tuesday, a 17% increase, while deaths rose to 259 from 184. Detroit has 27% of cases and 29% of all deaths.

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness including death.

TREATMENT

Henry Ford Health System said hydroxychloroquine, known as an anti-malaria drug, has been effective in treating seriously ill COVID-19 patients at its Detroit-area hospitals.

Dr. Marcus Zervos cautioned it’s not a “miracle cure.” But he said patients on ventilators have recovered and been discharged. No drugs have been approved as a treatment, cure, preventive medicine or vaccine for COVID-19, but hydroxychloroquine can be used in certain cases.

“I don’t want to give the impression that this is the absolute essential therapy. We’re doing what we think is best under the circumstances,” Zervos said.

FAITH WALK

With Catholic Masses canceled, a priest decided to walk about 3 miles (4.8 kilometers) through Gwinn, a town in the Upper Peninsula, displaying the Holy Eucharist. The Rev. Allen Mott was led Sunday by a pickup truck, which played sacred music.

“I know that people, not only Catholics, need God’s blessings in this time,” Mott said Tuesday. “There were people looking out their windows. There were people in their cars. People were telling me they were crying. We’re doing it every Sunday until we’re able to go back to Mass.”

Follow Ed White at http://twitter.com/edwhiteap

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