Detroit Mayor Says Social Distancing Is 'Starting To Work' In The City

By WWJ Newsradio 950

DETROIT (WWJ) - Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says there are signs that social distancing is working in the city's fight against COVID-19.

During his daily briefing Tuesday, the mayor said the death toll from the virus is now doubling every five or six days, instead of every two days like it did last month.

"Social distancing in the city of Detroit is starting to work," Duggan said. "Now, we have some really bad days ahead of us. We're gonna lose a lot of our neighbors, and in the coming days it's going to get worse before it gets better." 

The mayor continues to urge everyone to stay home, and said anyone who leaves their home should wear a mask.  

"The storm's not over," the mayor said, "but for the first time we can see that we can beat this, and we can beat it in weeks, not months, if we keep doing what we're doing. However, if the weather warms up tomorrow and people go back outside and cluster in groups, this will very quickly rise back to doubling every three or four days."

The city is now reporting 222 deaths from COVID-19, and nearly 5,500 confirmed cases. 

A piece of good news: Duggan said 450 Detroit police officers are back on the job after being infected by the virus or having to quarantine as a precaution.  

Also announced: starting Wednesday, each Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) bus will have a box of masks for each rider. 

The mayor said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave the city 20,000 surgical masks that were not needed by hospitals to be distributed on Detroit buses. 

“We ask every single rider, if you don’t have a mask before you get on the bus, please take one,” Duggan said.

The mask boxes will be similar to a tissue box to ensure they are sanitary and a sign to take one. Anyone who already has a mask or access to a mask is asked to leave them for other people.