Windsor

Michigan deaths cross 2,000 but hospitals say virus cases flattening

Deaths in Michigan from COVID-19 now exceed 2,000, and Windsor's mayor says it's too soon to re-open the broder to non-essential travel.

Windsor's mayor says too early to re-open the border to non-essential traffic

Windsor's mayor said it's too soon to re-open the border with Detroit, as state of Michigan looks to reinvigorate economy flattened by COVID-19 pandemic. (Patrick Morrell/CBC)

Deaths in Michigan from COVID-19 now exceed 2,000.

But major health care providers in southeastern Michigan are reporting significant reductions in the number of patients.

Henry Ford Health System said it had 617 COVID-19 patients, the lowest number since April 1 and Beaumont Health had 819 patients, down 19 per cent from last week.

States are now scrambling to find strategies to reopen their virus-stunted economies. Republicans said businesses in regions that aren't virus hot spots should be allowed to reopen more quickly than businesses in other areas.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she hopes to begin reopening parts of Michigan's economy on May 1. Whitmer did not specifically identify which businesses may be allowed to open but said relaxing stay-home restrictions will come in phases. 

Meanwhile, Windsor's mayor said it's far too early to contemplate re-opening the border to non-essential traffic.

The restrictions agreed to by Canada and the U.S. are due to expire on Sunday and President Donald Trump has suggested the border could re-open sooner rather than later. 

"The thought of Windsorites doing what they normally do, just going over for dinner or gas and groceries and entertainment, those kinds of things, you wouldn't want that right now," said Mayor Drew Dilkens. "Even if it was open, you wouldn't want that right now, so the fact that nothing's open, I think is actually helpful in the conversation because there's not much to do over there."

Ontario's premier is also urging the prime minister to ensure the border remains closed.

On Friday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government is in constant communication with the U.S. and they're working with the Americans to ensure the border remains secure.

Trudeau said he didn't expect borders to open anytime soon, and the government would listen to science before making a change. 

With files from the Associated Press

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