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Michigan jobless claims ahead of 2019 totals

LANSING (AP) — Nearly 800,000 people have filed for unemployment benefits in Michigan since mid-March, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday, detailing the extraordinary impact of the coronavirus on the economy with only businesses deemed essential remaining open.

Whitmer said her stay-at-home order will be extended in the days ahead. Michigan, meanwhile, reported at least 17,221 coronavirus cases and 727 deaths, mostly concentrated in Detroit and the suburbs.

“We are not out of the woods yet,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s medical executive. “Our hospitals continue to be overwhelmed, especially in southeast Michigan.”

The state reported 1,503 new confirmed cases and 110 additional deaths — the largest daily jump in deaths yet.

Detroit police over the weekend issued 74 tickets for $1,000 each to people who violated Whitmer’s order against large gatherings, Assistant Chief James White said.

With 154 infected officers, the police department is “not going to be sympathetic,” Mayor Mike Duggan said.

UNEMPLOYMENT:

Whitmer said more people have applied for unemployment aid in the last two weeks than in all of 2019, when the state’s jobless rate was under 4%. She promised that people would get paid, despite computer woes and bureaucratic red tape, and said the size of the staff to handle the crush was growing.

“We will get to you,” the governor said.

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