Michelle Obama rally canceled due to coronavirus concerns

DETROIT (AP) — A voter participation rally in Detroit that was to feature former first lady Michelle Obama was canceled Wednesday because of concerns over the new coronavirus.

The March 27 ticketed event at the University of Detroit Mercy will not be held “out of an abundance of caution for the health and safety of attendees and individuals traveling to Detroit,” When We All Vote said in a release.

The nonpartisan, nonprofit voter advocacy organization also says it is exploring options to reschedule the event. Obama co-chairs When We All Vote and helped launch the organization in 2018 to boost voting.

Fears over the spread of the virus have prompted the cancellation of a number of events around the country. Some college sporting events will be played in arenas without fans in attendance. UCLA, Yale, Stanford and other schools also have announced plans to send students home and move classes online.

The virus has infected more than 1,000 people in the U.S. and killed at least 30.

Michigan officials announced Tuesday night that two middle-aged people in the Detroit area tested positive for COVID-19.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

An Oakland County woman who traveled outside the country and a Wayne County man who traveled within the U.S. are being treated for COVID-19 at area hospitals. Both cases still need to be reviewed and confirmed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Local officials will identify those who have been in close contact with the infected adults and make sure they are tested, if necessary, and monitored, said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s medical executive.

In Michigan, 77 people had been tested as of Tuesday. Fifty-seven were negative, two positive and results were pending for 18.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. China, where the virus first exploded, has had more than 81,000 infections and more than 3,000 deaths.

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