As the coronavirus outbreak worsens in the U.S., two dealerships in one Michigan community are grappling with 21 cases of COVID-19 among store employees.
Public health officials identified eight recent cases among employees at Shaheen Chevrolet in Lansing, Mich., and 13 cases among the staff at Sundance Chevrolet in nearby Grand Ledge, Mich.
In the case of Shaheen Chevrolet, the dealership was closed Saturday, Nov. 7, for cleaning and reopened Monday, Nov. 9. Owner Ralph Shaheen told Automotive News that no customers were exposed and described the situation at the dealership as "under control." The eight employees who tested positive are expected to return to work by the end of next week, he said.
A Sundance Chevrolet representative declined to comment. But the Barry-Eaton District Health Department confirmed the cases at Sundance. It's not clear whether any customers visiting the dealership were exposed to infected employees. The health department warned in a statement that individuals who were at Sundance Chevrolet between Oct. 29 and Nov. 6 should monitor for symptoms and limit contact with others.
"If you start experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, seek a COVID-19 test as soon as possible, and start isolating yourself immediately," the statement said.
COVID-19 cases have increased in recent weeks, with an average of 30 new cases each day in Eaton County, compared to 3 new cases each day in July, the department said.
The rise in cases is part of a bigger surge across the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, new cases in the U.S. have more than tripled from 53,363 new cases on Oct. 10 to 194,610 reported Friday over the previous 24-hour period.
As of Nov. 13, Michigan had a total of 244,741 confirmed cases with 8,516 new cases reported Friday.