Emma Winowiecki | Michigan Radio

Emma Winowiecki

Digital Producer

Emma is a producer and reporter for the digital news team at Michigan Radio. Her duties span all things web-related, from reporting news online to producing videos to creating maps and graphics for other reporters.

A native of northern Michigan, Emma is a graduate of the University of Michigan, with a dual degree in Communication Studies and Film Studies. As such, she is a movie and TV junkie, and is always up for a game of trivia. Her other passions include reading, cooking, and taking too many pictures of her dogs: Gus and Seamus.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Fourth of July is going to look a little different this year.

testing swab
Shutterstock image

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t slowing down in the United States. But in Michigan, things are starting to look up. Hospitalizations are down, the rate of case increase is slowing, and the state has been able to slowly reopen the economy over the past few weeks.

University of Michigan
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

After cancelling face-to-face classes this spring due to COVID-19, universities across Michigan are gearing up to bring students back to campus this fall.

Although the state of Michigan is doing relatively well with containing the outbreak, the epidemic is still far from over. Universities are trying to balance public health risks with the massive financial costs that would result from not reopening.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Everyone learned about Independence Day in school: on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence, which proclaimed the United States to be a free nation.

But not everyone was free. Nearly a century later, Black people remained enslaved throughout the country.

And many Americans still haven't learned about the day that celebrates their freedom: Juneteenth.

Adobe Stock

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Wednesday that Michigan schools may reopen under Phase 4 of the state's Safe Start Plan. 

The governor says she is optimistic schools will be able to reopen in the fall, with proper safety measures.

“Our students and educators have made incredible sacrifices these past few months to protect themselves and their families from the spread of COVID-19,” said Whitmer in a statement. "Schools must make sure to enact strict safety measures to continue protecting educators, students, and their families."

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

More than a thousand people gathered in Ann Arbor Monday for another day of protests against police brutality.

The protest began on the University of Michigan campus, where a number of speakers addressed the crowd, including Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI 12), state Rep. Yousef Rabhi (D-53), and state Sen. Jeff Irwin (D-18).

Brad Gowland / Michigan Radio

Michiganders are getting back on the move.

An analysis of anonymous cell phone mobility data from the Cuebiq Mobility Index shows that movement dropped significantly in the state ahead of Gov. Whitmer’s stay-at-home order that went into effect March 24, and managed to maintain that low level of movement for approximately four weeks.

But the average amount of movement has increased since April 12, despite the stay-at-home order remaining in place.


Governor Gretchen Whitmer is continuing to slowly re-open Michigan's economy.

Her latest order will allow retail stores and auto dealerships to re-open Tuesday, May 26. It also authorizes non-essential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures to begin Friday, May 29.

Small gatherings of groups of ten people or fewer, are allowed immediately, as long as participants practice social distancing.

absentee ballot in envelope
Nadya Peek / Flickr CC BY 2.0

President Donald Trump says he wants to hold up coronavirus funding for Michigan, saying erroneously that the state had mailed absentee ballots to millions of voters. Michigan used federal coronavirus relief funding to mail applications for absentee ballots, not the ballots themselves.

absentee ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson says she will send absentee ballot applications to all registered voters in Michigan for the August and November elections this year.

The decision was made so Michigan voters might avoid crowded polling places during the coronavirus pandemic.


Retail, restaurants, and offices that cannot operate remotely can reopen in parts of Michigan starting Friday, May 22.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order Monday that allows two regions outlined in the state's Safe Start Plan to reopen certain parts of the economy in time for Memorial Day weekend. Region 6 includes Traverse City, Alpena, Charlevoix, and other northern Michigan cities. Region 8 includes the entire Upper Peninsula.

Lou Anna Simon in Eaton County court
Cheyna Roth

A judge has dismissed criminal charges against former Michigan State University President Lou Anna Simon arising from the Larry Nassar sexual assault scandal.

Simon was ordered to trial last year on charges that she lied to police about her knowledge of a sexual misconduct complaint against Nassar. 

COVID-19 cases per 10,000 residents in Michigan counties
Brad Gowland / Michigan Radio

Eight weeks ago, only Wayne and Oakland counties had confirmed cases of COVID-19. Now, there are cases in all but five counties.

And while some counties have taken a harder hit than others, it’s difficult to understand the scale of the outbreak in each county solely based on case number. So, we broke it down by the number of cases per 10,000 people.

Logan Chadde

In addition to cancelling sports, movie premieres, and the Olympics, the COVID-19 outbreak has caused a number of notable events in Michigan to cancel.

Here is a list of major festivals and events that have been forced to cancel or postpone due to the outbreak.

There's no need to race to the store and begin hoarding food. Grocery stores will remain open, and the food supply chain will remain operational.

This post was originally published on March 23. It has been updated to include details from the latest stay home order, which Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on May 7.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered all Michiganders to stay at home through at least May 28 in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19. It extends her previous order, which was set to expire May 16. 

gretchen whitmer sitting at table

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has lengthened her stay-at-home order through May 15, while relaxing restrictions so some businesses can reopen and the public can participate in more outdoor activities like golf and motorized boating.

The measure is designed to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. It immediately replaces one that was scheduled to expire May 1.

Adobe Stock

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed life for Michiganders. But some have needed more help than others.

Gov. Whitmer has been encouraging those in need to call 2-1-1 for assistance. Now, Michigan 2-1-1 has released a dashboard showing the needs that are being met, and unmet, throughout the state.

closed sign in business window
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is extending her statewide "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order through April 30. The order also enacts stricter social distancing requirements in stores and workplaces.

The original order was set to expire April 13, but the number of COVID-19 cases and deaths continue to climb in Michigan.

Brad Gowland / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order went into effect on Tuesday, March 24. But it appears many Michiganders had already started staying home the week before, as it became clear that the COVID-19 outbreak had reached the state.

People across social media are sewing their own facemasks, but they don't do much to protect against coronavirus.
Adobe Stock

Update, April 6, 2020:

The Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance on facemasks for the general public Friday, recommending that people consider wearing cloth face coverings in public.

The guidance is based on growing evidence that presymptomatic and asymptomatic people can spread the virus. 

gretchen whitmer sitting at table
State of Michigan

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Thursday morning that ends all face-to-face K-12 schooling for the 2019-20 academic year. 

Instead of meeting in person, the order establishes guidelines for distance learning, which will continue.

Brad Gowland / Michigan Radio

For weeks, we've been hearing all about "flattening the curve." 

The idea is if everyone stays home and practices social distancing, the number of COVID-19 cases will increase at a rate that won't overwhelm the health care system. 

COVID-19 has changed life in Michigan. The disease is spreading quickly, and the news is changing right along with it.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives" order remains in effect til April 13. But what does that mean? There are a lot of questions surrounding COVID-19 and what we're supposed to do to stay safe. 

We've gathered some answers for you below.

gretchen whitmer sitting at table

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a "stay at home" order during an 11 a.m. press conference Monday as an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday morning, and will remain in place for at least the next three weeks.

The first person in Michigan has died from COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus

Beaumont Health announced Wednesday that a man in his 50s who tested positive for COVID-19 and had other underlying medical conditions died at Beaumont Hospital in Wayne County.

Noah Fortson/NPR

The White House coronavirus task force is briefing reporters on the latest on the pandemic. Watch the update live starting at 11:30 a.m.

Adobe Stock

As the nation begins to cope with the coronavirus pandamic, Michiganders are doing their part by staying home. Social distancing is key to slowing the spread of the virus, but being stuck at home can be, well, a bit boring after a while.

To help cope with the monotony, we put together a list of Michigan books and authors for you to check out while you practice social distancing. Peruse the list below, and if you see anything you like, consider ordering it online from your local bookstore.

Adobe Stock

Starting at 3 p.m. Monday, many businesses in Michigan will temporarily close.

University of Michigan near Rackham and Michigan League
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A number of universities in Michigan are suspending face-to-face classes now that there are known cases of COVID-19 in the state.

The University of Michigan, Michigan State University, Michigan Tech, Central Michigan University, Eastern Michigan University, Wayne State University, Western Michigan University, Northern Michigan University, and Oakland University all announced Wednesday that they will be moving to online classes.