Emma Winowiecki | Michigan Radio
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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.

Gretchen Whitmer wearing black mask in pink coat receives shot from doctor in white coat.
State of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced a plan to tie the lifting of coronavirus restrictions to Michigan's vaccination rate, setting four specific benchmarks that must be reached to return to normal. As more people get shots, she says, the state will allow in-person work for all business sectors, relax indoor capacity limits and ultimately lift them.

The University of Michigan West Quad
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan will require COVID-19 vaccinations for students who live on its Ann Arbor campus this fall.

President Mark Schlissel said Friday that shots won't be mandated for faculty, staff and others students "at this time," but he strongly encouraged everyone to be vaccinated.

Oakland County Health Dept.

Michigan paused the use of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine today after federal health officials recommended doing so Tuesday morning.

A healthcare worker process a COVID-19 test at Beaumont.
Beaumont Health

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says it has identified the first case of the P.1 COVID-19 variant in a Bay County resident.

The P.1 variant, which originated in Brazil, is the second new variant of the virus found in Michigan. The B.1.1.7 variant, known as the U.K. variant, has been spreading through the state since it was first identified in February.

It’s been one year since Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the first cases of COVID-19 in Michigan.

That spring, Michigan became a COVID hotspot. The first wave of the pandemic hit southeast Michigan especially hard. By April 10, 2020, Detroit alone accounted for 23% of the state's total cases, and 32% of deaths.

Late in the evening on March 10, 2020, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the first cases of coronavirus in Michigan. In the days that followed, the state was on alert as the disease COVID-19 took hold.

A two-week shutdown became a month, then three months, then six months. Now, one year later, all of our lives look very different. Masks are commonplace, many of us still work from home, and students continue to learn remotely. Weddings and trips were postponed or cancelled. Lives were put on hold, and worse. More than 16,000 Michiganders have died of COVID-19. Over 650,000 have tested positive.

illustration of COVID-19 related things
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Spectrum Health

The state of Michigan is expanding vaccine eligibility this month. On March 8, anyone over 50 with a medical condition or disability, plus anyone who acts as a caregiver for children with special needs, can sign up for an appointment. And later in the month, on March 22, all Michiganders aged 50 or older will be eligible.

The news comes one day after President Joe Biden announced a major boost in vaccine production nationwide. Biden says he expects enough vaccines to be produced for all American adults by the end of May. The Food and Drug Administration approved the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine last week.

governor rick snyder
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This is a developing story. Check for updates below.

The Associated Press has learned that former Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, his health director and other ex-officials have been told they're being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water scandal.

COURTESY OF SPECTRUM HEALTH

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that it will release millions of doses of the COVID vaccine to states.

The move comes after a letter was sent to the department last week, in which Governor Gretchen Whitmer and eight other governors requested that the federal government distribute vaccines being held back by the Trump Administration. 

Anyone over age 65 can start getting vaccinated starting January 11.
Adobe Stock

Starting January 11, some frontline essential workers and anyone over the age of 65 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday. That’s a pivot from the CDC’s guidance, which recommends only allowing those over the age of 75 to be part of the next phase of vaccinations, along with frontline workers.

2020 has been a roller coaster like no other. For Stateside, the year kicked off on a high note when the incomparable April Baer officially started as host. Everything was running smoothly until March, when the team suddenly had to figure out how to produce an hour-long daily show remotely.

Despite the challenges, Stateside has been there for you everyday with timely, in-depth conversations. The team covered the early days of the pandemic, an election like no other, the racial justice movement, environmental news, state politics, national news, and so much more. Oh, and on top of that, they launched a podcast. Casual.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

This year has changed everyone’s lives in so many ways. But for those who have lost loved ones to COVID-19, battled the disease themselves, or worked on the front lines, 2020 has been a tragedy.

Michigan Radio has been telling the stories of those we lost, those who fought, and those who survived this year. Here are some of those stories:

wikimedia commons

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that she will extend the “pause” on indoor restaurant dining and in-person high school and college classes for another 12 days.

Whitmer's initial three-week order was implemented through a Department of Health and Human Services epidemic order, and was set to expire Wednesday. The extension will last through December 20.

voting booths
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Two Michigan Republicans who initially blocked certification of Wayne County's election results despite no evidence of fraud before approving them now say they want to rescind their certification.

Monica Palmer and William Hartmann, the two Republican canvassers in Wayne County, said in a statement late Wednesday that they only voted to certify the results after "hours of sustained pressure."

Adobe Stock

Election Day is in one week, and it’s becoming more apparent that this one will probably be a bit different than previous presidential elections. This is mainly to do with the fact that the country is in the midst of a global pandemic (which is growing increasingly worse), and millions of Americans will be voting by mail.

There is a lot of speculation about what this election will look like. But after worries over election security, warnings from election officials about delays, and demands from the president that the country "must have final total" on November 3, voters will probably be on alert for anything to go wrong.

The University of Michigan West Quad
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Undergraduate students at the University of Michigan will be required to stay in place for two weeks effective immediately, the Washtenaw County Health Department ordered Tuesday. 

person dropping absentee ballot into ballot box
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Election Day is now just two weeks away and Monday was the last day for Michiganders to register to vote.

Any eligible Michigan voter can register online or by mail

If you are not registered by the end of Monday, you can still register in-person at your city or township clerk's office through Election Day. When you register in-person, you can also request to vote early, fill out your ballot, and return it all in one visit.

Western Michigan University's Main Campus
user TheKuLeR / Wikimedia Commons

Michigan’s higher education institutions are together reporting 4,921 cases associated with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks, according to the latest outbreak data published by the state health department on Monday.

That dwarfs the 346 cases reported from pre K-12 schools, indicating both the speed at which outbreaks have spread on campus, as well as the amount of testing happening at colleges and universities.  

migop.org

Republican National Committee Chair Ronna Romney McDaniel tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday.

The news comes hours after the White House announced President Donald Trump and his wife Melania tested positive for the novel coronavirus.

absentee ballot
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

This year, absentee ballots are all the rage.

Michigan voters passed a ballot measure in 2018 that allows for no-reason absentee voting. Now, in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has caused ballot requests to skyrocket. 

Starting September 24, local clerks will begin to send ballots to the 2.39 million Michiganders who have already requested them. That beats the previous record of two million ballot requests, which was just set in August.

MSU Belmont Tower
EMMA WINOWIECKI / Michigan Radio

Update, Thursday September 23: Michigan State University has updated its online COVID-19 dashboard to reflect cases reported by the Ingham County Health Department, two days after the county's public health director revealed the health department's case count was far higher than what the university was publicly stating. 

The university notified the public of the change, says spokesman Dan Olsen, by contacting reporters Thursday morning and sending out a notice in the campus newsletter that afternoon. 

"The university’s COVID-19 dashboard now reflects the total number of positive cases of MSU students and employees reported by the Ingham County Health Department," the newsletter reads. "It does not include students and employees tested outside of the county and does not necessarily include those who self-reported a positive case to the university." 

That change means the case numbers listed on MSU's site essentially doubled overnight, from 548 cases at the start of this week, to 1,239 cases since July 27th. A spokesperson for MSU said the university is "continuing our ongoing partnership with [the health department] to report this information weekly (each Monday.)" 

Those case numbers are still slightly lower than the 1,250 MSU-related cases Ingham County Health Director Linda Vail said her department had recorded in the last 30 days. Those cases only include those the health department can verify are MSU students, faculty, or staff, Vail said Tuesdsay, and do not include secondary cases in the broader East Lansing community. 

This story will continue to be updated. 

Original post, Tuesday September 22: Michigan State University is knowingly underreporting the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases among students, faculty, and staff, according to information released by the Ingham County Health Department on Tuesday.

Belmont Tower at MSU
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

More than 900 students and staff members have been added to the growing list of COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan’s schools, according to state data released on Monday. And college students account for almost 95% of all school outbreak cases.

a sign for GEO that says UM works because we do
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

The Graduate Employees' Organization (GEO) at the University of Michigan voted to end their strike late Wednesday night.

An overwhelming majority of members voted to accept U of M's second offer to the union, which included COVID relief options such as expanded options for childcare, support for international graduate students, and increased transparency in the university's COVID-19 testing protocols.

The offer also included incremental movement on GEO's anti-policing demands.

Grand Valley State University
GVSU

Updated: 4:50 p.m. 9/16/20

Students at the Allendale campus of Grand Valley State University have been ordered to remain in their residences for 14 days, with limited exceptions, following a surge of COVID-19 cases on campus.

The public health officer of the Ottawa County Department of Public Health issued the order Wednesday.

There have been 600 cases of COVID-19 reported in the GVSU student population at the Allendale campus since August 24, and the university currently has the highest number of active cases of any school in the state.

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