Sarah Cwiek | Michigan Radio
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Sarah Cwiek

Sarah Cwiek - Detroit Reporter/Producer

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October, 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit. Before her arrival at Michigan Radio, Sarah worked at WDET-FM as a reporter and producer.

Ways to Connect

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

In Detroit, which has been ravaged by COVID-19, Mayor Mike Duggan has made mass testing the centerpiece of his administration’s response.

“The way we beat this is through testing, and knowing who’s infected and who’s not, so we can separate," Duggan has said.

Some may wonder what benefits mass testing provides at this stage in the pandemic. After all, we know it’s here and that it’s spreading. And testing may not change any individual patient’s treatment.

But experts say widespread testing is crucial for public health — and can be vital for patients as well.


DPSCD Superintendent Nikolai Vitti
Detroit Public Schools Community District

The Detroit Public Schools Community District will start making assignments and teacher instruction videos available next week, according to the district’s superintendent, Nikolai Vitti.

Online course materials will be posted on the district’s website. Paper copies will also be available at sites throughout the district, starting at its food distribution centers.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Construction is underway for a COVID-19 field hospital at Detroit's TCF Center.

As of April 1, Michigan health officials said there were 9,334 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan and 337 confirmed deaths. In Detroit alone, there were over 2,400 cases and 83 deaths.

Those numbers are guaranteed to continue climbing over at least the next several weeks, pushing local hospitals past capacity.

City of Detroit Health Department

Detroit continues to be hit hard by COVID-19.  But Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says efforts are underway to provide testing to every Detroiter who needs it.

As of Tuesday, Detroit reported 2,086 COVID-19 cases, and 73 deaths.

Paulette Parker / Michgian Radio

This week, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says Detroit will become one of the first cities in the nation to use rapid-response COVID-19 testing kits.

Illinois-based Abbott Laboratories is providing the tests. They were just approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and can give results in as little as 15 minutes.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Detroit District

Hospitals across southeast Michigan are scrambling for more space and staff to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, as the need surges across the region with no end in sight.

As of Sunday, Michigan reported 5,486 COVID-19 cases, with 132 deaths. Those numbers are guaranteed to continue climbing over at least the next several weeks, pushing local hospitals past capacity.

Illustration of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

President Donald Trump has approved Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s request for a major disaster declaration in Michigan.

That means Michigan is now eligible for help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Michigan now has among the most COVID-19 cases in the country. As of Friday, that number was 3,657, with 92 reported deaths.

But the state has tested far fewer people relative to other states with similarly high numbers.

City of Detroit Health Department

Metro Detroit has become one of the nation’s COVID-19 hotspots. And experts predict the situation will get even more dire in the next several weeks.

The city of Detroit is a hotspot within the hotspot. As of Thursday, the city reported 888 COVID-19 cases, with 19 deaths so far.


detroit skyline
Wikimedia commons

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan warned on Thursday that southeast Michigan is already a national COVID-19 hotspot—and the worst is still to come.

Detroit itself is a huge hotspot within southeast Michigan. The city is reporting 888 COVID-19 cases as of Thursday. 19 people have already died.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The hard-hit Detroit Police Department is taking new measures to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the new protocols should start this week.

Mike Duggan
detroitmi.gov

The former Michigan State Fairgrounds in Detroit will have a new use starting Friday: as a drive-through testing site for COVID-19.

The new testing site is a partnership between the city of Detroit, three local health systems—Henry Ford Health System, the Detroit Medical Center, and Trinity Health—and Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties. Those three counties account for nearly 85% of Michigan’s COVID-19 cases right now.

Running faucet
Melissa Benmark / Michigan Radio

Detroit is turning on water service to thousands of households that had been shut off—but some say it’s moving too slowly.

Detroit established an affordable program to restore and prevent shutoffs for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Friday, the city’s water department had restored service to 434 households.

detroit police car
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Five Detroit police officers have tested positive for COVID-19, and a total of 152 are quarantined, Detroit Police Chief James Craig announced Friday.

The 152 officers represent around 7% of the roughly 2200 Detroit police officers.

test with bubble answers
mehmet / Adobe Stock

If Michigan students return to classrooms this school year, they won’t have to take the M-STEP test.

U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced Friday that students in states that have closed schools will not have to take federally-mandated assessments this year.

a ventilator with tubes coming out of it
Adobe Stock Images

As cases of the novel coronavirus surge in Michigan and nationwide, Ford and GM have been talking with the federal government about possibly re-tooling some plants to make ventilators.

Both automakers temporarily suspended production this week due to the coronavirus. Now, they’ve confirmed that they’ve talked with the government about switching production to ventilators and other medical equipment.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio


kids at computers
U.S. Department of Education

In yet another step that would have been unthinkable just a week ago, Michigan is asking the federal government for a waiver on federally-mandated statewide student assessments this year.

In Michigan, that assessment is the M-STEP test. It’s given to all 3rd-8th and 11th graders in public schools. It was scheduled to start the week of April 13 and run through May 28.

A home in Detroit.
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

In yet another unprecedented step, Detroit has put a moratorium on evictions during the coronavirus oubreak.

36th District Court Chief Judge William McConico issued the order "effective immediately" on Monday.

Wayne County

In an unprecedented move, the Wayne County Treasurer says he will halt all tax foreclosures this year due to impacts from the coronavirus outbreak.

“In light of the rapidly changing recommendations on social distancing and the increasing economic uncertainty we are all facing, I have had to make an urgent decision to protect all the taxpayers facing foreclosure in Wayne County,” Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree said in a statement. “Given the fact that all taxpayers will be facing economic hardships in the coming months, I have made the decision to withhold all properties from the 2020 foreclosure petition.”

Michigan House Democrats

A bill introduced in the Michigan legislature would expand paid sick leave for employees in the state.

State Representative Padma Kuppa (D-Troy/Clawson) introduced the bill.

courts.michigan.gov

The Michigan Supreme Court is telling state courts to consider drastic steps to curb the spread of coronavirus. And some of those courts, along with some federal courts, have done so already.

One of those recommended steps: suspending most civil and criminal jury trials until the threat from the pandemic ebbs.

Gary Jones stands at a UAW podium
United Auto Workers

Something happened this week that we’ve known was coming for awhile.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit needs to find some way to compensate homeowners who were over-taxed for years.

That’s what the Detroit City Council heard from a number of residents at a sometimes-emotional hearing Tuesday night.

U.S. Marshals Service

Detroit Police Chief James Craig says he’s ending a joint task force with the Drug Enforcement Administration over its refusal to admit it used an alleged spree killer as an informant.

Kenyel Brown was a repeat felon who was released from federal supervision in October, despite violating his probation multiple times. That apparently happened at the behest of a federal law enforcement agency.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Three men who accuse a late University of Michigan doctor of sexual abuse say they want accountability from the university—and for others to speak up.

Former U of M wrestlers Tad DeLuca, Thomas Evashevski, and Andy Hrovat spoke publicly about that abuse, and the school’s reluctance to deal with it at the time, alongside attorneys on Thursday.

Old Main building exterior
Wayne State University

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, Attorney General Dana Nessel, and other top state officials put Wayne State University board members on notice Wednesday.

That came in the form of a letter urging the board to adopt a code of conduct.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan gave his seventh annual State of the City address Tuesday night in signature Duggan style—a whirlwind PowerPoint presentation that hit on his major accomplishments and goals.

The event was held at Flex-N-Gate, a relatively recent addition to a developing industrial park on Detroit’s east side. Duggan touted his administration’s success in drawing some large manufacturing employers back to the city, and vowed to make sure the resulting jobs go to Detroiters as much as possible.

A football.
Innovation_School / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Prosecutors are charging seven De La Salle High School student football players with assault for allegedly hazing younger teammates.

Four of the seven accused students were arraigned in a Warren courtroom on Monday on misdemeanor assault and battery charges. Five are being charged as adults, and two as juveniles.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan will very likely ban a type of abortion procedure within the next few months.

It’s called dilation and evacuation. It makes up about 7% of abortions in Michigan each year. And it’s the most common type of abortion performed during the second trimester of pregnancy. 

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