Sarah Cwiek | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

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

Macomb Township Board of Trustees

A former Macomb County politician is facing up to ten years behind bars after pleading guilty to federal theft and extortion charges.

Dino Bucci was former Macomb County Public Works Director Anthony Marrocco’s right-hand man for more than 20 years. And he was an elected Macomb Township trustee.

Mike Duggan
detroitmi.gov

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he’s excited that some Michigan retail businesses will be able to re-open on Tuesday, but warns the city will be vigilant about enforcing health and safety standards meant to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer laid out those rules in an executive order that allows businesses “engaged in the selling of goods and the rendering of services incidental to the sale of the goods” to re-open. Sit-down restaurants, bars, gyms and fitness centers, and salons remain closed for now.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As the pandemic weeks turn into pandemic months, many questions remain about how we know what we know about COVID-19. One of the major limiting factors in testing for the virus is the availability of supplies for test kits.

Jack Amick / Creative Commons

A federal judge has ruled that Oakland County must set up a process to release medically vulnerable inmates from its jail.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit that alleged the Oakland County Jail has taken inadequate steps to protect inmates from COVID-19.

New Oakland County Executive Dave Coulter
Dave Coulter for State Representative

As Michigan moves more toward re-opening its economy, Oakland County says it will now test anyone 18 or older for COVID-19.

Oakland County has drive-thru testing at three places in Pontiac, Southfield, and Novi. Starting now, any adult who wants to get tested there can do so.

Judge's gavel
Pixabay.com

Macomb County Circuit Court judges have picked a prosecutor’s office veteran to fill in as county prosecutor.

The circuit court bench met via Zoom on Wednesday, and chose Jean Cloud as interim prosecutor to replace resigned former prosecutor Eric Smith.

Michigan State University

A team of Michigan State University researchers hopes Detroit sewage will hold clues about the trajectory of COVID-19.

The group has been sampling raw sewage as it arrives at a Great Lakes Water Authority water treatment plant every week since mid-April.

Courtesy photo / City of Detroit

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said he’s “entirely confident” in a rapid-response COVID-19 test the city has used heavily, despite some doubts raised about its accuracy.

Several small studies found the Abbott Labs 15-minute tests produce a significant number of false negative results. And the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has issued an alert about the tests, saying it’s still evaluating whether the tests produce too many false negatives.

slemboskilaw.com/

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued another executive order extending a moratorium on evictions until 11:59 pm. on June 11. 

Joe McGuire, a staff attorney with the Detroit Justice Center, said Whitmer should have extended the moratorium sooner, and that many other states have instituted longer and more comprehensive bans in the face of COVID-19 than Michigan has.

University of Michigan Poverty Solutions

University of Michigan researchers say Detroiters will need many more protections to protect people from losing their homes in the wake of COVID-19.

The U of M Poverty Solutions paper examines existing housing instability in Detroit, also finding that there’s a shortage of affordable housing in the city, when taking into account blighted and uninhabitable units.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Aimee Stephens, the Michigan woman at the center of a landmark U.S. Supreme Court civil rights case, died on Tuesday.

Stephens was fired from a Garden City funeral home when she publicly transitioned from male to female in 2013. The resulting legal case asked a fundamental question: do laws prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sex apply to LGBTQ people?

Mike Duggan
detroitmi.gov

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said Monday he’s confident that it’s now safe enough to start bringing more city employees back to work, but that’s only because of health and safety measures the city has implemented.

Duggan said the evidence for that lies in recent test results for frontline workers, such as first responders and bus drivers.

Adobe Stock

Some Michigan manufacturing businesses will re-open for production starting Monday. That opens up a whole new set of places where people could potentially become infected with COVID-19.

Some manufacturers have detailed plans for protecting workers. But they’re largely missing one key safeguard: testing.


money
user penywise / morgueFile

The head of a Metro Detroit non-profit social services agency that’s in charge of distributing federal stimulus funds says the COVID-19 pandemic has left many people struggling to meet basic needs.

The Wayne Metropolitan Community Action Agency was allotted $11 million in CARES Act funds to distribute to households in Wayne County. $8 million of that is reserved for the city of Detroit.

Workers set up a field hospital at the TCF Center in Detroit.
Paulette Parker, Michigan Radio

The last remaining COVID-19 patient at Detroit's TCF Center field hospital was discharged on Wednesday.

The 1,000-bed hospital, rapidly constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the pandemic surged in southeast Michigan, has stopped admitting patients. It has treated just 39 people since it started up in early April.

flickr user Bernt Rostad / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Detroit City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a new city budget for the city’s upcoming fiscal year. It included $348 million in cuts.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said the budget is balanced, but the COVID-19 pandemic made deep cuts necessary.

beaumont hospital wayne exterior
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Beaumont Hospital researchers are hoping that two common drugs can help treat COVID-19 patients.

The drugs are naltrexone and ketamine. Naltrexone is used to treat inflammatory pain conditions and addiction. Ketamine is an anesthetic that also has anti-inflammatory properties.

Paulette Parker / Michgian Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said on Monday that he’s confident the city can beat COVID-19 with focused testing and other precautionary measures.

Detroit has been hit hard by the pandemic, reporting 9,388 cases and 1,088 deaths so far. But both cases and deaths have steadily declined over the past two weeks.

Wikipedia

The rising number of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan has prompted the state to activate the Michigan Mortuary Response Team (MI-MORT) for the first time in its history.

MI-MORT is a collaborative effort of approximately 40 volunteers from across the state, including medical examiners and investigators, law enforcement, forensic scientists, chaplains and funeral directors.

Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan on Thursday urged Governor Gretchen Whitmer to re-open portions of the medical system that have been closed by the COVID-19 pandemic, saying some people’s medical needs are “being neglected.”

Whitmer put a freeze on “non-essential” medical and dental procedures on March 20, citing the need to conserve health care resources as the pandemic was surging.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city is ready to jumpstart some construction projects that were delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, but only with health protections in place.

All workers will need to get a COVID-19 test before they go back to work. They’ll also be required to wear masks, and employers will need to perform daily temperature screenings and symptom checks.

City of Detroit

The city of Detroit says it’s now tested all residents at its 26 nursing homes for COVID-19, and the next step is to test all nursing home staff.

Staff testing will be available for free at the former Michigan State Fairgrounds drive-thru testing site. That will become mandatory on May 11.

hands under pouring water
mrjn Photography / Unsplash

In a letter to the state, Detroit Water and Sewerage Department says it’s aware of fewer than 10 homes that continue to be without water service.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered that all municipalities reconnect households that had been shut off for nonpayment during the COVID-19 crisis. Detroit launched a program in early March that allows households to reconnect for $25, then an additional $25 per month for the duration of the pandemic.

white casket with flowers on top being carried by pallbearers
Pixabay

COVID-19 has changed life as we know it here in Michigan.

It’s also changed death.

As more people die from the disease, funeral homes are making radical adjustments to help families mourn their loved ones without putting more lives in danger.

Michigan Radio’s Sarah Cwiek has spoken with some funeral directors about the changes they’re making. Here is a summary of what they reported.

rollingroscoe / Morguefile

A new lawsuit demands the release of medically vulnerable inmates from the Oakland County Jail while the COVID-19 pandemic rages.

The civil rights groups behind the lawsuit call for the immediate release of inmates with conditions that make them particularly vulnerable to COVID-19. Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order last month allowing those people to be released early, so long as they don’t pose a threat to public safety, as well as others serving time for things like traffic offenses or failure to appear in court.

City of Detroit

Detroit Police Chief James Craig is back on the job full-time after recovering from COVID-19.

Craig appeared at a Thursday press conference alongside Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. He urged others with the disease to “fight to survive.”

Oakland County

One Oakland County hospital has run out of space to store deceased COVID-19 patients, so those bodies are headed to the county morgue.

County officials aren’t naming the hospital. But several southeast Michigan hospitals have struggled to find enough store storage space for bodies of the pandemic’s victims.

Jake Neher / via oakgov.com

Oakland County is opening up its own drive-thru COVID-19 testing site on the county government’s Pontiac campus.

It will only test people with COVID-19 symptoms. It will focus on first responders, essential business employees, and Pontiac residents to start.

flickr user Stephan Ridgway / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan’s climbing number of COVID-19 deaths hasn’t taxed county morgues beyond capacity so far. But it is taxing the capacity of some hospitals and funeral homes.

The state is looking into providing alternative storage space, such as refrigerated trailers, according to the Michigan Hospital Association.

Beaumont Health

Beaumont Health is launching what it believes to be the largest study in the country to date to test people for COVID-19 antibodies.

The serological blood-testing study looks to answer some crucial questions about the body’s immune response to COVID-19, including: how much immunity does having had COVID-19 provide? And how long does that immunity last?

Pages