b117 | Michigan Radio


A farm with a wind turbine
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, how the B117 variant tested Michigan’s pandemic success story, with disastrous results. Plus, how a new plan for infrastructure might help Michigan’s rural communities. And, a new collaborative that mixes the perfect cup of coffee, great songs, and social justice. 

close up of Gretchen Whitmer
Photo courtesy of www.senate.mi.gov/whitmer

Today, on Stateside, why Governor Whitmer is holding off on new restrictions, even as COVID-19 cases surge. Plus, how the Latinx community in Washtenaw County came together to make vaccines more accessible to their neighbors.

Prison fence barbed wire
Kevin Rosseel / morguefile

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has identified 90 cases of the new coronavirus variant at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, in Ionia. 

Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility is where the first known case of the new variant was found in Michigan prisons last Tuesday. According to a Michigan Department of Corrections email, an employee had the variant. 

Health experts say the new coronavirus variant, B.1.1.7 that originated from the United Kingdom, is more contagious than the original strain. 

At least 67 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19 (also known as the “U.K.” variant) have been confirmed in Michigan, as health experts wait to see whether the more contagious variant will become the dominant strain in the state and potentially reverse weeks of declining case numbers.

“It's very early in the game, and it can take a while for these variants to kind of work their way from just arriving to taking over a community,” said Dr. Adam Lauring, a University of Michigan professor and virologist whose lab sequences COVID samples to detect which variant is present.

A more contagious variant of the coronavirus has been detected at the Bellamy Creek Correctional Facility, in Ionia.  


According to an internal Michigan Department of Corrections email obtained by Michigan Radio, incarcerated people and employees there will now be tested daily.

Mayor Mike Duggan says the city is expanding options for Detroiters over age 65 to get a COVID-19 vaccination.

Duggan says the city will be providing low-cost or no cost rides to a vaccination clinic at the TCF center.  And for the next four Saturdays, the mayor says the city will be providing special vaccination clinics just for seniors.