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Coronavirus

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Five bowling alley owners are suing the state of Michigan over money lost from being closed by state orders concerning COVID-19.

Michigan bowling alleys were closed for most of the past year. Because of that, attorney David Kallman says his clients deserve to be compensated.

courtesy of Spectrum Health

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants Michigan to buy up to 100,000 of doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine on its own.

The federal government already arranged to buy 200 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer, and it’s been coordinating distribution to the states.

But Governor Whitmer, along with governors from eight other states, says that process is taking too long.

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Michigan’s high school football playoffs resume this weekend.

The fall sports playoffs were shut down two months ago as COVID-19 surged in the state.

A spokesman for the Michigan High School Athletic Association is confident they will finish the playoffs this month.

“We haven’t spoken a word in our office about having this shut down again,” says Geoff Kimmerly.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

The state of Michigan is handing out face masks to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 3.5 million masks are being distributed through community organizations, including local Department of Health and Human Services offices, health departments, and Area Agency on Aging offices.

The latest pandemic milestone in Michigan: The state has now confirmed more than half a million cases of coronavirus.

On Monday the state added 4,992 new confirmed cases, a two-day total covering test results from both Saturday and Sunday.

That brings the total number since the start of the pandemic to 502,119.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The University of Michigan’s Big House is now a vaccination clinic. The football stadium that can hold more than 100,000 fans is, right now, center stage for vaccinating Michigan Medicine healthcare workers.

The healthcare system has been vaccinating frontline workers every day since December 21 at the main hospital in Ann Arbor, but it needed more space.

State health leaders say there's reason for “cautious optimism” that new cases of coronavirus appear to be declining.

The test positivity rate has plateaued. New cases have been dropping for two weeks. The number of deaths is still rising, but not as quickly as before.

Those are the reasons for optimism.

“The challenge here is making sure that people are wearing masks, maintaining their social distancing, so that we don’t see a second surge,” says Sarah Lyon-Callo, director of the state’s Bureau of Epidemiology.

Adobe Stock


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With Michigan experiencing another wave of COVID-19 cases, there’s a new campaign to get more African-Americans to mask up.

Tonya Adair is the Chief Impact officer for the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.  She says the United Way is partnering with the Harlem Children’s Zone on the campaign.


She says the campaign will include public service advertising and distribution of personal protective equipment in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

 Jerry Bishop is senior pastor at LifeQuest Urban Outreach Center in Grand Rapids. His ministry serves people in the heart of Grand Rapids, and he has a particular focus helping young Black men.

The virus has taken an immense toll on the community Jerry Bishop serves. Bishop says he’s presided over funerals for 21 people who’ve died of COVID. Click the link above to listen to his story.

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Michigan’s National Guard will continue to play an important role in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic into next year.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the Trump administration has extended authorization for Guard members to receive federal pay and benefits through the end of March.  The authorization was scheduled to expire December 31.

courtesy of Spectrum Health

Hope.

A word that’s been in short supply in Michigan hospitals recently.

But now, just maybe, there's a sign of it.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Michigan declined slightly on Thursday, dropping to 3,793 adults with confirmed cases of the disease. The number is still below the peak number last seen in Michigan in the spring. But it represents a brief, welcome respite after a steep rise in cases that started in October.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit western counties in the Upper Peninsula hard this fall. The population of Delta County is about 36,000. There have been more than 2,500 cases of COVID-19 and 60 deaths.

Chris Anderson is with the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba’s downtown. He says the pandemic caught them by surprise. They did not see the surge of cases in the first wave of the infection in the spring.

Wayne County Airport Authority/Vito Palmisano

Traditionally, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year.
 
State health department officials are urging Michiganders who attended large Thanksgiving gatherings to follow a few steps to avoid potentially spreading COVID-19.


an empty row of tables at a restaurant
Andrew Seaman / Unsplash

A lawsuit challenging Michigan’s temporary ban on indoor dining is set for a hearing in federal court Monday morning.


Michigan’s restaurant industry filed the suit after state health department officials imposed a three week ban on indoor dining November 15. The ban was imposed in response to a recent rise in COVID-19 cases in Michigan.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Many Michigan store owners may be facing their “Blackest Friday” as the unofficial start of the holiday shopping season comes amid the pandemic.

After months of slumping sales and businesses toppling into bankruptcy, Black Friday is offering a small beacon of hope.

In normal times, Black Friday is the busiest shopping day of the year, drawing millions of shoppers eager to get started on their holiday spending. But these are not normal times and crowds are expected to be dramatically diminished as coronavirus cases spike and shoppers do more of their purchases online.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan groups that provide meals for people who need them for Thanksgiving are having to make some changes this year due to COVID-19.

In Midland, Open Door executive director Renee Pettinger says her agency will be serving special Thanksgiving meals to hundreds of people.
  
She says because Open Door is not serving meals indoors, her agency is having added expenses.

Attorneys for the state of Michigan say a restaurant industry lawsuit is attempting to substitute a judge’s opinion for that of public health officials on COVID-19.

Last week, the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association filed suit against the state’s order banning indoor dining for three weeks. 

The Kent County Health Department has issued a new health warning as new cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

In recent weeks, Kent County has frequently had the most new daily confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state. Health officer Adam London says more than 15% of COVID-19 tests in the county now come back positive.

“Our local infection rates have reached dangerous levels,” London said, in a release.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal judge has denied a request from Michigan’s restaurant industry for an order blocking new state restrictions on indoor dining.

Last Sunday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued a ban on indoor dining and drinking in Michigan bars and restaurants. The new restrictions are in reaction to a surge in COVID-19 cases. The ban took effect Wednesday. 


Brian Vernellis/Holland Sentinel

Eric Kumor has been a nurse for 10 years, but the last few weeks he finds himself having to gear up emotionally just to walk in the door to work.

Restaurant workings sanitizing tables while wearing masks.
Anatoliy / Adobe Stock

Michigan’s new COVID-19 order shuttering indoor service in bars and restaurants for three weeks is now being challenged in federal court.

The new rules were announced Sunday. The order will allow take-out, delivery, and outdoor dining only starting Wednesday.

The rules are intended to blunt a spike in COVID-19 cases in Michigan. 

Michigan’s surging COVID-19 case numbers are straining many local efforts to track down people who may be infected.

State health officials added another 12,763 confirmed coronavirus cases Monday, which also includes tests from Sunday. Since the beginning of the pandemic, Michigan has recorded 264,576 COVID-19 cases. A total of 8,049 Michiganders have died from the illness. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University will conduct a study into how to communicate the need for antibody tests for COVID-19 in communities that are often mistrustful of government health campaigns, and with good reason.

Courtesy of SEIU Healthcare Michigan

Inside Mercy Health’s gleaming new hospital tower along US-31 in Muskegon, four full floors are now filled with COVID-19 patients. More people are in the emergency room, waiting for beds to open up. Nurses are working grueling 16-hour shifts, racing between rooms, trying to keep up with the growing onslaught of sick patients.

“It has been so stressful and chaotic and heartbreaking, to say the least,” says one worker who helps treat COVID patients at Mercy Health Muskegon.

young people with masks drinking
Adobe Stock

Rev. Robert Teszlewicz was doing everything right. In the spring, he was off work, and followed the stay-at-home orders.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan State University’s legendary men’s basketball coach Tom Izzo has tested positive for COVID-19.

Izzo says he tested positive for the disease Monday. The coach says he has minor symptoms, but remains in "good health."

Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan has reached a milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, with the state recording more than 200,000 confirmed coronavirus cases.  

Among the latest to test positive is a top state lawmaker.

State Senator Jim Ananich announced his positive test on Twitter.

The state of Michigan recorded a record high daily number of new confirmed COVID-19 cases Wednesday.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 4,101 new confirmed COVID cases on Wednesday. That’s the highest single day total since the outbreak began in March. The previous single day high was 3,782 on October 31.

State health department officials are imposing new limits on indoor gatherings to curb surging rates of COVID-19.  

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is dropping the number of people permitted at indoor gatherings from 500 to 50. This would apply to events like weddings. 

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