Coronavirus | Michigan Radio
WUOMFM

Coronavirus

For Michigan Radio's full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak, click here.

Have you been affected by coronavirus? We want to hear from you. Submit a tip.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new survey of Michigan small business owners finds many are planning for a more positive future coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey by the Small Business Association of Michigan finds 72% of owners say they are optimistic about the survival of their businesses.

Executive Director Brian Calley says their optimism is clear.

“You don’t increase wages and plan to expand staff if you don’t see good opportunity for recovery in the future,” says Calley.

Calley concedes the survey’s results do not include the views of those who’s businesses were went out-of-business during the pandemic.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan will take a major step toward normal as most state COVID-19 restrictions are lifted on Tuesday. 

But many businesses continue to struggle with one lingering effect of the pandemic: a labor shortage.

At a legislative committee hearing Thursday, state lawmakers heard from representatives from different industries. Tony Daoud operates gas stations in the Flint area. He blames pandemic jobless benefits that pay more than he does for his business’ struggle to recruit and retain hourly workers.

National Park Service

Yes, it’s a rare virus that people can get from animals (specifically mice, in this case.) And yes, it can be fatal, and has symptoms like fever, fatigue, and cough. 

But the Washtenaw County woman who was recently hospitalized with the state’s first confirmed case of Hantavirus isn’t the beginning of another pandemic - just a good reminder to be smart about rodent exposure. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This weekend marks the beginning of Michigan’s summer festival and fair season, without COVID-19 restrictions on outdoor events.

Last year was a tough year for many of the businesses that depend on Michigan’s summer festivals and fair.  The coronavirus pandemic forced most to cancel.

But June 1, the state of Michigan lifted restrictions on outdoor events.

MDHHS

The state’s top health official says she stands by Michigan’s COVID-19 fatality numbers for the state’s nursing homes. But she concedes other numbers for long-term care facilities “could be low.”

About 30% of all COVID deaths in Michigan during the pandemic are connected to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities.

Photo by Marcin Jozwiak on Unsplash

No, there’s no evidence COVID-19 vaccines can impact a teen girl’s fertility. 

And yes, actually, your kid can get really sick from COVID.

3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

Michigan is seeing progress in the fight against COVID-19.

But the pandemic continues to exact a toll.

Michigan added another 5,035 coronavirus positive cases on Monday, bringing the state’s total number of positive coronavirus cases to 849,420 since the pandemic began a year ago. That includes 17,771 Michiganders who’ve died.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new federal program is providing money for Michigan bars and restaurants hard-hit by COVID-19.

But one industry official says more help is needed.

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund is providing $28.6 billion in direct relief through the U.S. Small Business Administration under the American Rescue Plan.   

Andrea Piacquadio for Pexel

Michigan nurses took their concerns about COVID-19 workplace issues to members of Congress Thursday.

Many Michigan hospitals are at or near their capacity limits as the state struggles with another surge in COVID cases.

During a zoom conference with Michigan congresswomen Debbie Dingell and Rashida Tlaib, nurses said the recent surge in COVID cases is showing again problems in Michigan hospitals that have existed since the pandemic began.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The state of Michigan is being sued over COVID-19 testing regulations by a group advocating for high school athletes.

Michigan has seen a sharp increase in coronavirus cases in recent weeks, which state officials have linked, in part, to youth sports.

The group, Let Them Play, filed a lawsuit Thursday against the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report shows more than a third of Michigan households were struggling even before the COVID-19 pandemic.

The United Way’s 2021 ALICE report documents the challenges facing Michigan’s working poor families.   ‘ALICE’ stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. 

These so-called 'ALICE' families typically work for minimal hourly working wages that do not cover the basic costs of living. 

Starting Tuesday, Michigan’s largest COVID-19 vaccination clinic begins delivering shots into arms.

In the past week, 110,000 people have signed up to get their coronavirus vaccine at Ford Field in Detroit.  

More than 14,000 appointments are scheduled for this week, with another 20,000 appointment invitations going out Monday.

Ford Motor Company

The Ford Motor Company is making plans to begin transitioning thousands of employees from working remotely to back in the office.

But the automaker is leaving the door open to those who want to continue to work remotely.

Ford has more than 30,000 employees working remotely.

Elementary and Middle schools in Kent County have been allowed to reduce their distancing requirements from six feet down to three feet.

The Kent County Health Department changed the recommendation in February as a six-week pilot.

The change also affects which students are asked to quarantine after being exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. Under the recommendation in the pilot, only students who were within three feet of the infected person for 15 minutes or more will have to quarantine.

Michigan’s Attorney General Dana Nessel says she will not investigate how Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 policies affected nursing home patients.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

As Flint public schools resume in-person classes for Kindergarten through third graders this week, mask wearing, sneeze guards and social distancing are on the curriculum along with Reading, Writing and Arithmetic.

It starts when students walk through the school door.

Every student and visitor to Flint schools will have to check in at a video kiosk or with hand held device to have their temperature checked.     

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

After a delay, Flint Community Schools will return to in-person learning next week.

The district’s planned return to the classroom was postponed three weeks ago because there were not enough sneeze guards for all the student desks. District officials insist they have enough now.

School Board President Carol MacIntosh insists they want students to learn and go home healthy.

“I would like to be able to look any parent or community member in the face and say ‘Look we went the extra mile because we are serious about our students’ safety,” says MacIntosh.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s largest public school district will be re-opening to in-person instruction next week.

Officials with Detroit Public Schools Community District say face-to-face instruction will resume next Monday, March 8. The district suspended in-person classes in November, as COVID-19 case rates in the city climbed in November.

Superintendent Nikolai Vitti says with infection rates in the city down and teachers having access to coronavirus vaccines, the district can again provide an in-person learning option. 

Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash

 

 

Whether the kids in your community are back in the classroom or not, the pandemic has had some serious mental health consequences. There is stress and uncertainty at home, limited contact with friends, and the loss of a school routine. It all takes a toll. That's especially true for the kids who are already in more vulnerable situations. 

Republican state lawmakers are raising questions about the Democratic governor’s policies concerning COVID-19 and Michigan’s long-term care and nursing homes.

Since the outbreak began a year ago, about a third of Michigan's 15,453 coronavirus-related deaths were people in long-term care facilities and nursing homes.

Michigan Radio Newsroom

 

More than a dozen people gathered outside U.S. Sen. Gary Peters' (D-Mich.) Detroit office on Monday to support a provision in the latest coronavirus relief package to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025. 

 

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. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

In 2020, Michigan had to respond to a deadly pandemic and a massive 500-year flood.

Both emergencies revealed deficiencies in the state’s response.

Sen. Jim Ananich (D-Flint) wants the state to be better prepared for future emergencies.

Ananich has submitted legislation that would establish a board would be charged with planning for future disasters and to maintain supplies that will be needed to respond. 

man receives a COVID-19 vaccine shot in his right arm
Spectrum Health

State health department officials say they want more COVID-19 vaccine clinics in Michigan with longer hours. 

Officials with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services laid out their strategy for getting 70% of Michigan residents vaccinated in the coming months.  The exact timetable is dependent on the supply of vaccines.

basketball sitting on a wooden basketball court
Gene Gallin / Unsplash

A lawsuit filed Tuesday is seeking to lift a state ban on high school sports immediately.

The state Health department issued the order last month putting basketball, wrestling, and other winter contact sports on hold until February 21 as part of the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order is the latest in a series by state health officials that have disrupted the high school sports calendar.

Levin congressional office

Working during the pandemic has been hard.

It’s also been difficult for unions trying to organize.

Congressman Andy Levin (D-MI 9) is sponsoring new legislation that would direct the National Labor Relations Board to allow unions to conduct elections remotely.

Levin says under the Trump administration, the NLRB pushed to have in-person voting to create a union even during the pandemic, including at a hospital.

Gene Gallin / unsplash

“What’s the point of even going to school anymore if I can’t play my sport that I love?” 17 year old  Nataliegh Badgero asked state lawmakers Thursday. She loves basketball. But she can't play for her school right now. 

Michigan legislators held a pair of committee hearings to give high school student athletes and their parents a chance to make their plea to let students play winter and spring sports despite the covid pandemic.

All University of Michigan students in the Ann Arbor area are being advised to stay in place as the Washtenaw County health department tries to contain a COVID-19 outbreak.

The outbreak involves a mutation of the COVID-19 virus which can spread more easily. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

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.

Pages