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Coronavirus

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Businesses in Hamtramck, Michigan
Ian Freimuth / creative commons

A longtime leader in Michigan’s business community is predicting it'll take a while for Michigan’s economy to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Doug Rothwell is the president of Business Leaders for Michigan and a former head of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. 

On a webinar produced by the Detroit Regional Chamber, Rothwell predicted Michigan’s economy will not have a quick 'V-shaped’ recovery.

Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

The United States Marshals Service, in conjunction with the Michigan State Police, is offering a reward up to $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of two men who are suspects in the shooting death of a security guard in Flint on May 1. The U.S. Marshals are working with the MSP to locate the suspects.

Adobe Stock

Michigan health officials say they have 3,500 volunteers trained to do COVID-19 contact tracing, one of the things considered essential to reopening the economy safely. And although those state officials can’t say how many paid staffers Michigan counties have doing this work, Michigan Radio’s analysis of three of the hardest-hit counties indicates the pool of volunteers is likely enough to meet epidemiologists’ recommendations.

The state of Michigan is modifying rules for how hospitals and funeral homes handle human remains in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the past, the state just required hospitals and funeral homes make a “reasonable effort” to contact family members before turning to the local medical examiner to decide what to do with the remains.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Tuesday’s election is going to be unique in Michigan history.

As part of the effort to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus, there will be no polling locations open for in-person voting on Election Day.

Instead, the May 5 election will be mainly handled with “mail-in” voting.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan school districts will soon be allowed to apply for millions of dollars of federal aid tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $13.2 billion Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) fund is meant to address the impact the COVID-19 public health crisis has had, and continues to have, on elementary and secondary schools across the United States. ESSER funding was included as part of the $2 trillion federal Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

The receiving area of butterworth hospital
Spectrum Health

A law firm in Grand Rapids says more than 1,000 doctors at the area’s largest hospital are being forced to sign new contracts, or face salary cuts.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A recent battle between Michigan’s Democratic governor and Republican legislative leaders over who has the authority to guide the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak is likely at a point of no return. 

This week, Republican lawmakers refused to agree to the governor’s call to extend the state of emergency. Legislative leaders say they plan on taking the governor to court over her authority to issue new executive orders to combat COVID-19.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

On Wednesday, a judge denied a legal challenge to Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay home order.

Whitmer issued the initial stay home order in March with the intent to slow the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.

The COVID-19 pandemic has slammed Ford Motor Company’s bottom line.

Company officials announced on Tuesday Ford lost $2 billion in the first quarter of the year. Ford blamed the loss largely on the impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

The automaker said Tuesday that its revenue from January through March fell nearly 15% to $34.3 billion as most of its factories were shut down for the final week of the quarter.

Ford’s Chief Financial Officer Tim Stone expects the automaker will take an even bigger hit in the second quarter of 2020.

U.S. Department of Justice

One of Michigan’s U.S. Attorneys has been chosen to oversee federal investigations into state and local anti-COVID-19 measures to determine if they cross the constitutional line.

Attorney General William Barr issued a two-page memo on Monday to U.S. attorneys, saying the department would pursue action in court, if necessary.

Many states have issued orders compelling residents to stay home, with limited exceptions like essential trips for food and other supplies to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Matthew Schneider is the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan. 

U.S. Attorney General William Barr picked Schneider  to coordinate with Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights Eric Dreiband to coordinate Justice Department investigations into possible “infringement of constitutional and statutory protections” by state and local governments.   

Gretchen Whitmer at a podium
michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued a new COVID-19 executive order. This order sets rules to help manage the re-opening of some businesses and recreational activities.

The new order requires retail stores to set aside special shopping hours for people over 60, pregnant women, and people with health conditions at higher risk if infected by the virus. Employees must be issued face masks. Salad bars and self-serve food stations are not allowed. People must also still remain at least six feet apart.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Monday, the city of Detroit will issue a public health order mandating grocery store workers be tested for coronavirus by May 11.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report suggests restarting Michigan’s economy will face a serious roadblock – a lack of child care.

The National Association for the Education of Young Children estimates that 41% of Michigan’s licensed child care slots will be lost as many providers don’t have the money or staff to reopen.

Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

People in Grand Rapids will get their first look this week at the city’s projected budget for the coming year.

City manager Mark Washington is scheduled to update commissioners on the city commission Tuesday morning, and there’s a digital town hall scheduled for residents on Thursday night.

The new fiscal year starts in July.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The number of Michiganders who have officially “recovered” from COVID-19 has more than doubled in the past week

State health official released data Saturday showing the number of recovered cases has risen to 8,342.  The state listed 3,237 “recovered” cases last Saturday and 433 two weeks ago.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit is teaming up with investment banking giant Goldman Sachs to provide up to $15 million in loans to Detroit small businesses struggling during the COVID-19 pandemic.

David Solomon is the Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs. He says small businesses have perhaps never been at more risk.

Unsplash

Michigan’s greenhouse retail industry hopes to hear sooner rather than later if Governor Gretchen Whitmer will allow them to reopen May 1st.

Most, if not all, greenhouses closed because of the governor’s Stay Home order in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, at a time when Easter and spring sales start to ramp up.

Prison bars
flickr user Thomas Hawk / http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

A federal district judge has ordered Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard to take steps to protect inmates housed at the jail from the coronavirus.

American Civil Liberties Union Attorney Phil Mayor says the lawsuit was filed because the jail has been exposing inmates to unsafe, inhumane, and degrading conditions.

A healthcare worker process a COVID-19 test at Beaumont.
Beaumont Health

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the state is ramping up contact tracing for positive cases of COVID-19. That involves monitoring and testing people who have been in contact with a positive case. 

Downtown Ann Arbor
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Some politicians and businesses are pressuring Governor Gretchen Whitmer to reopen the economy. Republican legislative leaders have a plan to phase in business operations.  It’s very difficult to make an informed decision about opening the economy because no one has enough data to know exactly how risky it could be.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan families who are owed child support will start receiving money this week tied to federal pandemic stimulus payments.

“The Office of Child Support wants to make sure parents understand what is happening with stimulus payments to people who owe child support,” said Erin Frisch, director of the state Office of Child Support in a written statement.   

The money is coming from stimulus payments earmarked for non-custodial parents who owe back child support.

woman testing driver for coronavirus
Airman 1st Class Taylor D. Slater / U.S. Air Force

Starting Monday, the city of Detroit is offering COVID-19 testing for essential workers who do not have symptoms of the disease.

Mayor Mike Duggan says the state fairgrounds drive-thru testing site has more capacity now that surrounding counties have expanded their own testing. 

person signing a petition while another holds a clipboard
Svetlana / Adobe Stock

A federal judge is ordering the state of Michigan to extend the filing deadline for political candidates trying to get on the August ballot.

“These are not normal times,” U.S. District Judge Terrence Berg wrote in his order, that the state must reduce the number of required signatures by 50%, allow for the collection of electronic signatures, and extend the deadline to May 8.

There's been a big jump in the number of Michiganders who've recovered from COVID-19.

To identify people who have recovered, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reviews vital records statistics to identify any laboratory confirmed COVID-19 patients that are 30 days or more out from their onset of illness.

The numbers are updated weekly.  

A healthcare worker process a COVID-19 test at Beaumont.
Beaumont Health

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services says the state has the capacity to process 9,500 COVID-19 tests a day. That’s between the state lab, commercial labs, and labs in hospital systems.

3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

Michigan has passed another grim milestone in its battle with COVID-19.

State officials Thursday confirmed that more than 2,000 people have died from COVID-19 in Michigan.

Michigan’s coronavirus death toll now stand at 2,093 after state health officials added another 172 fatalities on Thursday.

City of Detroit

Plummeting casino, property and income tax revenues are forcing Detroit’s mayor to raid the city’s savings accounts and trim its workforce.

Mayor Mike Duggan says the city is facing a $348 million budget gap over the next 16 months because of the loss tax revenue tied to the COVID-19 pandemic.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A union representing grocery store employees in Michigan says “careless customers” are probably the biggest threat to their workers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

The United Food and Commercial Workers union says 96% of their members nationally are “concerned” about being exposed to the coronavirus at work.

City of Detroit

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says Duggan says nearly every trend is heading in an “encouraging direction” in the city’s fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan’s largest city has been at the epicenter of the state’s fight with the coronavirus.

To date, Detroit has recorded 395 deaths and 6,781 people testing positive for the coronavirus.  

But Mayor Duggan says there are signs the city’s struggles are easing.

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