COVID-19 | Michigan Radio
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COVID-19

As confirmed cases of COVID-19 surge in Michigan, Michigan Radio will be tracking stories about the people impacted, how our healthcare system is faring, what it means for our economy, and more. You can find all of our latest coverage below, or click here to see the latest update of COVID-19 cases and deaths. The feed below also includes national coverage of COVID-19 from NPR.

This is ongoing coverage. 

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Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Fourth of July is going to look a little different this year.

man getting a haircut
Canva

Thursday, Michigan reported its highest single daily COVID-19 case number since May.

State health officials reported 543 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday. It’s a big jump in daily numbers over recent weeks. It’s the biggest single day increase since May 29.

There has been rising concerns about potential COVID-19 hot spots around the state.

Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Early treatment with hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate significantly in certain sick patients hospitalized with COVID-19 — and without heart-related side-effects, according to a new study published by Henry Ford Health System. 

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

Researchers at Beaumont Health have developed a new test that can detect COVID-19 in urine, saliva, and blood. Test results take 30-45 minutes, and don’t require expensive lab equipment to be processed.

Laura Lamb is one of the researchers who worked on developing the test. She says the accuracy of the test was one of the most important considerations. Lamb says the test is very accurate.

 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is shutting down indoor bar service in lower Michigan to slow the spread of coronavirus.

But for some bar owners, it could be “last call.”

The governor signed the executive order Wednesday to combat a rise in COVID-19 cases.  

Michigan hospitals hardest hit by coronavirus get $850M, say they need more

Jul 1, 2020
Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Seven large Michigan health systems hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak have received more than $850 million in federal fundsaccording to federal data. The funds are meant to patch budget holes suffered by providers in “high-impact” areas. 

But hospitals — some of which have laid off thousands of workers in recent months — maintain the money falls far short of what’s needed to make up for losses. Some, in fact, continued this week to cut staff.

Anastasiia Chepinska/Unsplash

Linda Vail isn’t sure how much longer she and her staff can keep working 18-hour days. 

The Ingham County health officer is squeezing in a quick bowl of cereal for breakfast while she does this intervew over Zoom. It’s been a busy couple of weeks: As of Tuesday, her staff tallied more than 100 COVID-19 cases connected to Harper's Restaurant and Brew Pub, an East Lansing spot popular with college students. 

Trinity Health Michigan lays off, furloughs another 1,000 employees

Jun 30, 2020
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital

A second wave of job cuts and layoffs have hit a Michigan health care system as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the economy.

Layoffs and schedule reductions for 1,000 full-time workers or their equivalents will begin this week and continue through the end of July at Trinity Health Michigan, which includes the St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Mercy Health, according to a memo sent to staff Monday by President and CEO Mike Slubowski. 

Gretchen Whitmer at a podium
State of Michigan

The state's much-anticipated pandemic road map for returning to in-person K-12 instruction was released Tuesday.

The plan includes requirements that all school districts must follow, along with recommendations.  Districts will be permitted to institute stricter measures if they wish.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, a minor league baseball league is scheduled to begin play in West Michigan.

A dozen workers spent the weekend prepping the ballpark for Wednesday’s season opener between the Kalamazoo Growlers and Kalamazoo Mac Daddies.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

For the first time since the March, the Pere Marquette train will resume its run between Chicago and Grand Rapids Monday.

Amtrak has been operating in Michigan at lower capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amtrak spokesman Marc Magliari says ridership on the passenger rail service is running about 10% of the average for this time of year.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan election officials are encouraging voters to cast absentee ballots to reduce their potential exposure to COVID-19. 

But flooding last month has complicated those efforts in Midland County.  

The May 19 flood damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses. More than 10,000 people were forced to evacuate. Some Midland county residents are still living in campers, tents or with friends and relatives.

The painful truth: A wife with questions gets answers from a nurse who saw her husband die

Jun 28, 2020
Mandi Wright / Detroit Free Press

The anguish of not knowing what happened to her husband after she dropped him off at Detroit's Sinai-Grace Hospital on the night of March 28 brings fresh tears to Denise Chandler’s eyes three months after he died.

Michigan health officials urge caution as state opens and coronavirus cases rise

Jun 28, 2020
Kimberly P. Mitchell / Detroit Free Press

It's no time to get complacent.

That's the message public health leaders want Michiganders to understand as businesses open up, restrictions are lifted and coronavirus case numbers begin to inch upward.

stock photo of surgical masks on a table
Macau Photo Agency / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, a new initiative called the Mishigamiing Journalism Project has created six month long fellowships for Indigenous journalists at the Traverse City Record Eagle. Plus, a conversation with two Michiganders about dealing with family separation along the Canadian border. And should masks be mandatory throughout the state?

(Subscribe to Stateside on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or with this RSS link)

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

TRINITY HEALTH SENIOR COMMUNITIES

The financial strain caused by COVID-19 is forcing a Muskegon nursing home to close its doors. In a press release issued Thursday, management said Sanctuary at the Park was less than half-full due to a reduction in hospital transfers. 

“Sanctuary at the Park was built and staffed for 99 residents, but currently is only caring for a very small number of individuals,” said administrator Julie Winkle, in the release. “This decline in residents and reduced hospital referrals due to COVID-19 make it unsustainable to continue operations.”

 

Motown31 / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

It’s going to be hard to enforce hard six-feet social distancing rules as kids return to school this fall. That’s according to the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In a statement released Friday morning, the group says in-person learning and school attendance is critical for many students, especially more vulnerable students who can get left behind in the transition to remote learning. Because of that, it’s tough to get as many kids as possible back in school when strict six-feet social distancing rules are in place.

 

Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The northwest Detroit neighborhood near Sinai-Grace hospital was among the country’s most devastated by COVID-19. The hospital saw so many deaths at one point, it ran out of body bags.

empty baseball stadium
Simon Johnson

For a time with very few sporting events, it's been a very busy week for sports news. Michigan Radio sports commentator John U. Bacon shared his thoughts on bringing back sports during the COVID-19 crisis and the Detroit Lions' ownership change.

Jelmer Assink / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, we’re checking in with the owner of a gym and personal training facility to see how he’s approaching reopening in light of an appeals court decision upholding Governor Whitmer’s order to keep gyms closed to limit the spread of COVID-19 yesterday. Also, a conversation with Jim Toy, who has been at the forefront of the fight for LGBTQ rights in Michigan for more than five decades.

(Subscribe to Stateside on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, or with this RSS link)

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

County clerks say they need help providing the personal protective equipment and sanitizers to poll workers for the August and November elections.

In order to try to slow the spread of the coronavirus, election officials are hoping to convince more Michiganders to vote absentee. Clerks started mailing absentee ballots to voters this week for the August 4 primary election.

free weights and exercise machines inside gym
Mark Bertulfo / Unsplash

Most Michiganders will have to wait a little longer before they can return to exercising inside a gym.

A three-judge panel from the U.S. 6th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a ruling late Wednesday night siding with Governor Gretchen Whitmer's decision to keep gyms closed in 66 counties across lower Michigan.

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, hospitals and health workers are still looking for ways to safely interact with patients following the first COVID-19 surge in Michigan. We check in with an epidemiologist who’s researching how plasma from recovered patients might help those at high risk of infection. Plus, we continue to look at what school might look like in the fall as the governor's Return to Learn Task Force wraps up its work and recommendations next week. 

The Ingham County jail is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19.

Eight inmates at the Ingham County jail have tested positive for COVID-19. The inmates were tested after a civilian kitchen employee left work early last Friday and later tested positive for the virus. All the infected inmates worked in the jail's kitchen.

testing swab
Shutterstock image

The COVID-19 pandemic isn’t slowing down in the United States. But in Michigan, things are starting to look up. Hospitalizations are down, the rate of case increase is slowing, and the state has been able to slowly reopen the economy over the past few weeks.

Report: Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid

Jun 24, 2020
Eric Seals / Detroit Free Press

It was meant to be a financial booster shot, a way to help hospitals and health care systems survive the economic onslaught that COVID-19 brought. 

But a new report analyzing how federal coronavirus relief money was distributed shows stark disparities in which states got the biggest portions of $175 billion in aid from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

University of Michigan
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

After cancelling face-to-face classes this spring due to COVID-19, universities across Michigan are gearing up to bring students back to campus this fall.

Although the state of Michigan is doing relatively well with containing the outbreak, the epidemic is still far from over. Universities are trying to balance public health risks with the massive financial costs that would result from not reopening.

novi suburban collection showplace sign
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

For the time being, the state will be closing the field hospital at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi. That’s due to a decrease in the number of COVID-19 cases requiring hospitalization in the region. 

 

Michigan State University
John M. Quick / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Michigan State University is cutting the salaries of non-unionized faculty and academic staff because of the budgetary impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

MSU President Dr. Samuel Stanley, Jr., announced in a letter Monday to all university employees that the pay cuts will start on September 1 and last at least one year.

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, recent developments with Enbridge’s Line 5 have lead Attorney General Dana Nessel to ask for a temporarily halt of operations. Tribes who live and work around the Great Lakes have had an eye on this for years.  Also, Michigan’s legislators have announced funding plans for reopening K-12 schools. What will that look like? Plus, what to expect when you’re expecting to travel this summer.

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