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. 

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

Erik Mclean / Unsplash

State Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) has formed a bipartisan workgroup with the job of determining when it might be safe for some businesses shut down by the coronavirus crisis to re-open.

“We believe there’s evidence to support, actually, frankly, real-life examples to support that businesses can operate with the discipline, robustness and safety as you can at home.”

Brad Gowland / Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order went into effect on Tuesday, March 24. But it appears many Michiganders had already started staying home the week before, as it became clear that the COVID-19 outbreak had reached the state.

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, the Michigan Legislature convened in Lansing today, but some lawmakers question the safety of meeting in person. We hear from one of them, and talk about what lawmaking looks like in the middle of a pandemic. Plus, how plasma donated by people who have recovered from COVID-19 could protect health care workers on the front lines of the pandemic.

GM Renaissance Center in Detroit.
John F. Martin / Creative Commons / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says Michigan’s biggest city is seeing a “glimmer of light” in its fight against COVID-19.

According to the state, 222 Detroiters have died from COVID-19 during the outbreak.    

A few weeks ago, Detroit’s death toll was doubling every two or three days. But as the numbers have climbed, the rate that overall number doubled increased to four or five days.

a hand holds a bag of plasma
Adobe Stock Photos

As people shelter in place and sew homemade face masks, many wonder when scientists might find a treatment or vaccine for COVID-19. Meanwhile, a growing number of Michiganders who have tested positive for the virus are starting to recover. It turns out they could have an important role to play in the search for a treatment.

Shayan Sanyal / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Updated 2:28 on 4/7/20 to reflect increase in cases 

COVID-19 cases continue to increase rapidly in some Michigan prisons.

As of Tuesday afternoon, 10 prisons now have at least one confirmed COVID-19 case, and at the two most affected prisons, Parnall Correctional Facility and Macomb Correctional Facility, the number of cases is spiking, with a high percentage of positive test results out of those tested.

People are flooding into Leelanau County since COVID-19 hit Michigan last month, according to several local business owners.

Health departments in northern Michigan have asked those visiting to self-quarantine, and essential workers in the county are concerned about the increased foot traffic.


The State Theatre in Ann Arbor, MI
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Under Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" executive order, there's at least one thing most Michiganders have in common: We're all, well, at home. 

McLaren Hospital in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A fourth Michigan healthcare worker has died of complications from COVID-19. It's the first coronavirus-related death of a healthcare worker outside of Detroit.

Patrick Cain died on Saturday. He worked as a nurse in the intensive care unit at Flint's McLaren Hospital.

Kelly Indish is president of Local 875 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. It's the union that represents McLaren nurses.

In an email to Michigan Radio, she wrote that, “Our hearts are heavy right now at McLaren Flint.”

novi suburban collection showplace sign
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

The Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi has been selected as the site for a COVID-19 field hospital.

According to the state, after the conversion, the Suburban Collection Showplace will provide 250,000 square feet and bed space to accommodate up to 1,000 COVID-19 cases.

Luis Melendez for Unsplash.com

Nurses working the night shift at a Detroit hospital staged a sit-in late Sunday to protest what they say are dangerously low staffing levels in the ER.

The nurses say they were asked to leave the hospital, Detroit Medical Center Sinai-Grace, as a result.

different types of face masks laying on a table
CDC

The state of Michigan now has more than 17,000 cases of COVID-19. But there's not enough personal protective equipment to last through the week at several hospitals in Southeast Michigan.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the state is dangerously low on equipment to protect healthcare workers.

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, families advocate for their loved ones isolated in hospitals amidst the COVID-19 crisis. Beaumont Health representative Kelly Parent weighs in on the communication options available between hospital staff and families unable to be present at their loved ones’ bedsides. Plus, how to maintain your mental health while you’re at home.

Emma Simpson / Unsplash

Pretty much everything about the COVID-19 pandemic has been stressful.

Dr. Arash Javanbakht, director of the Stress, Trauma, and Anxiety Research at Wayne State University, says situations COVID-19 has forced on us create major stress triggers. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing have caused abrupt changes, leaving us feeling a lack of control. Javanbakht and Alison Miller, associate professor of public health at the University of Michigan, gave some advice on how to cope with stress and some tips to get a handle on the situation.

Michigan has crossed another grim milestone in the COVID-19 outbreak.

For the first time, more than 100 Michiganders have died from the disease in a 24-hour period.

State health officials reported Monday an additional 110 people have died of coronavirus. A big leap from the 77 deaths reported Sunday.

gretchen whitmer sitting at table
State of Michigan

The Legislature will meet Tuesday to vote on resolutions to extend Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers to address the COVID-19 outbreak. The House and the Senate have adopted special rules for in-person voting while adhering to health protections.

House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) says long-distance voting is not an option right now.

shop window
Jodi Westrick / Michigan Radio

Nearly 800,000 people have filed for unemployment benefits in Michigan since mid-March. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday detailed the stunning impact of the coronavirus on the state's economy.

Five generations of women in Biba Adams' family, standing in the grass with trees behind them
Courtesy Biba Adams

 

On March 26, two of the most important women in Biba Adams’ life went into the hospital with COVID-19 infections, and would soon be fighting for their lives.

People across social media are sewing their own facemasks, but they don't do much to protect against coronavirus.
Adobe Stock

Update, April 6, 2020:

The Centers for Disease Control issued new guidance on facemasks for the general public Friday, recommending that people consider wearing cloth face coverings in public.

The guidance is based on growing evidence that presymptomatic and asymptomatic people can spread the virus. 

Work crew replacing a lead service line in Flint.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Flint is suspending its lead pipe replacement program amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Flint started replacing service lines connecting city homes and businesses to city water mains in the wake of the city’s water crisis.

Since 2016, the city has inspected more than 25,000 service lines and replaced more than 9,000 lead and galvanized pipes.

scrabble tiles that spell out mental health
Pixabay

Michigan’s mental health community is facing some unique challenges during the COVID-19 crisis, and is making changes. Mental health care providers say isolation can be difficult for everyone, but especially for people with depression and other mental health issues.

Some mental health providers are providing telehealth – helping people over the phone and online.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Black people make up over a third of all COVID-19 cases in Michigan, according to data the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released Saturday. And while black people make up only about 12% of the Michigan’s population, they make up about 40% of all COVID-19 deaths reported.

VA hospital ann arbor
Caroline Llanes / Michigan Radio

As Michigan prepares for an expected surge in COVID-19 cases, many hospitals, particularly in Southeast Michigan, are starting to become overwhelmed.

The TCF Center in Detroit is being converted into a field hospital, and the University of Michigan is planning to convert its indoor track field into a field hospital as well. As hospitals and health systems scramble to find more beds, ventilators, and PPE, the question comes up: could VA hospitals and medical centers function as backups during this surge?

Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha speaks at a book signing
umseas / CreativeCommons

Today on Stateside, we talk to Dr. Mona Hanna Attisha, who tested positive for COVID-19. Plus, we talk to children who just found out the rest of their school year is cancelled.

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

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below

gretchen whitmer sitting at table
State of Michigan

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued another COVID-19-related executive order. The order says employees who think they have the disease have a right to stay home.

It also says businesses cannot fire or punish employees who stay home because they show symptoms or think they’ve been exposed to the coronavirus. The order also covers workers who have to care for someone at home who’s sick with COVID-19.

flickr user Darren Whitley / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The final whistle has blown for high school winter and spring sports in Michigan.

The Michigan High School Athletic Association announced Friday it is cancelling the remainder of the 2019-20 Winter and Spring sports seasons. 

The association says the decision is in compliance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “state of disaster” directive closing K-12 schools and moving education online for the remainder of the school year. 

user meddygarnet / Flickr

An employee at the John D. Dingell VA Medical Center in Detroit has died due to the new coronavirus. They were in their 70s. The VA did not provide any other details as to underlying health conditions due to “privacy concerns.”

This employee is at least the second known medical professional to die of COVID-19 in Detroit. 

lisa ewald
Courtesy of Aubree Farmer

Updated April 4, 10:33 am: Lisa Ewald, a 54-year-old nurse who worked for more than 20 years at Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, died this week after telling friends and family she’d tested positive for COVID-19.

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order ending face-to-face instruction for the current school year. But Whitmer also wants kids to move forward.

“What we want to make sure is that no student is penalized because of COVID-19, that they are not held back because of this global crisis that we’re confronting,” Whitmer said in a press conference Thursday.

Lisa Hagel is superintendent of the Genesee Intermediate School District. She spoke with Michigan Radio’s Doug Tribou about how the new order will affect students and families.

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