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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THE U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

The number of people getting tested for COVID-19 in Michigan is on the rise. But in order to maintain quick turnaround times for results — a prerequisite for an effective public health response — some of the labs that process those tests are turning away new clients.

Last week, Michigan was completing more than 24,000 COVID-19 tests a day, based on a rolling 7-day average. At the start of July, average daily testing was less than 17,000.

Hillsdale College

  Dr. Harle Vogel says he found out on Tuesday that Hillsdale College was planning to hold an in-person, outdoor commencement ceremony this Saturday. As medical director for the Branch-Hillsdale-St. Joseph Community Health Agency, Vogel says college officials told them as many as 2,600-plus people could be in attendance. That’s despite an executive order banning events of more than 100 people in that area. 

SHARI BERNSTEIN

This week a shopper in Meijer in Acme threatened an employee with a knife, upset he was told to wear a mask.

In Lansing, a man was stabbed and in May, a security guard at a Flint dollar store was shot to death.

Northern Michigan businesses say confrontations have increased recently, as customers unhappy with the mask policy harass workers tasked with enforcing the policy.

Courtesy of the State Theatre and Bijou by the Bay in Traverse City

Grand Traverse County health officer Wendy Hirschenberger hit a milestone this week she was hoping to never reach: 100 cases of COVID-19 in the county since the pandemic began. While that’s a fraction of what some Michigan counties have seen (Oakland County, for instance, is close to 10,000) what worries Hirschenberger is that 55 of those cases are just since July 1.

Office of the Governor

Today on Stateside, Michigan Radio Sports Commentator John U. Bacon checks in on hopes for college sports amid COVID-19. Also, a conversation with an author whose new book digs into what the University of Michigan got right and got wrong in its diversity and inclusion efforts.  

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

MICHIGAN.GOV

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan is seeing an uptick in new COVID-19 cases.

The latest numbers show Michigan has more than 71,000 confirmed cases and 6,085 deaths, and the pace of known new infections is picking up.

She says the reason is people are starting to abandon precautions to slow the spread of the disease.

slemboskilaw.com/

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Wednesday that Detroit residents facing eviction due to COVID-19 can apply for legal aid and rental assistance.

The mayor said there would be $11.5 million dedicated to the program. He says the city is working with community organizations to get people help.

"We will get you to resources. United Community Housing Coalition has got lawyers for you if the landlord is evicting you in a way that is legally inappropriate, we've got good lawyers for you."

Adobe Stock Images

Today on Stateside, we spoke with the reporter who broke the story about a Michigan 15-year-old who was sentenced to juvenile detention for missing homework during the coronavirus shutdown. Also, a conversation about addressing disparities in education through connecting with families. Plus, how a Detroit nonprofit founded after the 1967 uprisings is pushing for change today.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

If there is football played in the Big House this fall, most Wolverine fans will find themselves having to watch the games from home.

The University of Michigan Athletic Department announced its preliminary football ticket plans Wednesday. Under the ticket plan, students and current season ticket holders would be given the opportunity to purchase single game tickets.   There will be no tickets available for the general public.

But whether there will be games played remains a question.

school hallway
Detroit Public Schools / Detroit Public Schools

Michigan’s largest school district has approved a re-opening plan that includes in-person learning.

The Detroit Public Schools Community District board voted for the plan Tuesday night. It calls for schools to make a number of adaptations to manage the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

image of furniture and mattresses on curb
User wolfpeterson / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Housing advocates are asking Governor Gretchen Whitmer to extend the moratorium on evictions. The moratorium was originally put in place in March, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, it has been extended four times via executive order. It is now set to expire at 12:01 a.m. on July 16

 

Police at the scene of the stabbing.
Michigan State Police

Updated July 14 at 4:52 p.m.

One man is dead and another is hospitalized after an argument over wearing a face mask at a mid-Michigan convenience store.

Tuesday morning, a man refusing to wear a mask stabbed a mask-wearing man in the store parking lot, just south of Lansing.

Illustration of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Today on Stateside, summer school started for students in Detroit. We check in with the superintendent of schools in the city to find out how summer instruction will work, as well as the district’s plans for the fall. Also, a parent reflects on how systemic racism in the U.S. demands that Black children grow up far too fast. Plus, the COVID-19 virus image as an artifact of design.

Illustration of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The coronavirus is really really small. It measures around 120 nanometers. For context, the width of a single strand of human hair is somewhere around 75,000 nanometers. Under an electron microscope, the virus looks like a slightly blurry colorless orb.

So how do you get from a tiny, almost transparent virus under a microscope to the image of a red spiky orb we've come to associate with the novel coronavirus? We asked Deborah L. Gumucio, a professor emerita in Cell and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan, that very question. 

Erick McLean/Unsplash

Washtenaw County health officials say a large house party in the Saline area over the Fourth of July weekend has led to a spike in COVID-19 cases that is rapidly spreading as infectious people exposed others at “retail stores, restaurants, businesses, canoe liveries, clubs, camps, athletic teams and a retirement community.”

Empty classroom
Kevin Wong / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

In just six to eight weeks, Michigan’s K - 12 students will be returning to school for the fall semester. 

Most districts appear to be planning for at least a limited number of days of in-person teaching.

But cases of COVID-19 are increasing in the state, and teachers are anxious about the risks for them, their students and their own families. 

THE U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

Labs that process COVID-19 tests in Michigan are taking several days to get results back to nursing homes, according to the state health department.

More facilities are testing residents and staff in order to comply with a June directive from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

 

That order requires facilities with active COVID-19 cases to test staff and residents weekly until 14 days have passed since the last positive test. Facilities in medium to high-risk parts of the state — as of Friday, all of them — must test staff weekly, regardless of whether the virus has been detected. 

 

Hand holding homeade cloth masks
Vera Davidova / Unsplash

Take precautions to slow the spread of the coronavirus or risk a return to lockdown. That was the message from Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun at a Thursday press conference. On Friday, Whitmer went a step further, signing a new executive order that makes mask-wearing mandatory in crowded public spaces. 

prison bars
Flickr / http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Oakland County has won an appeal in a lawsuit brought by inmates in the county jail. The lawsuit was related to conditions at the Oakland County jail during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the lawsuit, inmates said they weren’t provided soap and disinfectant to clean surfaces and shared items, and that it was impossible to follow social distancing guidelines.

Unsplash / Paul Bergmeir

Today on Stateside, a conversation with the founder of Detroit’s Concert of Colors about the world music festival’s switch to broadcast-and-webcast-only later this year. Also, in light of Governor Whitmer’s new executive order calling for the use of masks in all public spaces, an epidemiologist provides some tips for adjusting to life during a pandemic. 

rollercoaster at Cedar Point
Coasterman1234 / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Ah, to spend a hot summer day at the theme park. Roller coasters, funnel cakes and… face masks? For Cedar Point, an Ohio amusement park long beloved by Michiganders, that’s a hard yes—starting this weekend.

Adobe Stock

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is toughening a requirement to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic, mandating that businesses open to the public deny service or entry to customers who refuse to wear one.

hands under pouring water
mrjn Photography / Unsplash

The ACLU and other civil rights groups are suing the city of Detroit and others over Detroit’s water shutoffs.

Detroit has shut off water service to around 100,000 homes since 2014 for non-payment. Close to 25,000 homes were disconnected in 2019.

Indiana Michigan football game
Creative Commons larrysphatpage

The Big Ten Conference won't play nonconference games in football or other sports this fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We are facing uncertain and unprecedented times, and the health, safety and wellness of our student-athletes, coaches, game officials, and others associated with our sports programs and campuses remain our number one priority,” says the Big Ten said in a statement.

angie reyes of the DHDC speaks at the detroit hispanic development corporation
Screenshot from the City of Detroit

Detroit’s Immigration Task Force is partnering with community organizations to distribute $750,000 in COVID-19 assistance to undocumented immigrants in Detroit. Undocumented immigrants were largely not eligible for the $1,200 stimulus checks many received as a result of the CARES Act. The $750,000 comes in the form of a grant from the Open Society Foundation.

 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed a directive that will require health care professionals to be trained in ways to guard against bias as a condition of being licensed or re-licensed to practice.

She says that will include courses offered by state-licensed medical schools.

Jennifer Guerra / Michigan Radio

Michigan schools could face an even worse substitute teacher shortage because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The state released guidelines last month outlining students’ return to in-person learning in classrooms, which specifies face coverings and physical distancing requirements.

green field with two white barns on it
David Cassleman / Interlochen Public Radio

The state will open up applications for the Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant Program next week. They’re meant to promote worker safety through the COVID-19 pandemic.

The program will provide $15 million in total: $10 million to food processors, and another $5 million to farms. The money can be used for things like personal protective equipment, employee testing for COVID-19, safety upgrades for farm-provided housing, or facility improvements, like installing plexi-glass barriers.

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