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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State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Republican leaders in the state Legislature say they want better oversight on federal COVID-19 relief dollars.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has introduced a plan calling for the allocation of $5.6 billion dollars in federal and state money. She says Michigan is lagging behind in terms of getting the cash to people who need it.

“Other states are deploying these resources to support their children, to support businesses that are struggling, to roll out their vaccine distribution. Michigan is sitting on them, and it's because we're waiting for the Legislature to appropriate these dollars.”

wood gavel in front of book
sergign / Adobe Stock

Lansing District Court Judge Kristen Simmons dismissed  misdemeanor disorderly conduct charges Monday against six hair stylists.

The women cut hair in front of the Michigan Capitol in May to protest against Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders that closed down barbershops and hair salons last spring to help curb the spread of COVID-19.

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. 

If you live in a part of Michigan that has COVID vaccine doses, and you’re in a priority group, you might be trying to make a decision right now: Is it time to get the shots?

But if you’re someone who’s had a complicated relationship with establishment health care, it may not be so simple. Donna Allen-Brown checks all those boxes.

Adobe Stock

Meijer is expanding COVID-19 vaccinations across Michigan this week, with plans to administer up to 25,000 doses to people age 65 and older by week's end. Monday's announcement comes more than three weeks after the retailer began immunizations at a limited number of its pharmacies in Wayne County. Residents can pre-register by sending a text message, going online or visiting a Meijer pharmacy. Meijer reports administering more than 20,000 doses since its first clinic on Jan. 15, primarily to seniors.

The Michigan Department of Corrections is starting to send test results to a state lab to look for coronavirus variants.

Unsplash

Kalamazoo Public Schools has been doing remote virtual learning since September, when the school year began. As the district enters its third trimester, the school board will decide on Thursday, February 11 on whether to stay fully remote, or offer a hybrid option.

The hybrid plan put forth by KPS would have students in classrooms two days a week, some synchronous learning on Wednesdays, and two days of asynchronous, independent learning. 

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.

girl dribbling basketball in front of a blurry background
Ron Alvey / Adobe Stock

The state health department is allowing indoor contact high school sports to resume in Michigan on Monday, February 8.


testing swab
Shutterstock image

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with Wayne State University and Wayne Health to bring COVID-19 testing to more Michiganders using mobile health units.

The mobile health units are based in vans that already serve Detroit and its metropolitan area. The vans are equipped to provide COVID-19 tests, flu vaccines, blood pressure screenings, and HIV tests.

3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has rolled out a voluntary COVID-19 rapid antigen testing program that will provide free weekly tests to K-12 educators who opt in.

MDHHS is providing testing supplies at no cost to any interested public or private school. The tests will be administered on site at the school.

State health officials say the testing program will help achieve Governor Gretchen Whitmer's goal of an in-person instruction option in all Michigan schools by March 1.

Wikimedia Commons

Today on Stateside, Michigan has reached over one million COVID-19 vaccinations. We explore what this milestone means, and the work ahead. Plus, the pandemic cancels another event. This time it’s sled dog race. And, as the virus ripped through the country, misinformation tore through a small U.P. town.

a classroom of empty colorful chairs
Flickr user Frank Juarez / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Woman with IV in arm
Adobe Stock


COURTESY OF SPECTRUM HEALTH

It's been seven weeks since the first COVID-19 vaccines were distributed in Michigan and, as of Monday, the state has now officially seen over one million shots in arms. 

 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services tracks its vaccine distributions in a dashboard that is updated throughout the week with metrics for first and second doses, doses by county, and more. 

 

As of Sunday, more than 200,000 people are now fully vaccinated. 

an open sign in a shop window
Mike Petrucci / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, Michigan restaurants and diners face the re-opening of indoor dining. Plus, an etiquette guide to the first Super Bowl in the pandemic. And, a look at Michigan’s role as a bootlegging hub during Prohibition.

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.

state capitol building in lansing, michigan at night
Chris / Adobe Stock

Democrats are pressing the Legislature’s GOP leaders to vote on Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s plans to spend federal COVID-19 assistance.

State House Democrats have asked for an up-or-down vote on a nearly $5.7 billion package that’s almost identical to Whitmer’s proposal.

Vojtech Okenka / Pexels

COVID-19 has magnified and intensified so many of our society’s social and economic injustices. While many of these problems have been around for as long as the systems themselves, the complete upending of “normal” life brought on by the pandemic has left many people more acutely aware. When it comes to job loss, it is women, specifically women of color, who have been hit the hardest.

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.

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

Michigan State University has issued what it calls an "enhanced physical distance directive" for students, effective Saturday, January 30 at midnight and lasting two weeks, through February 13.

In a letter to students, officials say, "We have experienced a rapid increase in COVID-19 positivity rates since students returned to the East Lansing area for the spring semester. There also has been a failure by some to adhere to our health and safety guidelines."

Detroit will start getting a larger COVID-19 vaccine allotment starting next week, Mayor Mike Duggan announced on Thursday.

The city will start getting nearly triple the number of doses it had been receiving—15,000 first doses per week.

3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

Michigan's strict public health measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays have proven successful at preventing COVID cases and saving lives. These are the preliminary findings by researchers at the University of Michigan's School of Public Health.

"It appears from our models that the social distancing that Michiganders practiced after November 15th over the holiday season prevented 109,000 cases," said University of Michigan professor Marisa Eisenberg, the study's lead researcher. 

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.

Gretchen Whitmer
Michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer made a peace offering to Republicans in her third State of the State address on Wednesday night. That’s as Republicans have ramped up their resistance to her COVID-19 restrictions.

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. 

gary peters headshot
US Senate Photography

The second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump is underway as the Senate begins to set parameters for the proceeding. This is the first time a president will undergo a Senate trial twice, and although Trump is no longer in office, the trial will continue.


The state capitol building against a cloudy gray sky
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Michigan House Republicans have proposed a $3.5 billion coronavirus recovery plan that threatens to withhold billions to K-12 schools unless Governor Gretchen Whitmer gives her administration's power to prohibit in-person instruction and sports to local health departments.

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