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

Today on Stateside, people around the state are casting their votes in the presidential primary and for more than 200 local ballot initiatives. We'll hear about turnout and tabulation, and what makes a teenager want to work a 13-hour day at the polls. Plus, we talk to the Michigan's chief medical officer about the state's capacity to test people for COVID-19. 

hands under pouring water
mrjn Photography / Unsplash

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that the state will pick up the cost for Detroit residents to have water service re-connected for the duration of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. Approximately 3,000 households in the city may be without water service for non-payment.

Doctor's stethoscope
Pixabay.com

LANSING, Mich. (AP) -  Michigan health insurers say they will cover the cost of medically necessary tests for the new coronavirus for people covered under employer and individual health plans. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, meanwhile, announced late Friday the waiving of testing and treatment fees for Medicaid recipients. Michigan currently has no known COVID-19 cases, but infections have been identified in about half of the states. Plans that will waive copays and deductibles for testing costs include Blue Cross Blue Shield, Blue Care Network, Priority Health, CVS Health, McLaren and Meridian.

students walking
Wikimedia Commons / CreativeCommons

As spring breaks wrap up, university campuses across the state are preparing for students and faculty returning from travel abroad with coronavirus anxieties in mind.

Universities are prompting returning students to self-monitor for symptoms. Faculty, students and staff traveling to or from China, South Korea, Italy, or Iran are being told to self-quarantine for 14 days before returning to campus.

Michael Vrooman is the Chief International Officer for Grand Valley State University. He says students there should miss minimal instruction time.

Anyone can catch COVID-19, the disease caused by the newly identified coronavirus. But certain populations appear to be more vulnerable to its effects.

Consider the 11 deaths so far in the United States — one in California and the rest in Washington state.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The head of Michigan’s Census office is collaborating with other state and federal officials on ways to keep people's concerns about the coronavirus from affecting the Census count. 

The U.S. death toll from the coronavirus has risen to 11 with a victim succumbing in California, the first reported fatality outside the state of Washington.

The rapid spread of the new coronavirus has health officials scrambling to educate the public on good hygiene and best practices. And the need to communicate those messages has resurrected a classic art form: the public service announcement, or PSA.

Because the coronavirus is a global concern, video PSAs are emerging from all corners of the globe, all at once.

Delta airplane
Delta Airlines

Ford Motor Company is restricting all air travel, domestic and foreign, to reduce employees' risk of contracting COVID-19.  GM and Fiat Chrysler aren't going quite as far - yet. 

Ford says it will allow only rare exceptions to its near-complete travel restriction, which ends on March 27th - although that date could be extended.

Updated Wednesday at 4:20 p.m. ET

After a slow initial roll-out, test kits for the new coronavirus are now becoming more widely available in the United States. That means a big surge in testing is coming — one that will likely cause a significant increase in identified cases of the COVID-19 illness.

Here are some things to know about the tests.

What is the current availability of coronavirus testing?

wikimedia commons

Michigan is ramping up its preparations for a possible coronavirus outbreak in the state, although right now, no one in Michigan has tested positive for the virus.

Lynn Sutfin is with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

She says the state currently has the capacity to test between 100 and 150 people for coronavirus, should that be necessary.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is telling Americans that they should be prepared for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in their community.

But what does preparedness look like in practice? The short answer: Don't panic — but do prepare.

Eilien Dumon / unsplash

U.S. Congressman Dan Kildee (D-Flint) says President Donald Trump is shortchanging the nation's response to coronavirus, and treating it like a public relations problem instead of a public health crisis.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

President Donald Trump is holding a news conference about coronavirus alongside Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) officials and others amid criticism of the government's response to the outbreak. Watch his remarks live.

Updated at 8:25 p.m. ET

Federal health officials issued a blunt message Tuesday: Americans need to start preparing now for the possibility that more aggressive, disruptive measures might be needed to stop the spread of the new coronavirus in the U.S.

The strongly worded warning came in response to outbreaks of the virus outside China, including in Iran, Japan, South Korea and Italy, which officials say have raised the likelihood of outbreaks occurring stateside.

Despite worrisome new outbreaks in Iran, Italy and South Korea, the coronavirus disease called COVID-19 is not currently a pandemic, the World Health Organization said today.

In fact, there are some encouraging trends, especially in Hubei province, where most of the cases have been reported.

The epidemic there appears to have plateaued in late January and is continuing on a good trajectory. Dr. Bruce Aylward led a WHO trip to China with a scientific delegation that just concluded. On Sunday, he told reporters in Beijing that trend is real.

As the case count of coronavirus infections continues to rise in China, the number of reported infections among children is remarkably low.

"We're seeing [about] 75,000 total cases at this point, but the literature is only reporting about 100 or so pediatric cases," says Terri Lynn Stillwell, a pediatric infectious disease expert at Mott Children's Hospital at the University of Michigan.

a headshot of Dan Gilbert
Quicken Loans

Today on Stateside, a super PAC funded by the DeVos family has raised $800,000 to unseat Democratic U.S. Senator Gary Peters. We talk about how spending by outside groups could impact the state's most competitive 2020 races. Plus, an update on the Michigan family caught in a coronavirus scare on a cruise ship.

family posing with cruise ship CEO
The Muth family

Updated Monday February 17, 2020 at 3:49 p.m.:

Almost 1,500 passengers and over 800 crew members were stuck on a cruise ship in the Pacific Ocean for two weeks, after fears of the coronovirus prevented the vessel from docking at a majority of their scheduled stops. That changed last Friday when passengers were finally able to disembark in Cambodia. 

Supporters of the Michigan Green Party visit the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department.
Michigan Green Party / Facebook

Today on Stateside, one Michigan family got an extended vacation after their cruise ship was turned away from port after port because of fears about the coronavirus. Also, we round up the week's news, including the coverage of black voters ahead of election 2020 and Detroit's ongoing water shutoffs.

A worker handles finished auto parts on an assembly line
ADAC Automotive Muskegon operations

Today on Stateside, the coronavirus outbreak in China is beginning to have an effect on Michigan manufacturers. We hear from an executive at a west Michigan auto parts supplier about how the virus is affecting their business. Plus, we'll learn about Michigan's first African American settlers, as well as Enbridge's plan to replace a section of Line 5 under the St. Clair River.

sick child
Adobe Stock

The disease COVID-19, which is caused by the novel coronavirus, continues to spread throughout the world. 

At the moment, the World Health Organization says it appears to be deadlier than the flu, although it may not spread as easily.

Updated at 7:25 p.m. ET

The U.S. State Department is warning Americans not to travel to China, issuing its most serious travel advisory one day after the World Health Organization declared the Wuhan coronavirus to be a global health emergency. The virus has spread to at least 22 countries, and more than 250 people in China have died.

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

Michigan universities say faculty members and students are returning from trips to China, as the coronavirus outbreak grows worse.

airport terminal
Vito Palmisano / Detroit Metro Airport

Detroit Metro Airport is taking extra precaution by screening some passengers for the deadly coronavirus.

That's after the number of confirmed cases in China rose to nearly 6,000 as of Wednesday morning. The death toll is now at 132.

DTW is among 20 airports around the country that recently began testing.

Updated Feb. 19, 11:00 a.m. ET

A new disease first identified in Wuhan, China, in December 2019, and now called COVID-19, continues to spread, primarily in China but cases have also appeared in some two dozen other countries.

Here's what we know so far about this virus, as reported by NPR's daily science podcast Short Wave.

What kind of disease is this?

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