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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Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Michigan Economic Development Corporation

More than $58 million in state money will soon be available to small businesses and entertainment venues that have suffered economically because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small businesses can apply for the one-time grants from the Michigan Small Business Relief Program.

We're No. 33! Or are we? How Michigan tracks COVID-19 vaccines could cost us

Jan 14, 2021
syringes in a blue basket
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

The federal government gave states even more incentive this week to make sure they're getting COVID-19 shots injected into arms as quickly as possible.

States that don't efficiently immunize their people — and report the data accurately — won't get as many doses of COVID-19 vaccines as states that do. The change in the way vaccines are being distributed comes as the virus continues to spread across the nation, filling hospital beds and killing people at a record pace.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Indoor gyms will be allowed to re-open and non-contact sports can resume under a new Department of Health and Human Services order – as long as mask and distancing protocols are followed. That will take effect Saturday.

But indoor dining at restaurants is still not allowed.

students and teachers in masks in classroom
Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, Governor Whitmer said last week she is hoping schools will be able to reopen in-person classes by March. She also announced that K- 12 school teachers are among the groups who can get the COVID-19 vaccinations. We talk about how that process will begin. And, we continue our look at Betsy Devos' legacy after her resignation from her position as Secreatary of Education. Plus, we’ll discuss yesterday’s news that former Governor Rick Snyder, his health director and other ex-officials have been told they’re being charged after a new investigation of the Flint water crisis.

COURTESY OF SPECTRUM HEALTH

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that it will release millions of doses of the COVID vaccine to states.

The move comes after a letter was sent to the department last week, in which Governor Gretchen Whitmer and eight other governors requested that the federal government distribute vaccines being held back by the Trump Administration. 

Today on Stateside, a new cohort of Michiganders are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccinations. We break down the logistical issues surrounding getting the shots. Plus, state lawmakers have banned the open carrying of weapons in Michigan’s Capitol building following the insurrection in Washington D.C.

courtesy of Spectrum Health

Governor Gretchen Whitmer wants Michigan to buy up to 100,000 of doses of Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine on its own.

The federal government already arranged to buy 200 million doses of the vaccine from Pfizer, and it’s been coordinating distribution to the states.

But Governor Whitmer, along with governors from eight other states, says that process is taking too long.

a man wearing a mask receives a covid-19 vaccine
C/O Spectrum Health

“Extreme call volumes.” Crashing servers. Cancellations. And one county says it’s been completely wiped out of vaccine supply by Monday afternoon. 

The airplane is being built as we fly it here, folks.

That’s the message from hospitals and local health officials around the state Monday, as they started (or in some cases, tried to start) vaccinating people 65 and older, as well as some essential workers.

Henry Ford Health System ends hydroxychloroquine study

Jan 11, 2021
Adobe Stock

Promoted in April as the first large-scale drug study on the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine to protect against COVID-19, the Detroit-based clinical trial has quietly been iced.

Henry Ford Health System officials told Bridge Michigan they could not find enough participants to continue studying whether the drug could help beat back the deadly pandemic.

students and teachers in masks in classroom
Adobe Stock

The state of Michigan wants students to have a chance to come back to their classrooms in less than two months. The state's largest teachers union supports the plan, but wants some assurances.

a group of women on yoga mats in an exercise class
Unsplash

Being more physically fit may protect you from having severe COVID-19, according to a new study from Henry Ford Health System.

Researchers looked at patients who had taken an exercise stress test over the past four years, and were also diagnosed with COVID-19. That was about 250 people.

ADOBE STOCK

Vaccinations are underway at Michigan’s long-term care facilities. Data from CVS show the pharmacy had distributed over 20,000 doses as of Friday.

Walgreens doesn’t provide the same state-level data, but says it expects to administer all first doses for those residents and staff who want them by January 25.

DONFIORE / ADOBE STOCK

Health officials believe that if it hasn't already, a new and apparently more contagious variant of the coronavirus will soon land in Michigan. 

Two labs are on the lookout.

The state lab in Lansing and a research lab at the University of Michigan are actively sequencing genetic material from positive COVID-19 test samples to see if the variant — which was first identified in the U.K., and appears to spread more quickly — is present.

Hands gripping jail cell bars
maxpixel

Michigan's guidelines for prioritization of the COVID-19 vaccine includes staff in correctional facilities and homeless shelters in its early phases, but not inmates and people living in homeless shelters.

That's a concern for the ACLU of Michigan, who released a memo this week asking the state to reconsider these groups to include residents of homeless shelters and inmates in Michigan's prisons and jails.

Kandace Day

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is now regularly releasing data about cases of an inflammatory condition that has affected some children who were, according to the state website, “infected with the virus that causes COVID-19, or had been around someone with COVID-19.”

There have been 58 confirmed cases in Michigan since April, according to a January 7 update. That is 15 more cases reported since the mid-December update. Their ages range from zero to 20.

gretchen whitmer wearing mask at podium
Michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer is strongly encouraging all K-12 schools in Michigan to reopen for some in-person instruction by March 1. The move comes as the state is set to offer the coronavirus vaccine to teachers starting next week.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s high school football playoffs resume this weekend.

The fall sports playoffs were shut down two months ago as COVID-19 surged in the state.

A spokesman for the Michigan High School Athletic Association is confident they will finish the playoffs this month.

“We haven’t spoken a word in our office about having this shut down again,” says Geoff Kimmerly.

C/O Beaumont Health

Technically, Michiganders 65 and older, as well as some frontline essential workers, are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine starting Monday, January 11th. 

But that’s not going to get them an appointment any time soon at the Kent County public health clinic.


man in a mask gets a vaccine from health care worker in a mask
Adobe Stock

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has unveiled a three-part plan to get COVID-19 vaccinations rolling in the city.

One major component is turning the TCF Convention Center garage into a drive-thru vaccination site. Starting next week, people 75 and older can get vaccinated there. So can people 65 and older so long as they accompany someone over 75. K-12 teachers and child care providers who wouldn’t otherwise get vaccinated through their employer are also eligible to get vaccinated at TCF.

DONFIORE / ADOBE STOCK

COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and outbreaks continued to decline statewide over the week ending Saturday, January 2, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

But case numbers appear to be plateauing, and state officials say holiday gatherings could drive a spike.

A hospital emergency room entrance.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Cardiac arrests outside of hospitals went up by 60% during the first 10 weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic over the same period the year before. And there was a 42% jump in deaths from cardiac arrests in the pre-hospital setting.

These were some of the findings of a study of out-of-hospital cardiac arrest records of the Emergency Service Information System in Wayne, Oakland, and Macomb counties from March 23 through May 31, 2020. 

Anyone over age 65 can start getting vaccinated starting January 11.
Adobe Stock

Starting January 11, some frontline essential workers and anyone over the age of 65 will be eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced on Wednesday. That’s a pivot from the CDC’s guidance, which recommends only allowing those over the age of 75 to be part of the next phase of vaccinations, along with frontline workers.

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

The state of Michigan has begun distributing COVID-19 vaccines, and frontline health workers and residents of long-term care facilities are first up to receive the vaccination.

State capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, old tensions between Governor Whitmer and state legislative leaders flared during the lame-duck session. Plus, a conversation with the author of the satirical novel The Great American Cheese War about its eerie parallels with some of 2020’s biggest stories. And, we talk more about the vaccines and how distribution is going in Michigan. 

Courtesy photos

More information is coming out about the potential long term symptoms of COVID-19. The CDC recently put out a list of the long term effects of the virus. And post-COVID treatment centers are growing in number.

It’s being called “Long COVID.” For people living with it, there are a lot of unknowns.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

The state of Michigan is handing out face masks to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. 3.5 million masks are being distributed through community organizations, including local Department of Health and Human Services offices, health departments, and Area Agency on Aging offices.

illustration of nurses and doctors wearing PPE
Kevin Kobsic / United Nations / Unsplash

While we can’t know for sure the number of COVID cases in our communities, the number of confirmed cases has just rounded the 500,000 mark today. As we reckon with these huge numbers, we spoke with Michigan Radio reporters Kate Wells, who covers Southeast Michigan, and Dustin Dwyer, who covers West Michigan, about what reporting on COVID throughout the state has looked like over the past 10 months.

3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, we talked with Politico correspondent Tim Alberta about the rift in the GOP over President Donald Trump's baseless claims of election fraud. Plus, two Michigan Radio reporters who’ve covered COVID-19 talk about the future of the pandemic as we enter a new year.

The latest pandemic milestone in Michigan: The state has now confirmed more than half a million cases of coronavirus.

On Monday the state added 4,992 new confirmed cases, a two-day total covering test results from both Saturday and Sunday.

That brings the total number since the start of the pandemic to 502,119.

slemboskilaw.com/

This pandemic year has been tough for lawyers who work with people facing eviction.

The need for their services is greater than ever. Support programs have helped, but they’ve been a patchwork that often leave attorneys scrambling to help clients.

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