Health | Michigan Radio


Atoms via Unsplash

Under revised guidance released by the CDC Tuesday, residents in six Michigan counties should resume wearing masks indoors, even if they’re fully vaccinated.

a hospital hallway with people at the end of it
Robin Erb / Bridge

The ACLU of Michigan is asking state regulators to examine a Catholic health system’s policy of not providing tubal ligations.

The ACLU filed the complaint with the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) against Ascension.  It’s on behalf of a pregnant woman whose doctor, affiliated with Ascension Providence Hospital in Southfield, advised her to get a tubal ligation in conjunction with a planned C-section.

Rise in COVID cases is among the unvaccinated

Jul 27, 2021
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun at a news conference with Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The number of new COVID-19 infections in Michigan continues to rise.  

Over the past four days the state has averaged 441 new cases, nearly triple the amount in late June.

Most of the new infections - and nearly all hospitalizations - are among unvaccinated people.

Chief Medical Executive Doctor Joneigh Khaldun says the increase in cases is not due to any one cause,  but several. 

Olga Kononenko via Unsplash

Amelia Haywood’s story is the kind that doctors say they’ve been hearing over and over again for months now.

“I’m 15 years old. I play volleyball,” Haywood says, tucking her long brown hair behind her ear, “and six months ago I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa.”

man gets covid test
Adobe Stock

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is asking people who attended the Faster Horses country music festival this month to get tested for COVID-19. Health officials believe a coronavirus outbreak is connected to the event.

As of Monday, 23 people who attended Faster Horses have tested positive for COVID-19.

“These are individuals who were attending and many were at the festival during their infectious period,” state health department spokesperson Lynn Sutfin said.

The current COVID-19 surge in the U.S. — fueled by the highly contagious delta variant — will steadily accelerate through the summer and fall, peaking in mid-October, with daily deaths more than triple what they are now.

elderly person in wheelchair holding hands with another person
Adobe Stock

The Justice Department will not open a civil rights investigation related to COVID-19 deaths in Michigan's nursing homes.

The notification to Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday came nearly 11 months after the department's Civil Rights Division requested data from the Democratic governors of four states, including Michigan, and said it was considering whether to investigate under a federal law that protects the rights of people in public nursing homes.

The summer surge in COVID-19 cases is an unwelcome surprise for health officials and experts who thought, for a brief period, that the U.S. had the coronavirus pandemic largely under control.

young Black teen receives a vaccine in his right arm
Seventyfour / Adobe Stock

According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, 31% of Michigan children are not up to date on CDC-recommended childhood vaccinations.

Those vaccinations include MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) and DTaP (diptheria, tetanus, and whooping cough or pertussis).

Physicians and school administrators across the state want kids up to date on all their shots when they come back to school in-person this fall. 

Dr. Mark Hamed is the president of the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians, and the director of emergency medical services for McKenzie Health.

person receives COVID vaccine shot
Adobe Stock

Federal health officials recently declared the current COVID-19 spike to be a “pandemic of the unvaccinated”. The announcement is a national public reminder that the pandemic is not yet over. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new study finds there was not a significant increase in fetal deaths in Flint during the city’s drinking water crisis.

Many in Flint have wondered if stillbirths between 2014 and 2016 were due to increased lead levels in the city’s drinking water. A 2017 report suggested Flint had seen a 58% increase in fetal deaths. But the report was criticized by academics and the state health department.  

Photo by Bermix Studio on Unsplash

Long COVID is a range of prolonged symptoms after a COVID infection. It can include brain fog, fatigue, gastrointestinal issues—not to mention anxiety and depression. But there can also be some financial side effects: high out-of-pocket costs and medical debt.

Fifteen months after getting COVID, Becca Meyer from Kalamazoo is still dealing with some serious side effects. She’s also trying to manage the financial burden of Long COVID.

MSU wants to train more nurses to treat survivors of sexual violence

Jul 12, 2021
nurse holding patient's hand
ake1150 / Adobe Stock

By 2024, Michigan State University wants to double the number of qualified nurses who can assess and treat survivors of sexual violence.

In Michigan, fewer than 200 nurses have their Sexual Assault Nurse Examiner certification. A 1.4 million dollar federal grant is funding a three-year program to bring that training to more nurses around the state.

In many ways, American life is returning to normalcy: Masks are no longer required in many locations, schools and universities are slated to reopen and the days of social distancing have begun to fade as

Frederic Koberl via Unsplash

It was last fall when Dr. Alanna Otto really started noticing the change. 

Normally, the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital at the University of Michigan where she works gets one or two patients admitted a week for complications from eating disorders. But lately, those rates had been soaring. 

Updated July 21, 2021 at 5:50 PM ET

After months of data collection, scientists agree: The delta variant is the most contagious version of the coronavirus worldwide. It spreads about two to three times faster than the original version of the virus, and it's currently dominating the outbreak in the United States, responsible for more than 80% of COVID cases.

person receives COVID vaccine shot
Adobe Stock

Michigan's COVID-19 numbers are significantly lower than they were months ago in March and April, when the state saw its third surge. At the height of the third surge, on April 7, Michigan had a seven-day death average of 75 per day. Over the last week, an average of one person died each day of COVID in Michigan.

Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Updated at 3:01 p.m.

By September 10, all 30,000-plus Henry Ford Health System employees must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, or risk losing their jobs.

The announcement on Tuesday makes HFHS the first health system in the state to require the vaccine, and comes just weeks after a federal judge in Texas threw out a lawsuit from Houston Methodist employees over a similar mandate. But Bob Riney, Henry Ford’s COO, hopes it won’t come to that.

Claire Lang-Ree was in a lab coat taking a college chemistry class remotely in the kitchen of her Colorado Springs, Colo., home when a profound pain twisted into her lower abdomen. She called her mom, Jen Lang-Ree, a nurse practitioner who worried it was appendicitis and found a nearby hospital in the family's health insurance network.

A nurse administers a COVID-19 vaccine during a drive-thru clinic.
Emma Winowiecki / Michigan Radio

Public health workers in Michigan are increasingly leaving the office and setting up small, mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics. They say it’s a good way to get more people vaccinated, but it also opens the health workers up to intimidation.

woman wearing "defund police" mask
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, we look into how Michigan cities have responded to calls from activists to defund the police. Then, Governor Whitmer has officially lifed most of the pandemic restrictions, despite a large number of vaccine-hesitant Michiganders, including in the city of Detroit. Plus, we talk to a Michigan State University sociologist about their research on the frustrating interactions transgender people experience at the doctor’s office.

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

Michigan has reached a vaccination rate of 60% for a first dose of COVID-19 vaccines. That's in the population aged 16 and older.

Ten days ago [June 1], there was a major loosening of economic restrictions, with Michigan fully lifting outdoor capacity limits. Indoor places can have 100% capacity on July 1.

Fifteen months into the pandemic, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a mandatory workplace safety rule aimed at protecting workers from COVID-19. But it only applies to health care settings, a setback for unions and worker safety advocates who had called for much broader requirements.

SEIU Healthcare Michigan

Nurses at McLaren Macomb hospital say they’re at a crisis point, with dangerous levels of understaffing and poor working conditions that are impacting patients.

Not only are there far too many patients per nurse, says local union vice president Dina Carlisle, but so many support staff have left due to low pay that the food, cleaning, and support staff are down to just skeleton crews.

“I had a midnight hour RN tell me there’s one environmental services person for the whole house,” Carlisle said. “How is that possible?”

The Delta variant, which was first detected in India, now accounts for more than 6% of all infections in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And this highly transmissible variant may be responsible for more than 18% of cases in some Western U.S. states.

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

Today on Stateside, a look at where Michigan stands with COVID-19 infections, vaccinations, and power machinations. Also, an exploration of writer Ernest Hemingway’s summers in northern Michigan. Plus, a West Michigan musician discusses how performance and therapy intersect in her work, and how her creative life has changed amid the pandemic.

National Park Service

Yes, it’s a rare virus that people can get from animals (specifically mice, in this case.) And yes, it can be fatal, and has symptoms like fever, fatigue, and cough. 

But the Washtenaw County woman who was recently hospitalized with the state’s first confirmed case of Hantavirus isn’t the beginning of another pandemic - just a good reminder to be smart about rodent exposure. 

A new study looks at diagnosing heart damage linked to the COVID-19 in Big Ten athletes.

Doctors examined 1,600 Big Ten college athletes who caught COVID during the pandemic and found 37 had developed a rare heart condition (Myocarditis), where a viral infection causes swelling of the heart.

Myocarditis is a leading cause of sudden death in competitive athletes.