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Health

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

With Michigan experiencing another wave of COVID-19 cases, there’s a new campaign to get more African-Americans to mask up.

Tonya Adair is the Chief Impact officer for the United Way of Southeastern Michigan.  She says the United Way is partnering with the Harlem Children’s Zone on the campaign.


She says the campaign will include public service advertising and distribution of personal protective equipment in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties.

STEVE CARMODY / MICHIGAN RADIO

During the month of November alone, the number of people who died from COVID-19 doubled in certain hospitals and health systems across Michigan. 

Sparrow Health System recorded 50 deaths between March and October. In November, it recorded 47. (Those numbers are considered unofficial, and could change after officials review the medical records.)

Similar trends were recorded in Muskegon County and Ottawa County, both in West Michigan.

Hospital leaders are asking people to still seek medical attention, even as more hospitals reach capacity.

As of Thursday, the state listed six hospitals at 100% capacity, meaning all of their inpatient beds are occupied. More than a dozen others are above 90% capacity.

“We’re able to accommodate more than we currently have, should the need occur,” says Dr. Loren Hamel, president of Spectrum Health Lakeland, where 100% of bed are currently occupied, according to state data.


steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan’s National Guard will continue to play an important role in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic into next year.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says the Trump administration has extended authorization for Guard members to receive federal pay and benefits through the end of March.  The authorization was scheduled to expire December 31.

courtesy of Spectrum Health

Hope.

A word that’s been in short supply in Michigan hospitals recently.

But now, just maybe, there's a sign of it.

The number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 in Michigan declined slightly on Thursday, dropping to 3,793 adults with confirmed cases of the disease. The number is still below the peak number last seen in Michigan in the spring. But it represents a brief, welcome respite after a steep rise in cases that started in October.

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, COVID-19 cases continue to rise and hospitals throughout Michigan are nearing capacity. A reporter who’s been following the story talks us through when a vaccine might be distributed to Michigan's frontline health workers. Also, the head of the state’s largest school district speaks to the challenges of 2020 and beyond. Plus, support for kids and families navigating grief this holiday season.

More Americans stayed home for Thanksgiving this year compared with last year — but by relatively small margins.

An NPR analysis of mobile phone location data showed that 42% of Americans with smartphones remained home, up from 36% last year.

prison bars
Thomas Hawk / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

COVID-19 has been raging through two Michigan prisons in recent weeks, with large outbreaks in others.

Nearly three quarters of the inmates at Kinross Correctional have tested positive for COVID-19. The facility is located in Kincheloe, a town in the U.P.

The coronavirus pandemic has hit western counties in the Upper Peninsula hard this fall. The population of Delta County is about 36,000. There have been more than 2,500 cases of COVID-19 and 60 deaths.

Chris Anderson is with the Anderson Funeral Home in Escanaba’s downtown. He says the pandemic caught them by surprise. They did not see the surge of cases in the first wave of the infection in the spring.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Lansing has always been a busy place. It’s home to the state Legislature, which makes it a popular location for protests from across the political spectrum. And just down the road, in East Lansing, is the state’s largest public university, home to tens of thousands of Michigan State University students. But amid the ongoing pandemic, the large groups of people that tend to gather in the capital region have made containing COVID-19 particularly complicated.

Michigan's capitol dome
Bimatshu Pyakuryal / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, as Rudy Guiliaini draws crowds to Lansing for a hearing on alleged election irregularities, Ingham County’s health officer is urging people there to take precautions to avoid a super spreader event. Plus, a conversation about reckoning with past abuse in the University of Michigan football program. And, as Detroit develops, we talk to an urban planner who says centering its Black residents holds the key for a more vibrant and equitable city.

Moderna's experimental COVID-19 vaccine
Joel Saget/AFP via Getty Images

Dr. Arnold Monto thinks he and his colleagues will be back at their offices at the University of Michigan School of Public Health and otherwise resuming relatively normal lives by the spring, maybe early summer at the latest.

joneigh khaldun at a press conference
michigan.gov

State health officials are watching to see how Thanksgiving holiday gatherings may affect COVID-19 case rates.

The state recommended people avoid gatherings with people from other households. But Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said Tuesday it’s not clear yet how many people ignored that advice.

Updated 5:48 p.m. ET

A federal advisory committee to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention voted Tuesday to recommend who should get COVID-19 vaccines first once one is authorized for use.

How soon can Michiganders get a COVID-19 vaccine? Answering your biggest questions

Dec 1, 2020
3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

There’s no way two ways about it: November has been a dreadful month when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan.

A couple smiling at the camera. The woman has a feeding tube.
Courtesy of Becca Meyer.

Michigan now has more than 378,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Monday, Nov. 30. Many of those who are sick will come out of this okay. But some, like Rebecca Meyer, will suffer long term effects, what doctors call "long haul COVID."

Meyer lives in Kalamazoo. She was a healthy 31-year-old when she got COVID in March. It’s been eight months since then.

And she’s still sick.

A range of contraceptive methods: DMPA, vaginal ring, IUD, and pills
Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition / Unspash

A new Michigan State University study finds a common form of birth control may increase blood lead levels in women.

Depo-Provera (medroxyprogesterone acetate, or DMPA) is a brand name for an injectable form of birth control.

Wayne County Airport Authority/Vito Palmisano

Traditionally, the Sunday after Thanksgiving is the biggest travel day of the year.
 
State health department officials are urging Michiganders who attended large Thanksgiving gatherings to follow a few steps to avoid potentially spreading COVID-19.


FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

Officials in southeast Michigan are increasing access to COVID-19 testing in response to colder weather and rising infections in the area.

Oakland County is moving a number of its testing sites indoors.

“It turns out fire stations are a wonderful place to do them because they have the large doors and you can drive through them,” said David Coulter, the county executive.

Starting November 30, the following locations will be open by appointment for free drive-thru testing:

nurse about to administer a flu shot to a patient
artursfoto / Adobe Stock

You might be taking precautions to avoid the coronavirus, but the flu is also a threat.

Washing hands, wearing masks, and avoiding people are all good measures to prevent exposure to influenza as well as coronavirus. But, the best bet is to get the flu vaccine.

Chris Montgomery / Unsplash

State employees are to work from home for two additional months because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This month, coronavirus infections in Michigan have increased to their highest level so far in the pandemic.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

For many, Thanksgiving is stressful in a typical year. This year add in economic uncertainty, political conflict and a surging COVID-19 pandemic.

GEORG ARTHUR PFLUEGER / UNSPLASH

People with loved ones in long-term care facilities are making the most out of this year's incomplete Thanksgiving gatherings.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance this week urging that residents stay in their facilities to avoid coronavirus infection. Many residents will be confined to their rooms.

COURTESY OF HENRY FORD HEALTH SYSTEM

Researchers at the University of Michigan say that as many as two thirds of older adults in the U.S. would like to get a COVID-19 vaccine.

In an October survey, the university’s National Poll on Healthy Aging heard from 1,556 Americans between 50 and 80 years old about their opinions on immunization against the coronavirus.

Depending on the wording of the question, as many as 66% of respondents said they would get vaccinated. But only 20% said they would do so as soon as a vaccine became available.

The number of people in Michigan hospitalized with COVID-19 continues to rise. Already, many hospitals are stretched to their limit.

Our reporters have been speaking to frontline health care workers, and today we want to bring you the voice of Elise Pavlige. She’s an ICU nurse at Mercy Health in Muskegon, where inpatient cases have gone from less than 50 to more than 130 just this month.

bottles of vaccination sitting in a box on a table
Canva

Ford Motor Co. has purchased a dozen ultra-cold freezers to store a COVID-19 vaccine that, once available, will be distributed to employees on a voluntary basis.

A Ford spokeswoman says the freezer purchase is the first step in a broader vaccine distribution plan. General Motors hasn't bought any freezers for vaccine storage but said it's taking steps to make a vaccine available to its employees.

Nurse Kate Beauchamp wearing PPE.
Courtesy Kate Beauchamp

More than 3,800 people in Michigan are currently hospitalized with COVID-19. Deaths from the virus are rising as well. As cases continue to rise across the state, we’re talking with folks who have been personally impacted by the pandemic.

Among those hardest hit are health care professionals.

Construction area with hard hat sign
benjamin sTone / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM / cropped from original

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration says it will do more inspections in response to outbreaks of COVID-19 in construction and manufacturing. It says it wants to make sure businesses are following COVID-19 health and safety protocols.

young woman wearing glasses and smiling in front of a yellow background
Courtesy of LaToya Henry

As COVID-19 surges to new highs in Michigan and nationwide, Michigan Radio has been speaking with people deeply touched by this pandemic.

One of them is LaToya Henry. She’s forty-four years old, and lives in Oakland County’s Lathrup Village. When COVID hit her in March, things got bad fast.

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