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Health

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

More than a thousand residents of Muskegon Heights and Flint lined up for free COVID-19 testing over the Memorial Day weekend.

The Michigan National Guard teamed up with local health departments to set up the special drive-thru testing centers over the three day weekend.

Ford Motor Company

Workers at Ford Motor Company's Dearborn Truck Plant are expected to return to work on Tuesday, after their local, UAW Local 600, filed a grievance over COVID-19 protocols at the plant.

The grievance was filed after two UAW members showed up for work last week, before learning the results of tests they'd received for COVID-19.  The tests turned out to be positive.  The situation sparked a brief walkout on Wednesday.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Across Michigan Monday, Memorial Day observances are different from past years because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, the sound of taps mixed with birdsong during a Memorial Day ceremony.

Normally, thousands of people come to honor the nation’s fallen servicemen and women in Holly.

Macomb County boy, 7, recovers from pediatric rare syndrome linked to COVID-19

May 25, 2020
child sitting on hospital bed with teddy bear
Nutthavee / Adobe Stock

Hannah Peck doesn't know how or when her son was exposed to novel coronavirus.

He never had any symptoms of COVID-19, and her family has been following social distancing guidelines during the stay-at-home order.

So when Levi Nobles got sick in early May, a few days after his seventh birthday, she didn't suspect it had anything to do with the virus.

Unsplash

Remember the question, “Doing anything fun this weekend?” You might not have heard it much these past few months, as the COVID-19 public health crisis and executive orders have kept many people at home and practicing social distancing.

RAWPIXEL

Michigan is currently reporting more than 2,300 COVID-19 cases in nursing homes. According to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the number of deaths is 748. That’s nearly 15% of the state’s COVID deaths.

 

But information about how well Michigan’s nursing homes have controlled the spread of COVID-19 has been limited. 

 

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

As the pandemic weeks turn into pandemic months, many questions remain about how we know what we know about COVID-19. One of the major limiting factors in testing for the virus is the availability of supplies for test kits.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Department of Corrections is nearing its goal of testing all prisoners in state facilities. By the end of next week it should be finished. The National Guard has been assisting the prison system with testing prisoners.

At the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian there are 1,965 prisoners. A total of 716 have tested positive.

university of michigan hospital
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

More than a thousand resident physicians at the University of Michigan health system say they’re frustrated and insulted by contract negotiations that have stalled in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Negotiations over the 3-year contract began in January. The current contract runs through the end of June.

person holding test tubes with blue gloves on
Trust "Tru" Katsande / Unsplash

A study from the Othering and Belonging Institute at the University of California Berkeley ranks Michigan as its fourth most racially disparate states when it comes to COVID-19 deaths. Michigan ranks sixth in racial disparities in COVID-19 infection rates.

The study shows an interactive heat tracking map of racial disparities from state to state. The map looks at the racial makeup of the population, and then how that population is represented in the rates of COVID infection and deaths. For example, in Michigan, U.S. Census data shows black people make up 14% of the state's population, but account for 32% of COVID cases and 41% of COVID related deaths.

MICHIGAN.GOV

Without proper controls, infection will spread quickly through a nursing home. It’s one reason states have been grappling with the question of where to put elderly patients who’ve mostly recovered from COVID-19, but are still testing positive.

Connecticut has designated facilities that will care for COVID patients exclusively, while New York, rewinding a previous strategy, is requiring that nursing-home residents test negative before being discharged to a facility.

In Michigan, the state has selected about 20 facilities to take on these patients. As of today, all of them exist as separate units within nursing homes, many of whose residents have not tested positive for COVID.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

The city of Detroit is ramping up COVID-19 testing, with a focus on testing ‘at-risk’ seniors. Since May 1, 84% of Detroiters who've died from the disease have been over the age of 60.

Because of that, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says the city wants more senior citizens tested for the coronavirus.

Inflammatory syndrome tied to COVID-19 sickens more than 20 Michigan kids

May 14, 2020
child hooked up to medical machines
Dean Family Photo via AP

joneigh khaldun at a press conference
michigan.gov

The New York Times reported Michiganders are no longer staying at home in the same numbers, despite still being under a stay-at-home order. Governor Gretchen Whitmer called the data concerning.

In her Wednesday briefing Whitmer said movement itself isn’t the problem, so long as people still wear their masks outside and follow social distancing and handwashing.

woman in personal protection equipment talking to woman in wheelchair
Wikimedia Commons

Public health in Michigan has undergone a radical shift. 

The COVID-19 epidemic has killed more than 4,700 people and sickened tens of thousands of others in the state. Most businesses are closed, and one million-plus children are learning in place as best they can. 

As the Whitmer administration begins to make decisions on which businesses to reopen and when, the state’s chief medical executive says the numbers are improving.

“We are seeing a significant decline overall in the number of cases and deaths in the state and that is positive,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.

MICHIGAN.GOV

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Monday that Michigan is making progress in fighting COVID-19. She noted a decline in the rate of positive cases.

Michigan State Capitol
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, one couple’s experience of recovery from COVID-19. We hear how they had to relearn everything, from walking to communication. Also, the Michigan Capitol Commission has delayed its decision regarding open carry regulation on statehouse grounds—Michigan Radio’s Rick Pluta breaks it down. Plus, a YouTube series of studio visits with some of the state’s most creative minds.

COVID-19 nearly killed them both: A Michigan couple's journey to hell and back

May 10, 2020
Charlunda and David Thompson
Mandi Wright / Detroit Free Press

In sickness and in health, till death do us part ...

They grew feverish together. Both David and Charlunda Thompson were coughing, too. They were indescribably tired.

In Michigan, 23K are ‘recovered’ from COVID. Many still feel like hell.

May 10, 2020
hands on a bed
Mandi Wright / Detroit Free Press

As a data point on the state’s coronavirus dashboard, Nancy Blodgett has moved to “recovered.”

And yes, she’s home after getting whomped full-force by COVID-19.

But recovered? Not even close.

Treatment and trials go on, but Michigan doctors split on coronavirus drug

May 8, 2020
doctor holding hydroxychloroquine
baranq / Adobe Stock

Thousands of people are being recruited to participate in southeast Michigan clinical trials — touted as among the largest in the country — to test the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine in the battle against COVID-19.

But since a 3,000-person Detroit trial was announced April 2, an increasing number of reports have shed doubt not only on the drug’s effectiveness, but also its safety. Some warn of potentially deadly changes to the heart’s rhythm — an alarming side effect so widespread the U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month warned against the use of hydroxychloroquine outside of a closely-monitored hospital setting or clinical trial.

PAULETTE PARKER/MICHIGAN RADIO

Michigan’s first field hospital is no longer accepting COVID-19 patients, less than a month after opening its doors to the public. COVID-19 hospitalizations are leveling off, and health systems no longer need TCF’s beds as an option for overflow. 

The TCF Regional Care Center, in downtown Detroit, opened on Friday, April 10, and admitted its first patient that Sunday. On May 1, MDHHS confirmed that the field hospital would accept no more transfers, and the final patient was discharged on Wednesday. All told, the hospital cared for 39 people.

Satellite image of algal bloom in Lake Erie taken in 2015.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Stateside for Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Today on Stateside, a Michigan doctor talks about his experience recovering from COVID-19 after contracting the illness and going on a ventilator. Also, we hear about the pandemic’s potential effects on a Lake Erie water quality initiative. Plus, we check in with the Detroit Metro Times about current challenges and the alt-weekly's hopes for the future.

Workers set up a field hospital at the TCF Center in Detroit.
Paulette Parker, Michigan Radio

The last remaining COVID-19 patient at Detroit's TCF Center field hospital was discharged on Wednesday.

The 1,000-bed hospital, rapidly constructed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers as the pandemic surged in southeast Michigan, has stopped admitting patients. It has treated just 39 people since it started up in early April.

Dr. Eugene Vovchuk with his wife and two daughters.
Courtesy of Eugene Vovchuk

In mid-March, Eugene Vovchuk was going about his work as an anesthesiologist at Detroit Medical Center’s Harper University Hospital. He had heard about COVID-19, of course, but he hadn’t treated any patients with the disease yet. And the 38-year-old doctor was not prepared for his own ordeal with the virus, which would land him in the hospital for nearly a month. 

Wayne State University
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

The leader of Wayne State University’s medical school says the Detroit Medical Center is committing an “egregious act” by no longer allowing the university’s pediatricians to see patients at the DMC's Children’s Hospital of Michigan.

Dr. Mark Schweitzer announced the change in a note obtained by Michigan Radio.

Adobe Stock

Michigan health officials say they have 3,500 volunteers trained to do COVID-19 contact tracing, one of the things considered essential to reopening the economy safely. And although those state officials can’t say how many paid staffers Michigan counties have doing this work, Michigan Radio’s analysis of three of the hardest-hit counties indicates the pool of volunteers is likely enough to meet epidemiologists’ recommendations.

university of michigan hospital
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Michigan Medicine, the University of Michigan's health system, will lay off and furlough about 1,400 full-time employees.

The job cuts are part of a plan, announced today by Michigan Medicine, to address a financial loss of up to $230 million projected for the fiscal year that ends on June 30, 2020. The health system expects the losses to continue into the 2021 fiscal year.

beaumont hospital wayne exterior
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Beaumont Hospital researchers are hoping that two common drugs can help treat COVID-19 patients.

The drugs are naltrexone and ketamine. Naltrexone is used to treat inflammatory pain conditions and addiction. Ketamine is an anesthetic that also has anti-inflammatory properties.

FEDOROVACZ / ADOBE STOCK

A new University of Michigan study finds teens are drawn to vaping products even though they're aware of the health risks. Teens expressed a ‘desire to fit in,' 'getting a buzz,’ and ‘experimentation' as reasons for vaping.

Researchers asked more than a thousand teenagers about using vaping products, particularly Juul products which are the most popular on the market.

ER visits plummet amid pandemic: 'More people are dying at home'

May 4, 2020
beaumont hospital royal oak exterior
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

When COVID-19 first hit metro Detroit, hospitals urged sick people to stay away.

Now they're saying come back because the original message, compounded with fears, came with a cost:

Heart attack victims died at home. Stroke patients let symptoms go unchecked for too long. Fractures from falls were left untreated and worsened.

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