Health | Michigan Radio


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Today on Stateside, nearly four million doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in the state of Michigan. A pharmacist discusses how pharmacies can help get vaccines into communities. Also, a look at the history of something we’re all familiar with — mask fatigue. Plus, a deep dive on an elusive Great Lakes denizen: the deepwater sculpin.

Michigan Health and Hospital Association

COVID-19 hospitalizations are spiking again in Michigan, and this time younger people are driving much of that trend, showing that “adults of any age are vulnerable to complications from the disease,” according to data from the Michigan Health and Hospital Association.

The MHA says older adults are still more likely to be hospitalized with COVID. But in this latest spike, more younger people are being hospitalized too, and the percentage increase among older adults is much smaller.

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Today on Stateside, COVID-19 cases are surging again in Michigan, with more outbreaks happening at K-12 schools. A reporter talks us through the latest data. Also, how one of Detroit’s first Black educator helped desegregate Detroit schools and bring the concept of kindergarten to Michigan. Plus, the founder of Detroit Vs. Everybody discusses his latest collaboration.

a classroom of empty colorful chairs
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K-12 schools continued to be the largest source of Michigan COVID-19 outbreaks last week, according to state data.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 63 new school outbreaks last week. That’s up from the prior week, when schools surpassed long-term care facilities as the top source of COVID outbreaks in the state. The state also reports 144 ongoing school outbreaks.

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Detroit is taking its campaign to vaccinate residents against COVID-19 to more places in the city.

The city is opening up “Community Saturdays” at eight sites, mostly churches. Previously, these Saturday clinics were open only to seniors. Now, they’re also open to any adult Detroiter who has a job that requires in-person work.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says it’s part of an effort to reach the zip codes hit hardest by the pandemic, and people who don’t have easy access to the TCF Center mass vaccination site.

Starting Tuesday, Michigan’s largest COVID-19 vaccination clinic begins delivering shots into arms.

In the past week, 110,000 people have signed up to get their coronavirus vaccine at Ford Field in Detroit.  

More than 14,000 appointments are scheduled for this week, with another 20,000 appointment invitations going out Monday.

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The statewide moratorium on water shutoffs expires at the end of the month, and some groups are concerned that many Michiganders won't be able to catch up on unpaid utilities and prevent more shutoffs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit) says she plans to introduce legislation in the next few days that would extend the moratorium. She emphasized the need to act quickly, because the Legislature goes on its in-district work period, or "spring break" next week.

Getting and staying focused can be a challenge in the best of times. But with everything going on in the world, concentrating can often feel down-right impossible.

Preliminary results from a late-stage study examining the efficacy of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine indicate it is significantly effective at preventing severe illness from COVID-19.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

K-12 schools are now the number-one source of COVID-19 outbreaks in Michigan, according to state data released this week.

For the week ending March 11, the state identified 162 outbreaks in K-12 schools, including 54 new outbreaks with the prior week. For the first time, school-related outbreaks have surpassed those in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.

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Ford Field will serve as Michigan’s largest mass COVID-19 vaccination site starting next week.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday the home of the Detroit Lions is one of 20 federally designated mass vaccination centers across the country. 

Tens of thousands of vaccine doses beyond Michigan’s regular allotment should be available over the next eight weeks.


Today on Stateside, Michigan state Representative Sara Cambensy (D-Marquette) discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the Upper Peninsula. Also, a look at the difficulties recreational marijuana shop owners have had opening up in Traverse City. Plus, after a long year, a West Michigan tulip festival blooms again.

Credit: Michael Barera / CC BY-SA 4.0

Today on Stateside, we talk about the plan to convert Ford Field into a regional mass vaccination site. Also, a rapper and activist discusses how music can help young Black men and boys tell their stories and work through trauma. Plus, on this unusual St. Patrick’s Day, we'll hear about the history of Michigan's Irish immigrants—from Corktown to Marquette.

The U.S. has administered more than 110 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, but the vast majority of those jabs are going to adults. Moderna announced Tuesday that it has begun enrolling children from 6 months to less than 12 years old into a trial of its COVID-19 vaccine.

Elementary and Middle schools in Kent County have been allowed to reduce their distancing requirements from six feet down to three feet.

The Kent County Health Department changed the recommendation in February as a six-week pilot.

The change also affects which students are asked to quarantine after being exposed to a positive case of COVID-19. Under the recommendation in the pilot, only students who were within three feet of the infected person for 15 minutes or more will have to quarantine.

After months of organizers fighting for access, people with disabilities will become eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccines starting next Monday.

University of Michigan near Rackham and Michigan League
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

As more and more Michiganders - and out-of-state students - become eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine, the University of Michigan is planning to have students return to campus for the fall semester, with residence halls filled at nearly 80% in September, and most classes being held in person.

Students and other fans will also be able to attend Michigan athletic events, so long as public health guidance allows.

an african american woman holds up her sleeve in order to receive the COVID-19 vaccine
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On a cold, sunny Saturday in March, Reverend Dr. Wendell Anthony wants to keep the mood light. Relaxed.

“Did you see my lollipops over there?” he asks, pointing down the hall with a laugh. “We’ve got lollipops! So, from the bitter to the sweet,” he says, moving through the socially-distanced crowd at Fellowship Chapel in northwest Detroit.

Every Saturday for the last several weeks, the parking lot, halls, and event space at this historically Black church - one of the largest in the city - has been turned into a vaccination clinic for those 60 and older.

The White House, seen behind a fence, in front of a blue cloudy sky
Noah Fortson/NPR

President Biden is giving the first prime-time address of his presidency to mark one year of the coronavirus pandemic, a day after Congress passed a massive relief package. More than 500,000 people have died from the virus in the U.S.

Master Sgt. David Eichaker / Air National Guard

So far during the pandemic, more than 62% of Michigan's 40,886 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19.

138 prisoners have died of the infection.

It shouldn't have happened, says Tony Gant, President of the Jackson chapter of Nation Outside, an advocacy organization for Michigan inmates.

pads and tampons
Michigan Radio

If you’re a person with a period, you’ve likely experienced the feeling of realizing it’s that time of the month, but you don’t have what you need, whether it’s a pad or a pack of Midol. For some people, this is a common problem — not because they aren’t paying attention to the calendar, but because they can’t afford menstrual products. Being unprepared for your period can mean you miss work, school, or other essential activities, because of something specific to your biological makeup.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention / CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION (CDC)

Today on Stateside, more than 15,700 Michiganders have died due to COVID-19. A funeral director discusses how the ongoing pandemic has impacted the mourning process for so many Michigan families. Also, the effort to rebuild community trust through free water testing in Flint. Plus, a look at the “tampon tax” in Michigan — and its uncertain future.

Produce in a supermarket
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Governor Whitmer announced this week Michigangers age 50 and up are eligible for the vaccine. But there are still many younger essential workers who still can’t get vaccinated, despite constant interaction with strangers. 

Front-line workers in Michigan’s food processing facilities, grocery stores, and big-box stores have had no choice but to show up for work, interacting with customers that are sometimes physically distanced, and sometimes not. 

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Today on Stateside, a third type of vaccine to prevent COVID-19 will be available to qualifying Michigan residents in the coming weeks. A journalist discusses how the Johnson & Johnson vaccine could help local health officials get more vulnerable populations vaccinated. Also, a look at what it takes to find work in Michigan’s booming cannabis industry. Plus, the path to some kind of normal after a year of pandemic living.

building marquee that says "socially distant but always together"
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

March 10 marks one year since Michigan’s first confirmed COVID-19 case. We want to know how COVID has changed your life this year. What’s the worst thing the pandemic has brought - and what’s the best thing?

State officials say they've detected the first known case of a new coronavirus variant in Michigan.

The variant is called B.1.351 and it was first discovered in South Africa last fall. The new variant has been identified in a child in Jackson County.

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

Local health districts in Northern Michigan said Thursday they will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility at a faster pace than state guidelines.

Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services said earlier this week that anyone 50 and older could get vaccinated against the virus starting on Monday, March 22. People in that age group could get vaccinated earlier — March 8 — if they had a pre-existing condition that would make them particularly vulnerable to the virus.


Today on Stateside, how the pandemic is delaying parole for people who are incarcerated in Michigan, even as prisons continue to have outbreaks of the virus. Also, two grocery store workers discuss waiting for a vaccine after a year of being on the front lines of the pandemic. Plus, why the United Auto Workers corruption scandal isn’t over yet.

When Latoya Jenkins talks about her mom, she likes to focus on happy memories like the games she used to play with her kids.

"She used to buy two bottles of dish soap," Jenkins said. "One bottle was for the dishes. The other bottle was for rainy days. She would take us outside and we would make bubbles."

Jenkins, who lives in upstate New York, says her mom, Sonya Hughey, had a hard life, first using crack cocaine when she was a teenager.


Today on Stateside, what is the role of primary care doctors in Michigan’s vaccination plan? Plus, one family talks to us about starting a podcast during the pandemic. And, some advice for adults trying to help kids through the mental health challenges of the moment.