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Health

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.

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.

Michigan says no to big Thanksgiving gatherings. Who will listen?

Nov 20, 2020
people sittingaround a table filled with thanksgiving food and drinks
Rawpixel.com / Adobe Stock

Hospital leaders have pleaded. Governor Gretchen Whitmer has warned.

Health officials have mandated, inspected and threatened fines.

And a statistical model developed by Harvard researchers predicts nearly 1,000 COVID deaths a day in Michigan by year’s end if we can’t change the arc of the virus.

Brian Vernellis/Holland Sentinel

Eric Kumor has been a nurse for 10 years, but the last few weeks he finds himself having to gear up emotionally just to walk in the door to work.

As COVID cases rise, Whitmer urges social distancing, federal economic relief

Nov 19, 2020

Celebrate separately so you can spend next year’s holiday season “together, alive.”

That was the message from Michigan Chief Medical Executive Joneigh Khaldun on Wednesday as she and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave what Whitmer said was their final news conference before Thanksgiving.

“It is very likely,” Khaldun said, “that if you are gathering for Thanksgiving, the virus will also be around the table with you.”

Michigan has 6th highest number of COVID-19 cases in nation, 5th highest deaths

Nov 18, 2020
3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

The spread of novel coronavirus is rampant in Michigan right now, making every trip to the grocery store, every visit to a loved one, a risky endeavor.

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

We’ve been hearing a lot about the numbers of this COVID-19 surge. How many cases. How many deaths.

But healthcare workers want people to understand what it feels like to be back here, fighting this battle again, inside the hospital.

“Initially, there were a lot of feelings of anger.”

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The number of inmates in Michigan prisons testing positive for COVID-19 has more than doubled in just two weeks.

Currently, 2,790 inmates are considered active positive cases.  The number was about 1,200 two weeks ago. The largest number of cases are at Handlon, Brooks, and Central Michigan correctional facilities, with smaller outbreaks at the Bellamy, Egeler, Ionia and Newland facilities.


Corrections Department spokesman Chris Gautz says the dramatic spike reflects what is happening outside the prisons as well.

this is a picture of someone getting a shot
Rido / Adobe Stock

Today on Stateside, we check in with the director of Michigan’s department of Health and Human Services in light of the new COVID-19 orders going into effect Wednesday. We'll also hear about how Native Americans in nineteenth century Michigan were at the forefront of the fight for equal voting rights in the state. Plus, a conversation about how to have awkward conversations surrounding your Thanksgiving plans (or lack thereof).

PAULETTE PARKER / MICHIGAN RADIO

A potential COVID-19 vaccine tested at Henry Ford Health System is showing promising early results.

Interim data for the vaccine, developed by the drug company Moderna and the National Institutes of Health, shows 94.5% efficacy in producing antibodies that defend against the virus.

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