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A Michigan congressman wants to see the United States Air Force focus more on cleaning up PFAS contamination at a former Air Force base in northern Michigan.

Representative Dan Kildee (D-Flint) says there's been too much focus on studying the problem.

THE U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

The number of people getting tested for COVID-19 in Michigan is on the rise. But in order to maintain quick turnaround times for results — a prerequisite for an effective public health response — some of the labs that process those tests are turning away new clients.

Last week, Michigan was completing more than 24,000 COVID-19 tests a day, based on a rolling 7-day average. At the start of July, average daily testing was less than 17,000.

A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The union representing teachers at Ann Arbor Public Schools says it's not safe to return to in-person instruction.

In a Facebook post, the Ann Arbor Education Association is demanding that school be online only in the fall.  

Union leaders say many things would have to be in place before teachers are willing to teach inside school buildings, including a 14 day period of time in which there are no new COVID-19 cases in Washtenaw County. 

THE U.S. CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION

Labs that process COVID-19 tests in Michigan are taking several days to get results back to nursing homes, according to the state health department.

More facilities are testing residents and staff in order to comply with a June directive from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. 

 

That order requires facilities with active COVID-19 cases to test staff and residents weekly until 14 days have passed since the last positive test. Facilities in medium to high-risk parts of the state — as of Friday, all of them — must test staff weekly, regardless of whether the virus has been detected. 

 

Hand holding homeade cloth masks
Vera Davidova / Unsplash

Take precautions to slow the spread of the coronavirus or risk a return to lockdown. That was the message from Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun at a Thursday press conference. On Friday, Whitmer went a step further, signing a new executive order that makes mask-wearing mandatory in crowded public spaces. 

rollercoaster at Cedar Point
Coasterman1234 / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Ah, to spend a hot summer day at the theme park. Roller coasters, funnel cakes and… face masks? For Cedar Point, an Ohio amusement park long beloved by Michiganders, that’s a hard yes—starting this weekend.

The number of new COVID-19 cases tied to an East Lansing bar is starting to wane.

Harper's Restaurant and Brewhub became infamous in June for drawing large crowds of young people, not wearing masks or social distancing. The bar is now closed. 

Black woman in therapy sits with her head in her hands as her therapist takes notes on a clipboard
Adobe Stock

Black Americans reported a significant spike in symptoms of anxiety and depression following the release of the video that showed a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on George Floyd’s neck for nearly nine minutes. 

“It’s important to understand that the killing of unarmed Black men—and Black people, period—it’s had a collective toll on our psyche,” said Napoleon Harrington, a therapist at Ambassador Counseling and Resource Group.

Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Every weekday at 2 p.m., 81-year-old Gladys Acklin settles into her couch to watch the soap opera “General Hospital.” 

“We both like Sonny,” she says. “He’s the mobster.... And his hit man Jason. We like him too. We like all the crooks.” 

 

When Ms. Acklin says we, she’s including Jean Reinbold, a social worker, but also a friend. Since the lockdown began back in March, Reinbold has been calling Ms. Acklin, who lives alone, quite a lot. 

MDOC

Corrections officers at Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Adrian are mourning the death of one of their own from COVID-19.

Randy Rumler worked at the facility for 24 years. His local union rep, Mike Lennox, says Rumler was a family man, who was always there to help when people needed help.  

Lennox says everyone who worked with him is shocked and upset.

An image of a pregnant lady lying in a hospital bed holding her tummy, with a close up on the drip in her hand
Adobe Stock

The past few months have focused national attention on systemic racism in American policing. But criminal justice is far from the only sector of American society that is touched by these problems. This summer, Stateside is launching a series of conversations about how racism in systemic, institutional, and everyday forms affects Black Americans. We’re starting with a discussion about health care where, as in policing, racism can be a matter of life or death. 

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

Michigan’s COVID-19 caseload has been on a rollercoaster for the past few weeks. We spoke with Michigan's medical director Joneigh Khaldun for an update. Plus, researchers at Michigan State University are working on cultivating the ever elusive morel mushrooms. And, we kick off our summer series about how systemic racism shapes the world around us with a conversation about healthcare.

For the first time since the earliest days of the pandemic, Michigan reported no COVID-19 deaths on a single day on Sunday.

Since mid-March, not a day has gone by in Michigan without at least one death attributed to COVID-19. 

But the official state tally of coronavirus cases on Sunday contained no new deaths.

Since March, state health officials have confirmed 5,972 deaths linked to COVID-19.

eglin.af.mil

In most Michigan communities, public pools are closed.  Libraries are closed. Public buildings are closed, due to efforts to keep the coronavirus from spreading.

That means fewer places for people to go to cool off when it gets really hot - and the next nine or ten days will be really hot - with high temperatures around 90 to 95 in much of lower southern Michigan.

Fears of spreading the coronavirus to vulnerable residents have even caused groups in Oakland County that normally open up cooling centers to say, "not this year." 

man getting a haircut
Canva

Thursday, Michigan reported its highest single daily COVID-19 case number since May.

State health officials reported 543 new confirmed coronavirus cases on Thursday. It’s a big jump in daily numbers over recent weeks. It’s the biggest single day increase since May 29.

There has been rising concerns about potential COVID-19 hot spots around the state.

Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Early treatment with hydroxychloroquine cut the death rate significantly in certain sick patients hospitalized with COVID-19 — and without heart-related side-effects, according to a new study published by Henry Ford Health System. 

A healthcare worker process a COVID-19 test at Beaumont.
Beaumont Health

Researchers at Beaumont Health have developed a new test that can detect COVID-19 in urine, saliva, and blood. Test results take 30-45 minutes, and don’t require expensive lab equipment to be processed.

Laura Lamb is one of the researchers who worked on developing the test. She says the accuracy of the test was one of the most important considerations. Lamb says the test is very accurate.

 

Syringe
VCU CNS / Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

Community organizations can now request free naloxone through a web portal launched by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Naloxone, also known by the brand name Narcan, is a medication used to prevent opioid overdoses in an emergency. 

Michigan hospitals hardest hit by coronavirus get $850M, say they need more

Jul 1, 2020
Henry Ford Hospital, Detroit
Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Seven large Michigan health systems hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak have received more than $850 million in federal fundsaccording to federal data. The funds are meant to patch budget holes suffered by providers in “high-impact” areas. 

But hospitals — some of which have laid off thousands of workers in recent months — maintain the money falls far short of what’s needed to make up for losses. Some, in fact, continued this week to cut staff.

He says he arrived in Michigan in March. He came from Mexico with a temporary farmworker visa. He spent his days working with plants in a greenhouse. At night, he lived in worker housing, sharing a room and sleeping in bunk beds.

Trinity Health Michigan lays off, furloughs another 1,000 employees

Jun 30, 2020
St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital

A second wave of job cuts and layoffs have hit a Michigan health care system as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to ravage the economy.

Layoffs and schedule reductions for 1,000 full-time workers or their equivalents will begin this week and continue through the end of July at Trinity Health Michigan, which includes the St. Joseph Mercy Health System and Mercy Health, according to a memo sent to staff Monday by President and CEO Mike Slubowski. 

The painful truth: A wife with questions gets answers from a nurse who saw her husband die

Jun 28, 2020
Mandi Wright / Detroit Free Press

Michigan health officials urge caution as state opens and coronavirus cases rise

Jun 28, 2020
Kimberly P. Mitchell / Detroit Free Press

It's no time to get complacent.

That's the message public health leaders want Michiganders to understand as businesses open up, restrictions are lifted and coronavirus case numbers begin to inch upward.

TRINITY HEALTH SENIOR COMMUNITIES

The financial strain caused by COVID-19 is forcing a Muskegon nursing home to close its doors. In a press release issued Thursday, management said Sanctuary at the Park was less than half-full due to a reduction in hospital transfers. 

“Sanctuary at the Park was built and staffed for 99 residents, but currently is only caring for a very small number of individuals,” said administrator Julie Winkle, in the release. “This decline in residents and reduced hospital referrals due to COVID-19 make it unsustainable to continue operations.”

 

Unsplash

Today on Stateside, hospitals and health workers are still looking for ways to safely interact with patients following the first COVID-19 surge in Michigan. We check in with an epidemiologist who’s researching how plasma from recovered patients might help those at high risk of infection. Plus, we continue to look at what school might look like in the fall as the governor's Return to Learn Task Force wraps up its work and recommendations next week. 

Sen. Peter Lucido

The Michigan Senate passed a bill on Wednesday that would require the state health department to identify facilities for the exclusive care of nursing home residents with COVID-19. The legislation next goes to the House Committee on Health Policy. 

Senator Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Charter Township), who sponsored the bill, defended it during the Senate session. 

 

“This bill is for the benefit of those who cannot be admitted into a hospital,” he said. “These are the ones that don’t meet the threshold for a hospital. Those individuals, this bill is aimed to protect.”

The Ingham County jail is dealing with an outbreak of COVID-19.

Eight inmates at the Ingham County jail have tested positive for COVID-19. The inmates were tested after a civilian kitchen employee left work early last Friday and later tested positive for the virus. All the infected inmates worked in the jail's kitchen.

Report: Michigan hospitals shorted $130K per COVID-19 patient in federal aid

Jun 24, 2020
Eric Seals / Detroit Free Press

It was meant to be a financial booster shot, a way to help hospitals and health care systems survive the economic onslaught that COVID-19 brought. 

But a new report analyzing how federal coronavirus relief money was distributed shows stark disparities in which states got the biggest portions of $175 billion in aid from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Sen. Curtis Hertel Jr.

The state Senate is expected to vote on Wednesday on a bill that some say would further protect residents in skilled nursing facilities from COVID-19. 

Introduced by Senator Peter Lucido (R-Shelby Charter Township), the bill would require that the state establish facilities for the exclusive care of nursing home residents recovering from COVID-19. It charges the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services with deciding how the state would go about finding or building these facilities. 

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