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Paulette Parker / Michigan Radio

Construction is underway for a COVID-19 field hospital at Detroit's TCF Center.

As of April 1, Michigan health officials said there were 9,334 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan and 337 confirmed deaths. In Detroit alone, there were over 2,400 cases and 83 deaths.

Those numbers are guaranteed to continue climbing over at least the next several weeks, pushing local hospitals past capacity.

Gretchen whitmer at a microphone
Jake Neher / WDET

On Monday, Bridge Magazine reported Governor Gretchen Whitmer was expected to sign an executive order that would effectively end the school year for Michigan students. However, Whitmer has told Michigan Radio that there won't be an order coming today and that coming up with a comprehensive plan to meet the needs of the students won't happen overnight. Whitmer did indicate that an order could be signed as soon as Wednesday, however.

The University of Michigan campus, normally packed with students, is now empty.
Katie Raymond

Governor Whitmer's "stay at home" order went into effect 12:01 am, Tuesday, March 24. The streets of Ann Arbor have gotten very quiet with not much happening aside from empty busses and people finding ways to still get outside. 

COVID-19 has changed life in Michigan. The disease is spreading quickly, and the news is changing right along with it.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer's "Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives" order remains in effect til April 13. But what does that mean? There are a lot of questions surrounding COVID-19 and what we're supposed to do to stay safe. 

We've gathered some answers for you below. Do you have a question? Send it our way!

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

There's a bracing herbal, minty, chocolaty, funky, bitter Italian liqueur (an amaro) called Fernet Branca. It became wildly popular among people who work at bars. It's often used in cocktails, but if you're a bartender visiting another bar, your colleague might pour you a shot as a greeting, a bartender's handshake. During these days of the COVID-19 pandemic, let's call it a "bartender's elbow bump."

There's no need to race to the store and begin hoarding food. Grocery stores will remain open, and the food supply chain will remain operational.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has ordered all Michiganders to stay at home for the next three weeks in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Starting at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, only "essential" businesses will be allowed to operate for the next three weeks, and all other businesses are ordered to suspend in-person operations. Michiganders are instructed to stay home as much as possible, but there are exceptions. 

gretchen whitmer sitting at table

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a "stay at home" order during an 11 a.m. press conference Monday as an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. The order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday morning, and will remain in place for at least the next three weeks.

As of April 4, there are 15,781 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan and 617 confirmed deaths.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Updated March 18 at 3:10 p.m.:

The Detroit 3 are shutting down production for the rest of the month. The automakers made the announcement this afternoon.

Ford is halting production at its U.S., Canadian and Mexican manufacturing facilities after Thursday evening’s shifts through March 30 to thoroughly clean and sanitize the company’s plants.

Courtesty of the Michigan Department of Health and Humans Services

As the new coronavirus spreads around the world -- and right here in Michigan --  an official with the World Health Organization delivered some advice yesterday, saying, "We have a simple message for all countries: test, test, test. Test every suspected case."

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer standing at a podium in front of a blue screen

Updated: Thursday, March 12, at 11:05 p.m.:

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday evening that the state is closing all K-12 buildings to students beginning Monday, March 16. 

Michigan Radio is working on a new podcast by and about teens.

Are you a teen? Do you struggle with mental illness? We want to hear your coping mechanisms.

Call 734.408.1753 and leave us a message.

Young voters line up to vote in East Lansing, Michigan.
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Voters under the age of 35 are now a bigger chunk of the electorate than the boomers. They’re bigger than Gen X. And their record-setting turnout in 2018 helped push Democrats over the line to victory in critical congressional districts like Michigan’s 8th.

Full story >> 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The Paw Paw school district is dropping a controversial nickname.

The southwest Michigan district’s school board voted six to one this week to drop its “Redskins” nickname and mascot. 

The district has been under pressure for several years to make the change.  In 2017, the school board voted four to three to keep the controversial nickname.

coronavirus symptoms sheet
Adobe Stock

Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday night that there are two presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. The cases are in Wayne and Oakland counties. They have not yet been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). 

Whitmer also declared a state of emergency, saying, "We are taking every step that we can to mitigate the virus spread, and keep Michiganders safe."

The Michigan Association of Broadcasters has recognized Michigan Radio as Public Radio Station of the Year for the fifth consecutive year. The recognition was announced Wednesday evening at the MAB’s annual Broadcast Excellence Awards held in Lansing.

four of the drag queens from MI Drag brunch
Michigan Drag Brunch

On Sunday mornings, the West Michigan brunch scene gets served a meal full of realness, thanks to the drag queens of Michigan Drag Brunch. The project is the brainchild of producer and CEO Trevor Straub and performer Gabriella Galore. They said the project started as a way to bring the drag scene to an earlier morning crowd in Grand Rapids.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A federal court has struck down Michigan’s requirement that adults enrolled in the Healthy Michigan plan must be working or in school.

The U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., said the Medicaid expansion is to ensure health care for low-income people, not a jobs program.

Tracy Samilton / Michigan Radio

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren appeared before a crowd of at least 2,000 in Detroit's Eastern Market on Tuesday, giving no indication she has any intention of dropping out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.

That's despite being far behind front runners Bernie Sanders and Joe Biden in picking up delegates.

Marion Hayden
Jodi Westrick

Today on Stateside, can Bernie Sanders pull off another surprise upset in Michigan's primary next month? Also, the state settles a case over juvenile offenders victimized by sexual assault. And, a lens on Detroit's jazz history and living legacy. 

young woman sitting on rocks looking across Ghanaian countryside.
Imani Mixon

Returning to a home you’ve never known

There’s no easy, simple way to travel across the Atlantic, from the United States to Africa.

There are 5,590 miles between my hometown of Detroit, Michigan and my ancestral homeland of West Africa. Part of the reason why Africa feels so far away is because of what we grow up learning about it.

a cover of Ms. Marvel
Penciler: Minkyu Jung, Cover Artist: Eduard Petrovich / Marvel Comics

If writer Saladin Ahmed never typed another word, he'd already have introduced us to so many interesting people. From fantasy novels, to Westerns, to supernatural sleuth stories, Ahmed’s writing spans both genre and form.

Right now, he's the author of two major titles for Marvel Comics: The Magnificent Ms. Marvel, and Miles Morales: Spider-Man. Ahmed took over the character of Miles Morales from creator Brian Bendis, and is putting his own stamp on the story. 

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Michigan will very likely ban a type of abortion procedure within the next few months.

It’s called dilation and evacuation. It makes up about 7% of abortions in Michigan each year. And it’s the most common type of abortion performed during the second trimester of pregnancy. 

Minnie Forbes sitting on a couch
Doug Tribou / Michigan Radio

Grand Rapids isn't a big-league baseball town, but a living part of baseball history calls it home. 

Minnie Forbes is the last surviving owner of a Negro Leagues baseball team. She owned the Detroit Stars from 1956 to 1958. She was also one of just a handful of female owners.

arms in striped shirt going through a record crate
Annie Theby / Unsplash

In 2020, we want to remind you—and ourselves—of the importance of taking a break. And what better way to do that than to take an old (or new) record off the shelf and spin a few tunes? We’re inviting folks from some Michigan record stores we love to talk about what they're listening to right now.

Jed Jaworski

Large waves and Lake Michigan’s record high water level are breaking down the barrier that protects the historic Point Betsie Lighthouse in Frankfort.

Key parts of the structure are fractured and falling apart. Supporters of the lighthouse are trying to get repairs done. 

But Interlochen Public Radio's Taylor Wizner reports that a lengthy process may stand in the way.