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masks

stock photo of surgical masks on a table
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The Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development is distributing 10,000 free masks to residents. It's a part of a state program that gives free masks and other personal protective equipment to community action agencies.

The masks are intended for low-income people, seniors, and other vulnerable populations impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Morghan Williams is the human services manager for the Washtenaw County office.

She says the county wants to make sure that all residents have masks.

gretchen whitmer at a press conference
michigan.gov

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Sunday a court opinion that said she exceeded her authority with a series of COVID-19 emergency orders will not be the final word on the issue.

Whitmer said on CNN the advisory opinion from the state’s highest court puts the health of Michiganders at risk. The Michigan Supreme Court’s opinion said the governor exceeded her authority by issuing and re-issuing orders that require masks, distancing, and restricting public gatherings without getting approval from the Legislature.

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Today on Stateside, COVID-19 hits home with Michigan’s Republican leaders. We hear from two journalists about how the lack of a mask mandate at the Michigan state Capitol hampers work in the legislature. Also, a veterinarian weighs in on the cheap vaccine that can prevent Eastern Equine Encephalitis in horses--if owners choose to use it. Plus, an artist on bringing texture to children’s book illustrations.

SHARI BERNSTEIN

This week a shopper in Meijer in Acme threatened an employee with a knife, upset he was told to wear a mask.

In Lansing, a man was stabbed and in May, a security guard at a Flint dollar store was shot to death.

Northern Michigan businesses say confrontations have increased recently, as customers unhappy with the mask policy harass workers tasked with enforcing the policy.

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. 

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is toughening a requirement to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic, mandating that businesses open to the public deny service or entry to customers who refuse to wear one.

stock photo of surgical masks on a table
Macau Photo Agency / Unsplash

Today on Stateside, a new initiative called the Mishigamiing Journalism Project has created six month long fellowships for Indigenous journalists at the Traverse City Record Eagle. Plus, a conversation with two Michiganders about dealing with family separation along the Canadian border. And should masks be mandatory throughout the state?

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Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below.

State of Michigan

More marches and rallies are scheduled for this weekend to protest the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers.

And that concerns local public health officials who fear large gatherings may spread the virus that causes COVID-19.

Denise Fair is Detroit’s Chief Public Health Officer. She says she doesn’t want to discourage people from speaking out.

sewing machine and fabric on table
Tami Davis

On a recent Saturday morning I sat down at my sewing machine. Normally I like to sew clothes, but lately I've been making cloth masks. I tapped into my mom’s seemingly endless supply of fabric and so far I’ve made about 30 for family and friends.

“Everyone who sews has always secretly known that one day their stash would save the world and that day is now,” says Saginaw resident Tami Davis.

Davis leads the Mid-Michigan Mask Makers group – also known as 4-M. In March, an online post about mask making got her attention.

N-95 mask on box of gloves
Courtesy Beaumont Hospital

Michigan’s largest healthcare system has already taken the extraordinary step of disinfecting and reusing some N95 masks, a crucial piece of personal protection equipment for healthcare workers caring for COVID-19 patients. Elsewhere in the state, researchers are developing similar processes to reuse the masks in case supplies run out.