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pandemic

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Canada is expected to ease its border restrictions for people who have been fully vaccinated, according to multiple reports.

Healthcare workers and other essential services, such as automakers, have been exempted from the restrictions put in place because of the COVID pandemic. But a lot of businesses and people in Canada and the U.S. have not been able to use the nation’s busiest trade border crossing.

Illustration of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

Today on Stateside, a look at where Michigan stands with COVID-19 infections, vaccinations, and power machinations. Also, an exploration of writer Ernest Hemingway’s summers in northern Michigan. Plus, a West Michigan musician discusses how performance and therapy intersect in her work, and how her creative life has changed amid the pandemic.

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Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her plan to spend more than a billion dollars in federal money. A reporter talks us through some of the details of the governor's proposal. Also, as more people continue to receive their COVID-19 vaccines, a medical historian discusses how we’ll know when the pandemic is over. Plus, a poet tells us about her latest collection, which explores the strangeness and beauty of bodies.

Headshot of high school students, Jane and Nawaff.
Courtesy Photos

There’s never been a last day of school quite like this one. Students and teachers throughout Michigan are nearing the finish line, with many keen to put the 2020-2021 pandemic school year behind them. Stateside caught up with two high schoolers about how the COVID-19 public health crisis has shaped their education and shifted their perspectives this year. We’ll be using just their first names to protect their privacy as minors.

michigan state capitol building in lansing, mi
Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Today on Stateside, a state lawmaker discusses police reform measures under consideration in the Michigan Senate. Also, a look at what’s driving the housing market — and making it difficult for buyers to navigate right now. Plus, two high school students discuss wrapping up the pandemic school year.

Logan Chadde

Earlier this month, the Ann Arbor Art Fair’s organizers made the choice to cancel the event for a second year in a row due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. But, after Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced outdoor capacity restrictions will be lifted June 1, the event’s directors decided the fair can now move forward.

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Today on Stateside, after more than a year of masking up and physical distancing, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has set an end date to pandemic restrictions. But many businesses say they still need more clarity. Also, an ACLU report says U.S. Customs and Border Protection is extending its reach far beyond the actual border with Canada. Plus, a preview of a new PBS documentary looking at Hamtramck’s evolving political landscape.

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Today on Stateside, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has lifted the mask mandate for people who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Two political strategists discuss the move and break down the latest news from Lansing. Also, an update on the sexual assault allegations against the late Robert Anderson, who was a physician at the University of Michigan for decades. And, two park rangers on what’s in store for Isle Royale this year as ferry service to the remote island resumes.

Courtesy of Jackson Smith

Wishing you could just go to a concert, listen to your favorite local bands, and relax on a Saturday night? There’s a new weekly radio show, coming to you from the Beaver Island airwaves, that might just meet your Michigan music needs during this socially distanced time. Out in the middle of Lake Michigan, between the Lower and Upper Peninsulas, a new low-watt radio program called Songs from the Trail is broadcasting on WVBI 100.1 FM. And it’s all about Michigan-centric music.

Courtesy of Megan McIntosh

There have been a few big title wins for collegiate athletics in Michigan this spring, despite the challenge of competing amid a public health crisis. The women’s gymnastics team at University of Michigan won the NCAA national championship, and both the women’s field hockey team at U of M and the women’s golf team at Michigan State University won Big Ten Conference titles.

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Today on Stateside, businesses across Michigan have succumbed to the pressures of the COVID-19 crisis, with devastating consequences for workers and our economy. A business owner and a behavioral scientist weigh in on why those who were sidelined still need help — and how the pandemic is shaping the state’s business ecosystem in the long term. Also, we meet a biologist whose team is collaborating with a colleague across 143 years.

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Today on Stateside, we revisit how one year of pandemic life has changed our relationships — from close connections, to pod problems, to loved ones lost. A funeral director discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic impacted mourning in 2020. Then, a counselor and psychologist talk us through how pod life, solitude, and mental health challenges during the pandemic have affected the ways we interact with other people.

Diana Polekhina / Unsplash

Despite some snow on the ground this week, spring has officially sprung in Michigan. For some, it’s not the calendar that clued them in, but instead, their itchy eyes and runny noses. Whether you're experiencing allergy symptoms for the first time or you feel like your normal allergies are coming back with a vengeance, you may be wondering just what’s going on this year.

“Right now what we're seeing is that environmental allergens are increasing, especially in the Midwest and the state of Texas, randomly. That seems to be our path. But we've reached record levels that we've never reached before,” said Dr. Kathleen Dass, an allergist, immunologist, and medical director with the Michigan Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology Center in Oak Park. 

a person holds a vaccine vial
Adobe Stock

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.

3D rendering of coronavirus
donfiore / Adobe Stock

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.

Downtown Ann Arbor
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

A lot has changed in how we relate to the public spaces around us this year. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, some main streets have closed to cars and opened to pedestrians, to give passersby more room. Restaurants — those that survived — got creative with outdoor seating. And people stuck at home suddenly found themselves seeking local outdoor spaces — where they're available — for recreation and physically distanced socializing. All these shifts in how we use our spaces got us thinking: What does a “return to normal” look like for cities?

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.

A sign of the University of Michigan Central Campus
Anna Schlutt / Michigan Radio

During the past year, many universities have seen high rates of COVID-19 on or around their campuses. Academic institutions in Michigan and throughout the U.S. have faced challenging questions and criticism with regard to their decision-making in an unprecedented public health crisis. And often, university students and their behaviors — like attending social gatherings or even simply living in group housing — have played a role in spreading the virus at their schools.

a nurse holds a vial of one of the first doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
Spectrum Health

Today on Stateside, Congresswoman Debra Haaland (D-NM) begins Senate confirmation hearings as President Joe Biden’s pick to head the U.S. Department of the Interior. A Michigan tribal chair discusses what Native leadership in the Cabinet could mean for tribes, going forward. Also, the new head of Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services weighs in on the next pandemic battlegrounds. Plus, reimagining Idlewild, where generations of Black Michiganders went for vacation and respite.

Courtesy of Darlene Walch

From the ski slopes to the snow trails, decreased snowfall and heightened risk of COVID-19 has made this winter season a strange one for many Michiganders hoping to enjoy their favorite cold-weather pastimes. That means that in the Marquette area of the Upper Peninsula, this particular February won’t bring its annual major sled dog races — or the crowd of spectators, mushers, and dogs that usually attend the events.

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Today on Stateside, General Motors has announced that it's working toward a fully electric fleet. Two journalists talk us through what the change could mean for consumers, as well as the auto industry. Also, a Michigan National Guard Specialist discusses the recent reversal of the federal ban on transgender people serving openly in the military. Plus, a look at the disproportionate losses women have suffered in the workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michigan Economic Development Corporation
Michigan Economic Development Corporation

More than $58 million in state money will soon be available to small businesses and entertainment venues that have suffered economically because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Small businesses can apply for the one-time grants from the Michigan Small Business Relief Program.

Photo taken from a BLM protest in Detroit this summer
Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

This was a wrenching year of racial reckoning both nationally, and right here in Michigan. Detroit journalist Stephen Henderson has been grappling with these issues both on-air as a radio host on WDET, and also in writing. Many of his conversations about race and racial justice this year featured prominent American writers and thinkers, and those conversations became the basis of a new season of Henderson’s podcast “Created Equal”.

The Kent County Health Department has issued a new health warning as new cases of COVID-19 continue to rise.

In recent weeks, Kent County has frequently had the most new daily confirmed cases of the virus of any county in the state. Health officer Adam London says more than 15% of COVID-19 tests in the county now come back positive.

“Our local infection rates have reached dangerous levels,” London said, in a release.

Emergency room hospital
Pixabay

Confirmed cases of COVID-19 continue to rise in Michigan, with 2,367 new cases reported on Tuesday. Over the past week, the state has hit a new peak for the average number of new daily cases, though deaths remain far below where they were in the spring. 

Health officials across the state have been urging people to take precautions to stop the spread of the virus: to put off gatherings, keep a distance from others and wear a mask.

The COVID-19 pandemic has proved challenging for restaurants, with operators struggling to navigate continuously shifting questions about staff support, finances, safety, and retooling to meet consumer needs. A restaurant’s return to patio or indoor service might look different depending on its business model, and for fine dining, where the high-end menu is just one part of the overall experience, the path to reopening is uniquely complex.

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Today on Stateside, Michigan has experienced a drop in COVID-19 cases these past few weeks, but over the weekend, case numbers slightly increased again. We check in with an epidemiologist on how to pace yourself for a pandemic. Also, two law professors explain how legal precedents make it tough to prosecute police misconduct. Plus, the founders of a new bilingual media outlet discuss the need for more local news in Spanish.

couple walking on a sidewalk
Katie Raymond / Michigan Radio

Child care businesses in Michigan are still shut down as part of Governor Whitmer's "Stay Safe, Stay Home" executive order, except for those caring for children of essential workers. 

Rebooting this industry will be essential for the recovery of the state’s economy.  But child care administrators say it will likely be a painfully slow process, and require the creation of a “new normal,” for kids, parents, and workers.