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pandemic

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.

Unsplash

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.