Michigan Department of Health and Human Services logo
michiganhhs / michiganhhs

Orders have been issued by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services that allow for expanded visitations at nursing and other residential facilities. Visits to the facilities have been restricted to slow the spread of COVID-19. The two orders signed Tuesday by MDHHS Director Robert Gordon allow exceptions to the restrictions as long as the facilities meet specific safety requirements, such as requiring masks during visits. Gordon noted the hardship residents of the facilities have faced because they have been unable to see loved ones because of the pandemic.

picture of Kent County Health Department sign

A Grand Rapids area bar has been ordered closed by Kent County officials after it failed to adhere to social distance protocols.

After a cellphone video circulated on social media revealing Grand Rapids’ Social House Tavern crowd in violation of social distance protocols, the Kent County Health Department ordered it closed until further notice.

“We take these things all very seriously. And, in particular, when it comes to bars and restaurants.”

Dr. Adam London is Director of the Kent County Health Department.

Novel coronavirus

The daily U.S. count of new coronavirus cases stood near an all-time high Thursday. It's hovering close to the late-April peak when 36,400 were reported. The Kent County Health Department is watching with concern after a jump in cases reported Thursday.

In early May, Kent County experienced its COVID-19 outbreak peak with161 cases reported on average each day. Between may 2nd and June 10th cases declined to an average of 26 new cases.


The Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled late Wednesday that gyms will remain closed after a week of legal back and forth between gyms and the state. 

Scott Erskine is an attorney representing the League of Independent Fitness Facilities and Trainers. He says gyms are running out of time and some may be forced to close permanently. 

“The only solace that my clients can really take from the court of appeals decision is the recognition that my clients are suffering and may be forced to pay the ultimate business price by losing their businesses if this continues.”

Hilary Farrell

County clerks are asking the federal government to come up with 40 million dollars so Michigan poll workers can have the personal protective equipment and other supplies they’ll need in August and November. 

State election officials are encouraging Michiganders to vote absentee to avoid possibly spreading the coronavirus.

But Saginaw County Clerk Mike Hanley expects many will still vote in person.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer photo
Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday allowed for the return of pro sports in Michigan as long as fans aren’t in attendance.

The move followed Major League Baseball’s decision this week to set a 60-game schedule to start July 23 or July 24 in empty ballparks. The governor said pro teams can resume operations notwithstanding capacity limits and restrictions on gatherings and events to curb the coronavirus.

Games must be played without a live audience for the “time being.” Only staff of the facility and media can attend.

State lawmakers heard today from the director of the state unemployment agency. He was there to answer questions about a backlog in resolving unemployment claims.

The wave of COVID-related layoffs led to the increase in claims. The increase in claims led to an increase in suspected fraud. Unemployment agency director Steve Gray told a joint House and Senate committee that created opportunities for people who’ve been collecting stolen identity information.

Nursing home COVID-19 testing photo
Spc. Miguel Pena /

Michigan would create dedicated facilities for coronavirus-infected patients who aren't sick enough to be hospitalized or placed in a nursing home under a bill approved by the state Senate. The Republican-sponsored legislation, which passed Wednesday, is a response to Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's policy that allows people with COVID-19 to be put in nursing homes if they are isolated from residents without the virus.

Bottles of alcohol photo

People could order cocktails for pickup or delivery from Michigan bars and restaurants through 2025 under a bill that has won final approval and is expected to be signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The "cocktails-to-go" bill, approved Wednesday, is part of a broader package that also includes a temporary cut in state liquor prices to help businesses hurting during the coronavirus pandemic. The state already lets bars and restaurants sell unopened beer and wine to go. The package also would let local governments designate "social districts" where people could drink alcohol outside.

Kent ISD
Kent ISD

The results are in, and with the majority of parents surveyed, the Kent Intermediate School District has drafted its School Re-entry Plan for navigating the coronavirus pandemic this fall.

More than 30,000 parents responded to the Kent Intermediate Superintendents’ Association School Re-entry Survey.

“Almost 90% of the parents who responded to the survey believe that in-person instruction is the very best option in terms of a quality educational experience for their child.”