coronavirus

picture of GR Ford Airport Logo
Gerald R. Ford International Airport

The numbers of people using a western Michigan airport are approaching levels prior to the start of restrictions put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Management at Gerald R. Ford International Airport outside Grand Rapids say travel numbers are about 90% of what they were in March 2020, WOOD-TV reported.

About 60,000 people are expected to travel through the airport in Cascade Township in the next 10 days.

The airport finished 2020 with half the number of travelers it normally sees. By the end of this year, it is hoping to get closer to 70%.

Novel coronavirus graphic
PBS

Michigan is set to expand vaccine eligibility starting Monday, a move that comes as public health experts voice fresh concerns about the state’s rising COVID-19 infection rate.

Residents age 50 and older will be eligible for vaccines starting Monday. Ford Field in Detroit is set to open Wednesday as Michigan’s first federally run mass vaccine site.

However, the state’s COVID-19 cases have been increasing. Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical executive, said the state’s case rate spiked 77% over the past four weeks to 172.9 cases per million people.

Marlena Pavlos-Hackney sits in the courtroom during her arraignment, Friday March, 19, 2021 photo
Nicole Hester / Ann Arbor News via AP

Supporters boarded the doors at a western Michigan restaurant to show authorities that the owner will keep it closed, a condition necessary to spring her from jail for violating court orders related to COVID-19.

Marlena Pavlos-Hackney, meanwhile, remained in custody Saturday, 90 miles away at the Ingham County jail.

Holly Shashaguay said she helped board up Marlena’s Bistro and Pizzeria in Holland on Friday night.

“When I painted that ‘complied’ sign, I was crying the whole time,” Shashaguay told MLive.com. “We didn’t want to do it, but we did.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Feb. 9, 2021 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

Michigan on Friday eased outdoor stadium capacity restrictions before baseball’s opening day but ordered weekly rapid testing of teen athletes amid a climbing coronavirus case rate that ranks fourth nationally over the past week.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said, for now, she does not plan to tighten COVID-19 restrictions her administration had gradually loosened in recent months — noting ongoing vaccinations while also citing concerns about virus variants that more easily spread.

basketball referee photo
pixabay

A number of Kent County high school boys and girls basketball teams are experiencing an increase COVID-19 outbreaks. The Kent County Health Department is advising teams take a week off limiting the virus’ spread.

Since the start of the Michigan high school basketball season in early February, more than half of Kent County teams have reported at least one player testing positive for COVID-19 with the health department.

“For every one of those they also had students that had to be placed in quarantine because they were close contacts to the at least one player.”

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

Michigan had the country’s fifth-highest rate of new COVID-19 cases in the last week and is among 14 states where infections rose over the past two weeks, a trend that may be tied to the increasing prevalence of a more contagious coronavirus variant, health officials said Wednesday.

Comerica Park photo
Wikimedia Commons

Michigan appears poised to amend a 1,000-patron limit so more Detroit Tigers fans can attend home games on Opening Day and after. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's office said Monday that the state health department has had talks with the team "to find a safe path forward to expand capacity limits at the stadium." A state order says outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities can have no more than 1,000 customers gathered. Critics, including Republican lawmakers, say that is too low since Comerica Park holds more than 41,000. Opening Day is April 1.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, March 2, 2021 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

Allegations that New York intentionally manipulated data regarding COVID-19 deaths in nursing homes has led Republicans to demand an investigation in Michigan, where Gov. Gretchen Whitmer — early in the pandemic — told such facilities to admit or readmit COVID-affected residents under certain conditions.

University of Michigan seal
umich.edu

The University of Michigan will be in-person instruction this fall, have nearly 80% of residents halls open and allow fans back into athletic events, the university announced Friday.

This reopening of campus since students went online last March is based on the presumption that all faculty and staff that are planning on getting vaccinated will be able to before classes begin Aug. 30, university communications said in a news release.

Michigan Department of Corrections seal
en.wikipedia.org

Visitors will be allowed at Michigan prisons for the first time in a year, the Corrections Department said Friday.

Visitors will be given a fast COVID-19 test and have their temperature checked. Physical contact between prisoners and visitors will be prohibited.

Visits will resume March 26.

Grand Rapids Community College logo
grcc.edu

Before the coronavirus pandemic, Grand Rapids Community College’s instructional composition was roughly 80% on-campus learning and about 20% online. Today, it’s the opposite. The pandemic has revealed a “new normal” heading into the fall 2021 semester.

“I don’t think we’ll ever go back to 80% on-campus, 20% online because of what we’ve learned about the needs of our students, and what our students have been able to accomplish.”

State Sen. Peter Lucido, R-Shelby Township photo
David Eggert / Associated Press

The prosecutor for Michigan’s third-largest county said Thursday he will investigate nursing home-related coronavirus deaths, saying there are questions about whether the transfer of recovering patients into facilities led residents and staff to be infected.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services logo
MI.gov

The Michigan health department is being sued over its refusal to release more information about COVID-19 deaths tied to nursing homes.

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, which often takes aggressive action to get public records, filed a lawsuit Tuesday on behalf of Detroit journalist Charlie LeDuff, who is seeking ages, dates of death and whether the person became ill at a long-term care facility.

The health department told LeDuff that the information is exempt under the state’s public records law.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Feb. 9, 2021 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed at least $2 billion in COVID-19 relief spending while vetoing $650 million after Republicans didn't negotiate with her and tied aid to legislation that would have curbed her administration's authority to order pandemic restrictions. Whitmer's move Tuesday is the latest in a dispute between the GOP-led Legislature and the Democratic governor over her pandemic response. Whitmer vetoed legislation that would have ceded the state health department's power to close schools and prohibit sports to local health departments.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

The first known case of a new variant of the coronavirus has been reported in Michigan, in a boy living in Jackson County.

The B.1.351 strain, first detected in South Africa in December, is believed to be more infectious and is now in at least 20 states, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It shares some mutations with B.1.1.7, a more easily spread variant that was first identified in Britain late last year and was found in Michigan in January. It is in 47 states.

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