coronavirus

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Nov. 5, 2020 photo
Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will announce Wednesday that Michigan restaurants can reopen for indoor dining on Feb. 1, two-and-a-half months after an order to close amid a surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

The governor’s office confirmed the pending announcement following a statement issued on social media by the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association. The current order prohibiting indoor dine-in service is due to expire Friday but will be extended.

Consumers Energy
consumersenergy.com

The Consumers Energy Foundation has announced more than $480,000 in grants to help Michigan nonprofits provide critical help to communities during the coronavirus pandemic.

Since March, the Jackson-based foundation that is the charitable arm of Consumers Energy has provided $5.4 million in direct response to the pandemic.

Grants support those working on the front lines to directly meet basic needs such as food and shelter.

The Food Bank Council of Michigan received $200,000 in funding to address food insecurity, including mobile food distributions across the state.

Judge with gavel photo
Wikipedia

An Upper Peninsula cafe was found in contempt of court and fined $2,500 for continuing to serve indoor diners, the latest turn in an effort to get the owner to comply with coronavirus restrictions.

“When it comes to court orders, in my opinion, civil disobedience is not an option. It just absolutely is not,” Judge Wanda Stokes said.

Stokes held a hearing Friday involving Cafe Rosetta, which serves soup, sandwiches and more in Calumet, a town of roughly 750 in Houghton County.

Novel coronavirus graphic
PBS

Nearly 2,300 additional cases of the COVID-19 virus and 189 more deaths have been reported by health officials in Michigan. The numbers posted Tuesday on the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services website brings the total number of confirmed virus cases in the state to 504,410 since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Total deaths due to the virus have reached 12,867. Of the deaths reported Tuesday, 117 were identified during a review of vital records. More than 350,000 people in the U.S. have died from the virus.

Novel coronavirus graphic
PBS

Michigan averaged about 3,000 new coronavirus cases a day from Thursday through Saturday, the state health department said.

The state also reported 265 additional deaths from COVID-19, including 211 from days or weeks ago that were confirmed through a records check. Michigan is close to 12,600 deaths since last March.

More than 71,000 people in the state have received a COVID-19 vaccine and nearly 500 clinics are scheduled in upcoming weeks, said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive.

Judge with gavel photo
non-licensed

A judge has ordered the shutdown of a cafe in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula where customers have been supporting an owner who has defiantly served indoor diners despite coronavirus restrictions.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration got a restraining order against Cafe Rosetta in Calumet, a small town in Houghton County.

Since November, bars and restaurants in Michigan have been limited to carry-out service or outdoor dining in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services logo
michiganhhs / michiganhhs

Michigan’s rate of new COVID-19 cases has been dropping for more than 29 days, a state scientist reported Wednesday.

“It will be important during this holiday season, as well, and New Year’s Eve, to ensure we’re maintaining that social distancing. That will be very important,” said Sarah Lyon-Callo, head of the epidemiology bureau.

“We’re going to be watching these data throughout the holiday season to determine if we’re going to see any sort of case resurgence,” Lyon-Callo said.

Personal Protective Equipment photo
wikimedia commons

Michigan spent $135.3 million on masks, gloves and other gear during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic, when officials were racing against time — and other states — to protect medical personnel and other essential workers, an Associated Press analysis found.

The nationwide analysis found that states paid more than $7 billion for personal protective equipment and crucial medical devices such as ventilators and infrared thermometers between early 2020, when COVID-19 first emerged in the U.S., and late spring.

Michigan Bridge Card
City of Flint

Michigan residents who receive food assistance from the state can use their benefits at restaurants, officials said Tuesday.

The program could give a boost to restaurants that are prohibited from offering indoor dining because of coronavirus restrictions imposed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration.

More than 300,000 people will soon be able to use their Bridge Card to buy discounted meals at restaurants, including 1,200 people who are experiencing homelessness, the health department said.

Those eligible include people over 60 and people with a disability.

Stethoscope On Money
Public Domain Pictures

Michigan lawmakers and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer have agreed to a $465 million pandemic spending plan, including relief payments to businesses and workers struggling to stay afloat because of the coronavirus. The legislation received overwhelming Senate support late Friday and is expected to win House passage Monday. Nearly half of the funding would be used to continue a maximum 26 weeks of unemployment benefits instead of 20 weeks.

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