COVID19

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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.”

Polling station
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.

Ford Motor Company emblem
Wikimedia Commons

  Ford Motor Co. is burning through cash at an alarming rate due to the coronavirus crisis. But its chief financial officer says there's enough money to get through the year even if U.S. factories aren't restarted. The automaker posted a $2 billion first-quarter net loss Tuesday that it blamed on the virus. It used roughly $2.4 billion to get from January through March. But the cash burn accelerated to $7.7 billion during the first 24 days of April when nearly all of Ford’s factories were shut down and little revenue was coming in.

U.S. Air Force illustration/Airman 1st Class Joshua Green

While the number of Michigan children living in poverty has improved over the last decade, the number of child abuse and neglect cases have dramatically increased, according to this year’s Kids Count Report from the Michigan League for Public Policy. 

“As more families are faced with economic hardship because of the public health crisis, because of the economy fall out – these numbers are short to get worst.”

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At a virtual townhall held last week, service workers across Michigan met with Governor Gretchen Whitmer advocating for a minimum wage for all restaurant workers and better access to unemployment relief.

“And workers are reporting that when they go apply for unemployment insurance that subminimum wage plus tips falls below the minimum threshold that the state is saying qualifies them to get state unemployment insurance and for a lot of people that also disqualifies them for federal unemployment insurance in some cases.” 

Michigan foster children unable to visit biological family

Apr 27, 2020
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  Child placement agencies are facing new challenges as the Michigan governor’s stay-at-home order has blocked most birth parents from visiting their children in wake of coronavirus outbreak. The Detroit News reports that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s decision prompts worry that families providing foster care or completing certification may stop due to health concerns and job loss. Janet Reynolds Snyder is an executive director of the Michigan Federation for Children and Families, a Lansing-based association that has about 60 family support and child welfare service agencies in Michigan tate.

MI Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Michelle Jokisch Polo

  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is defending the extension of the state's stay-at-home order as the “best weapon to defeat” the coronavirus in a newspaper opinion piece. Her comments Sunday come as the state reported an additional 41 deaths, for a total of 3,315 in the state. State officials say the total number of confirmed COVID-19 cases is more than 37,700, including an additional 575 reported Sunday. Whitmer also signed an order to protect consumers and extended another order relaxing medical practice laws to allow physician assistants and nurses to treat COVID-19 patients. 

Grand Rapids' Homeless population are tested for COVID-19

Apr 27, 2020
Health care professional tests person staying at Mel Trotter's Ministries for coronavirus
Mercy Health Saint Mary's

This past week, in coordination with Kent County Health Department, Mercy Health Saint Mary’s and Cherry Health tested over 200 people staying at Mel Trotter Ministries in downtown Grand Rapids for COVID-19. 

“Between Monday and Tuesday we were able to test 251 individuals and 69 of those tested positive.”

Republicans vow to cut Gov. Whitmer's emergency powers

Apr 24, 2020
Michigan State Capitol picture
mi.gov

Republicans who control the Legislature want to dilute the power of Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. They say they'll meet Friday to pass bills to rein in Whitmer's emergency powers and create a committee to oversee the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak. Republicans are unhappy with the breadth of Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, though polling shows the public believes she's made the right calls.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer
Governor Gretchen Whitmer

  Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has lengthened her stay-at-home order through May 15 while relaxing restrictions so some businesses can reopen and the public can participate in more outdoor activities like golf and motorized boating.

The measure is designed to help combat the coronavirus pandemic. It immediately replaces one that was scheduled to expire next week.

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