Coronavirus / Covid-19

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, December 3, 2020 photo
Office of the Governor / Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday that her administration may extend portions of a three-week partial shutdown of schools and businesses next week because of the “sheer volume” of coronavirus cases in Michigan.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services logo
michiganhhs / michiganhhs

A federal judge has refused to block the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ ban on indoor dining.

When the MDHHS issued restrictions on indoor dining two weeks ago designed to slow the surge of COVID-19 cases, the Michigan Restaurant & Lodging Association sued the state. It brought four federal claims and a pair of state claims.

“Alleging that the Constitutional rights of restaurant operators have been violated.”

Michael Huff is a corporate attorney with Mika Meyers.

Rep. John Chirkun photo

State Rep. John Chirkun said Monday he had tested positive for the coronavirus, becoming at least the 10th member of the Legislature to be infected since the pandemic hit Michigan more than eight months ago.

Also, two people in the Senate notified the business office of their positive tests. It was not specified if they are senators, employees or interns. Neither was on site during the transmission period nor had close contact with anyone in the Senate.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer at a virtual COVID-19 news conference

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants state legislators to approve a $100 million COVID-19 relief plan when they return to session during December.

The Democratic governor sent a letter to leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature asking for the state-based stimulus program that she said “will provide direct financial support to the families and small businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic.”

Time Out

A Big Boy restaurant in Michigan’s Thumb region has lost its name after the owners refused to stop indoor dining as part of statewide restrictions to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

Customers were greeted Friday with Sandusky Diner instead of Sandusky Big Boy, the name for 35 years. The company that grants franchises took action. Big Boy restaurants are known by their statue of a boy in checkered overalls holding a burger over his head.

Dr. Rob Davidson photo
Dr. Rob Davidson

Hospitals across the region are at capacities never before sustained. West Michigan hospitals are being hit harder than any other place in the state with COVID-19 cases. One emergency physician is asking the public to weigh their individual freedoms with what wearing a mask can mean for their health and getting back to some semblance of normal.

“If we want to get things back on track as quickly as possible, the first step, that to me infringes very minimally on people’s individual liberties, to say let’s wear a mask and prevent the spread.”

Rep. Tommy Brann (R-Wyoming) portrait

Mask wearing has become a politically partisan issue. Enter a West Michigan, Republican state lawmaker. As local hospitals near capacity with COVID-19 patients, he says his colleagues took an oath to protect the public and a mask mandate is necessary.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has mandated mask wearing. Still, not everyone is onboard.