Coronavirus / Covid-19

SMART bus for Detroit downtown
Wikimedia Commons

Bus riders are stranded in Detroit as drivers concerned about the coronavirus refused to report to work Friday. A union official says drivers are having conflicts with riders about wearing masks and facing other challenges. Detroit buses serve an average of 85,000 people a day. In March, early in the pandemic, drivers staged a strike over safety and the condition of their buses. In response, Detroit eliminated fares, promised more cleaning and told riders to enter and exit from the rear door only. Masks are mandatory.

Ottawa County logo
Ottawa County

The “Staying in Place” order for Ottawa County’s Allendale Township has been lifted. With COVID-19 cases declining among the Grand Valley State University student population, a new order with fewer restrictions has been issued.

he Ottawa County “Staying in Place” order that took effect September 17th expires at midnight October 1st. That order kept Grand Valley State University students in their on-campus or off-campus housing for two weeks with few exceptions. The restrictions have brought down the number of cases.

Whitmer extends state of emergency

Sep 30, 2020
Gretchen Whitmer
Gov. Whimter's office

The COVID-19 state of emergency in Michigan has been extended by Governor Gretchen Whitmer through October 27th. This action is not a surprise since Governor Whitmer already said she intended to renew the emergency declaration. But it’s still controversial since her authority to do so and continue to issue emergency orders is being challenged in court.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she will issue a declaration to extend Michigan’s COVID-19 state of emergency.

She will do that before the current state of emergency expires later this week.

Republicans in the Legislature and business groups are using litigation and a petition drive to try and curtail the governor’s emergency powers.

Detroit Thanksgiving Day Parade photo
Erik Przekop / flickr.com

The 94th Detroit Thanksgiving parade will march on, but any spectators probably will be in their pajamas. People will not be allowed to line the parade route in downtown Detroit because of the coronavirus. Instead they'll have to watch the parade on television. Another Thanksgiving tradition, the Turkey Trot, has been canceled. People are encouraged to run it on their own. The race usually attracts thousands of runners.

Kent County seal
Kent County

The Kent County Board of Commissioners is allocating $5 million dollars to businesses impacted by the pandemic closed by Executive Order since August 1st.

Most businesses where social distancing is difficult to maintain have been most adversely impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. With that in mind, the Kent County Board of Commissioners is extending short-term economic relief grants to qualifying businesses depending on their size. Grants range from $10,000, $40,000.

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

The Kent County Health Department announced Monday its experiencing a decline in the number of residents seeking COVID-19 tests, and according to Christopher Bendekgey, the Community Clinical Services Division Director, 40%-50% fewer people are getting tested currently than at the height of infections in early to mid-July. 

So, what’s causing the slowdown? What factors are contributing to fewer tests at health department sites?

Bendekgey weighs in. 

“There’s more organizations coming online with their testing capacities and capabilities,” he explains.

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