Coronavirus / Covid-19

Brian G. Long portrait

The November Supply Management Research indicates the West Michigan recession recovery continues at a slow pace. The concern is the surge in COVID-19 cases spurring another round of state-imposed restrictions.

The Michigan Department of health and Human Services has extended the three-week partial shutdown of businesses and schools an extra 12 day to Dec. 20th. The move is designed to slow the surge in COVID-19 cases.

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

With just under 5,000 new cases of COVID-19 in the state of Michigan, health officials Wednesday expressed “cautious optimism” that things...might be getting better. The promising news came from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services during a press briefing; reporting that cases, hospitalizations, and deaths caused by the coronavirus had either shown improvement or had plateaued since last week.

Dr. Sarah Lyon-Callo is the Director the of Bureau of Epidemiology and Population Health at the MDHHS.

Kent County Road Commission plow photo
Kent County Road Commission

West Michigan road agencies are not only preparing for winter snow storms, but also coordinating staffing and service plans in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak.

2018 University of Michigan v. The Ohio State University photo
Associated Press

Citing a rising number of COVID-19 cases in its program, Michigan canceled its annual showdown with Ohio State on Tuesday as college football lurches toward the end of the season without one of its cornerstone rivalry games.

The season-ending grudge match known as “The Game” won’t be played for the first time in 102 years.

“Our players, they want to play,” Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said. “They wanted to play this week and they want to play next week.”

Michigan legislature

The Michigan House has canceled voting sessions scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday after a staffer tested positive for the coronavirus, complicating the Legislature’s final days of business in the two-year term.


With a potential COVID-19 vaccine on its way, Kent County Health leaders announced Tuesday that frontline health care workers would be first to receive it, while shedding light on when the general public can expect supplies to become available. The comments came during a virtual town hall Tuesday hosted by the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce as the FDA on Thursday is set to review Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine data and potentially give the ok to begin distributing it nationwide.

Nonpublic schools sued Monday after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration extended a coronavirus order that prevents in-person instruction at Michigan high schools, saying it violates the First Amendment right to practice religion.

Michigan High School Athletic Association
Michigan High School Athletic Association

The organization operating Michigan high school sports expressed disappointment in another delay in finishing the fall season. The Michigan High School Athletic Association says it had provided a plan to complete tournaments in swimming, volleyball and football with no spectators and to resume winter sports practices. But sports are on hold again through at least Dec. 20, along with in-person high school classes, a ban on indoor restaurant dining and other business prohibitions. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says Michigan needs more time to reduce coronavirus cases.

Michigan Capitol Building photo
Phillip Hofmeister via Wikimedia | CC BY 3.0 /

The Michigan House has canceled its voting session scheduled for Tuesday following an announcement that Rudy Giuliani tested positive for the coronavirus just days after he testified before lawmakers in Lansing without wearing a mask. President Donald Trump's personal attorney spoke for hours last week before a Republican-led committee investigating alleged election irregularities. House Speaker Lee Chatfield says multiple representatives have requested time to receive results from recent COVID-19 tests before returning to session out of an abundance of caution.

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A fight between a private West Michigan school and The Ottawa County Health Department continues, as health officials say it will begin fining parents who refuse to send their kids to class without a mask. Libertas Christian School in West Michigan had been given until Friday to come into compliance with state and local health department requirements, or the Ottawa County Health Department says it would shut the school down again.

Stethoscope On Money
Public Domain Pictures

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is asking state lawmakers to approve $300 million in spending to fight the coronavirus into 2021, including money to support the broad-based distribution of vaccines. Thursday's request is in addition to the Democratic governor's previous call for $100 million in direct aid to people and businesses hit hardest by the pandemic. COVID-19 funding and other outbreak-related bills are a top priority in the remaining two weeks of session.


The senior pastor of a church in western Michigan has encouraged his congregation to catch the coronavirus to "get it over with" and calling it "all good." The Holland Sentinel reports that Bart Spencer made the statements during a Nov. 14 sermon at Lighthouse Baptist Church in Holland. The sermon was posted on the church's website and shared on Facebook. Spencer later told the newspaper that he and several members of his family contracted the virus and have recovered. As of Thursday, 380,343 virus cases have been confirmed in Michigan. More than 9,500 people have died from the virus.