Coronavirus / Covid-19

Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration logo
MIOSHA twitter

Business groups are urging Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to let employers reopen their offices for in-person work during the coronavirus pandemic rather than extend a restriction set to expire in mid-April. In October, after a court ruling upended the Democratic governor's orders, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued six-month emergency rules to keep intact a requirement that employers prohibit in-person work to the extent that employees' activities can feasibly be completed remotely.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, January 22, 2021 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday announced the further loosening of Michigan’s coronavirus restrictions, easing capacity limits in restaurants and a host of other businesses while also allowing for larger indoor and outdoor gatherings.

The revised state health department order will take effect Friday and last through April 19.

Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing exterior photo
Patrick Center / wgvunews.org

The U.S. now has a third vaccine preventing COVID-19. The Johnson & Johnson vaccine approved by the Food and Drug Administration over the weekend is manufactured in Grand Rapids.

“It’s great news for, you know, our country. Great news for the world. And it’s certainly great news for West Michigan.”

From its state-of-the-art Grand Rapids-based facility, Grand River Aseptic Manufacturing is filling the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. Selected in August by Operation Warp Speed, the two were paired and a deal finalized in September.

Give Seniors A Say logo
leadingagemi.org

A not-for-profit representing 270 senior communities says its time the state of Michigan begins rolling back some of its COVID-19 visitation restrictions.

LeadingAge Michigan says the COVID-19 visitation restrictions imposed by the Michigan Department of health and Human Services exceed nursing home guidance issued by the federal government.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Feb. 9, 2021 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says her administration will announce the further loosening of Michigan's coronavirus restrictions in coming days. She did not elaborate much in a Wednesday news conference, in which she again pressed the Republican-controlled Legislature to pass a multibillion-dollar COVID-19 relief funding plan.

Empty classroom photo
wiki commons

More than 80% of Michigan school districts planned to offer some form of in-person instruction in February, a 20-plus point rise over the previous month amid a decline in the coronavirus’ spread.

Michigan State University’s Education Policy Innovation Colloborative said it was the largely monthly increase since the start of the academic year. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has strongly encouraged schools to provide a face-to-face option by March 1.

  

Muskegon County health officials say a resident has tested positive for the new, more contagious variant of COVID-19. The news comes from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, who earlier this week announced that nearly 70 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant of COVID-19, had been confirmed in Michigan, with the first known positive case in Muskegon County.

Kathy Moore is Muskegon County’s Public Health Officer. She says the news is cause for concern, but hope remains as well.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer, February 24, 2021 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor / Associated Press

 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said again Wednesday the Legislature’s Republican leaders are failing to bargain on a COVID-19 plan for Michigan. The governor said so during an online news conference.

At issue on the deadlock is how to spend $5 billion in federal COVID response funds, back-to-school plans, restrictions on businesses, and GOP calls for new limits on executive authority to issue emergency health orders.

Dining room table setting photo
Public Domain Pictures

Michigan restaurants on Wednesday proposed tying indoor capacity limits to the percentage of COVID-19 tests that come back positive, contending that clear guideposts would help the hospitality industry navigate the pandemic.

Bars and restaurants, which reopened for indoor dining and drinking on Feb 1. after a 2 1/2-month ban, have a 10 p.m. curfew and are limited to 25% occupancy, up to a maximum of 100 patrons, under a state health order supported by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. She has opposed linking coronavirus metrics to the automatic loosening or tightening of restrictions.

Novel coronavirus graphic
PBS

 

An activist group is calling on Michigan Republicans to hurry up and pass a COVID-19 relief bill. Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her plan last month, but the GOP-led legislature has not yet brought it up for debate.

Doctor Farhan Bhatti is with the left-leaning Committee to Protect Medicare. He says acting quickly will help people.

DeVos Place Convention Center photo
wikipedia

Kent County officials have renegotiated the lease agreement for the West Michigan Vaccine Clinic at DeVos Place.

Monday, January 25th the centrally located West Michigan Vaccine Clinic at DeVos Place began distributing COVID-19 vaccines. A collaboration between the Kent County Health Department, Spectrum Health and Mercy Health. At that time, the goal was to distribute 20,000 vaccines a day.

The clinic was announced January 22nd and the price-tag was not made public at that time.

“The cost is going to be significant. The cost of not doing it is also extraordinary.”

Paul Sancya / Associated Press

A judge dismissed disorderly conduct charges Monday against six hair stylists who were ticketed last spring during a protest at the Michigan Capitol.

The women were cutting hair to protest Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s decision to keep barber shops and salons closed for nearly three months because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The women argued that the tickets had to be dismissed after the state Supreme Court in October said many Whitmer orders were issued under an unconstitutional law.

basketball referee photo
pixabay

High schools are anticipating a shortage of men and women who blow the whistle as basketball returns to Michigan gyms after a timeout for the coronavirus.

Registration of referees is down 25% from a year ago, and the risk of COVID-19 is a “contributing factor,” said Geoff Kimmerly, a spokesman at the Michigan High School Athletic Association.

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