Taylor Wizner

Health care and tourism reporter

Taylor Wizner is the health and tourism reporter for IPR News. She joined IPR in 2019 after working at Detroit's Public Radio station, WDET. She graduated from Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and the University of Michigan. When not sharing the news of the day, she enjoys spending time in northern Michigan's beautiful woods and dunes, often with her dog in tow.

Taylor Wizner

Mark Beardslee provides in-home nursing for seven seniors in Cheboygan with Comfort Keepers.

Courtesy Rob Grimes

To those who spent a lot of time there, Comic Book E.R. was much more than a comic shop. It was where Cadillac’s outsiders and geeks came together.

  

Taylor Wizner

 

Public health officials say the positivity rate, hospitalizations and new Covid cases are all trending downward.

Spectrum Health

Meijer will open COVID-19 vaccine clinics at many of its pharmacies this week. But at this time, it isn’t known which stores will have the vaccine.

Taylor Wizner

 

It’s exactly 1 p.m. Monday when Interlochen residents Aaron and Mary Kay Stander click on Grand Traverse County’s website.

courtesy of Julia Chambers

Last spring, Julia Chambers, of Walhalla, was desperate to find out if her sister Joanie was okay. 

Joanie lived in a nursing home outside of Detroit, and COVID cases had just been detected at the facility.

Interlochen Public Radio

 

When COVID-19 surged in the Upper Peninsula in the early winter months, it had a disproportionate impact on first responders, health care and frontline workers and children, according to a recent report.

Credit Courtesy of Katie Workman

This is the second story in our series, “Our Lives Have Changed” about how the COVID-19 pandemic has re-shaped life in northern Michigan.

Even before COVID-19 spread through Michigan, 30-year-old Ludington resident Katie Workman and her husband, Mike, were looking for someone to watch their kids.

 

  

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

 

Phones ringing non-stop. Websites crashing. Appointment slots filled within hours. Eligible teachers, front line workers, and senior citizens in northern Michigan all want to know when they can get their COVID-19 vaccine.

Screen capture from Munson Virtual Press Conference

 

Three weeks after receiving its first COVID-19 vaccines, Munson Healthcare says 51.3% of eligible workers, more than 5,000 employees, have been scheduled or vaccinated as the hospital system moves to administering the second dose for some.

Courtesy Kandace Day

 

It happened so fast. 

Mancelona resident Kandace Day took her 4-year-old son, Charlie, to the Emergency Room for some medicine and the next thing she knew, he was being flown to a Grand Rapids hospital, where 15 doctors were waiting to rush him to the ICU.

Creative Commons

More than 800,000 Michiganders were behind on their water bills this summer and risk losing their service during the pandemic, according to a report authored by water policy advocates.

Interlochen Public Radio

The number of new coronavirus cases reported in northern lower Michigan appears to be falling, after surging to record highs last month. 

86th District Court Zoom

Update 10/4/20: Both Null brothers have made their bonds and were released Thursday from the Grand Traverse County jail.

An 86th District judge agreed to conditions Wednesday that make putting up bail much easier for two men charged with aiding in a terrorist plot.


Charles Dawley

One northern Michigan county reeling from COVID-19 is Emmet County. It’s counted almost 800 cases and 27 deaths from the disease.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services

Starting Wednesday, restaurants in Michigan are again limited to delivery and takeout, high school and college classes can only be online, and non-professional sports games are cancelled. That’s under an order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s public health director.

Taylor Wizner

 

Hospital leaders from across Michigan say COVID cases are rising in rural and urban communities alike, straining the state's healthcare system.  

President Trump addresses a Traverse City crowd the night before election day.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

Three weeks ago, John Roth, the now-elected representative for the 104th state house district, was door knocking in Grand Traverse County. There he met a man who says he votes Republican, but strongly disliked President Trump.

 

Taylor Wizner

According to unofficial election results, voters approved a plan to pay for improvements to Benzie County schools. The proposal passed with more than 700 votes as of Wednesday morning. Voters knocked it down in three previous elections.

Lexi Krupp / Interlochen Public Radio

Results are incomplete and unofficial. Updated at 7:00 p.m.


Taylor Wizner

 

Northwest lower Michigan is seeing a rapid rise in the number of COVID cases. Until recently, the region has largely avoided COVID spikes.

But as temperatures drop, residents are having to shift practices and behavior. 

In late May when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted the stay-at-home order for northern Michigan, Traverse City local Tyler Harkert braced for a rush of downstaters. 

Taylor Wizner

 

A look around Benzie Central Schools feels somewhat like a journey back in time. 

Morgan Springer

 

Update 10/22/30: TCAPS says TC Central High School  will return to in-class learning on Friday. The district says the health department completed its contact tracing efforts.

Traverse City Area Public Schools has closed TC Central High School for two days after positive COVID-19 test results from someone at the school were reported Tuesday. Depending on how many were exposed, or how long the health department needs to contact trace, the school may have to continue virtual instruction for longer, possibly for 14 days, TCAPS Superintendent John VanWagoner says.

Interlochen Public Radio

 

Thursday marked the highest single day of reported COVID-19 cases in Michigan. The state reported 2,030 new cases and 32 deaths. 

A partial reason that number is so high is due to a slowdown in the reporting of electronic lab results from the previous day, according to the Michigan State Police.

But on Tuesday, state Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said we may be in the second wave of the virus.

"Trucker” Randy Bishop, host of “Your Defending Fathers” radio show and leader in Michigan second amendment rights groups, says Facebook has taken down his account.

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