Coronavirus

Interlochen Public Radio

 

Testing wastewater can rapidly detect COVID-19 outbreaks in college campuses, nursing homes and prisons.

Thanks to a $10 million dollar grant from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act the state is beginning to test wastewater across Michigan.

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the State Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) will team up with local health departments and colleges for the three month pilot.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Most school districts Up North have returned to in-person learning in the past few weeks, and several are already seeing COVID-19 cases among students and staff.

Just days before Traverse City students return to in-person learning, the district announced a student athlete has tested positive for COVID-19.

Students across the state are going back to school this week, and most Up North will return to in-person learning. Kingsley Schools started in late August and had a student test positive for COVID-19 during the first week back.

Courtesy Legs Inn

 

A steady stream of visitors to resort areas in northern Michigan over the summer exceeded national tourism averages. But local businesses are still hurting from lost revenue during the state’s COVID-19 lockdown, and are now putting their hopes into fall tourism.

Friske Farm Market Facebook page

 

A northern Michigan health department says it’s struggling to make a local market comply with a state executive order. Now the Antrim County store may have also been a COVID-19 exposure site.

Interlochen Public Radio

 

Northwest lower Michigan health departments reported 37 possible COVID-19 exposure sites since Monday, August 10.

 

They included typical exposure sites, including restaurants, retail stores and airplane flights, but they also include other types of locations that have recently cropped up — a community pool, skate park and a ferry.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Many northern Michigan schools will return to in-person instruction this fall. That has some parents and teachers worried about transmission of the coronavirus.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

 

State or local health department confirmed COVID-19 cases in northern Michigan:

Last updated September 23, 2020 at 12:00 p.m.

Morgan Springer

Traverse City Area Public Schools will offer in-person instruction for students this fall, but the first two weeks of school will happen online.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Michigan’s primary is Tuesday, August 4. Voters across the state will head to the polls or mail in their ballots on state and national office and local proposals.


Aaron Selbig

Local artists are making tough times a little brighter for patients and health care workers at Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital in Frankfort. A collection of 23 hand-decorated masks was delivered to the hospital Monday. The masks are part of a contest called “Make a Mask, Make a Difference,” held by the Oliver Art Center. 

Courtesy MUNSON HEALTHCARE

 

While COVID-19 cases continue to rise steadily in northern Michigan, Munson Healthcare is treating fewer patients and reports it has enough resources to treat those who need hospital care.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

Interlochen Arts Academy will test all of its students and staff for COVID-19 this August with help from a Boston lab.

The Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department

 

Helene Mitchell, a 17-year-old resident of Leland, kept her friend group small this summer to avoid the coronavirus.

Still her friend tested positive and she was exposed.

Shari Bernstein

This week a shopper in Meijer in Acme threatened an employee with a knife, upset he was told to wear a mask.

In Lansing, a man was stabbed and in May, a security guard at a Flint dollar store was shot to death.

Peter Payette / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Authorities say they have arrested a man who pulled a knife on a Meijer employee in northern Michigan after she asked him to wear a mask.

The alleged incident occurred on Sunday afternoon, when a Kalkaska County man went shopping for groceries at the Meijer in Acme Township.

Grand Traverse County Detective Captain Randy Fewless says one employee would not let the man go in the store.

Executive Office of the Governor

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has toughened the rules that require masks in public to slow the spread of COVID-19. Her latest Executive Order says businesses must deny service to people who refuse to wear masks indoors. It also says customers must remain at least six feet from others outdoors.  

Courtesy of Munson Healthcare

 

Reversing the trend of many rural hospitals across the country, Munson Healthcare’s Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital is offering inpatient services to Benzie area residents again.

Executive Office of the Governor

A few weeks ago, IPR reported on the problems facing rural schools in northern Michigan before next fall. Now, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has provided a roadmap for them to reopen.

But there is still a lot of uncertainty on what next school year will look like.

Interlochen Public Radio

 

The coronavirus is starting to creep back into northern Michigan. 

Taylor Wizner

 

Munson Healthcare says it will cut 25 administrative jobs, alter services and cut capital projects, as it deals with financial losses incurred during the pandemic.

Courtesy COVID Act Now

Update 6/22/20: Northwest Michigan Health Services corrected numbers it shared with IPR. 

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Michigan schools are preparing for some of the deepest funding cuts in nearly three decades. Some small rural school districts Up North hope to avoid layoffs or cut programs.

They’re more worried about the basics, like bussing, hiring and cleaning.

Megan Madion

More than a decade ago, Megan Madion had a severe bike crash that shattered her pelvis. To get moving again, she developed a workout, called Modus. Greek for “the method,” the workout philosophy is: a well functioning core and glutes are the foundation for healthy total body movement.  Since then, she’s opened the gym Modus 45 in Traverse City, hired instructors and grown a loyal following. 

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