Coronavirus

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.

Becky Dornoff

In October Danielle Dornoff came home with mild Covid symptoms. She also has a heart condition so her mother Rebecca took her to the hospital.

She's one of eight adopted children Becky and her husband Michael have at home, all with special needs.

Not long after she tested positive for Covid and was admitted, Becky and Michael weren't far behind.

Taylor Wizner

 

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

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave her third State of the State speech Wednesday night. Because of the coronavirus pandemic it was the first delivered virtually, with the Governor speaking from her Lansing office.

In it she called for bipartisan solutions to the coronavirus.


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.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

Millions of people are relying on food pantries during the pandemic. In rural spots Up North, that means long lines at cash-strapped facilities.

And that can be especially hard for people with diabetes.

As part of IPR's new series Our Lives Have Changed, meet a man whose life has been upended by the demand on food pantries.


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.

Interlochen Center for the Arts

The Iron Pig Smokehouse in Gaylord and Friske’s Farm Market in Antrim County have repeatedly defied health and safety protocols during the pandemic despite enforcement from their local health department.

On Monday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced an extension of the restrictions put in place three weeks ago.
Michigan Executive Office of the Governor

Citing continuing concerns about hospital capacity and “alarmingly high” death rates, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced a 12-day extension of the COVID-19 restrictions initially put in place three weeks ago.

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. 

MAXIM JENKINS / WKAR-MSU

After a lot of action in the Spring, the state legislature has been quiet on COVID-19 for months. Instead many have focused on legal and political battles.

Now legislators on both sides say that gridlock over the pandemic is likely to continue.

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.

Interlochen Public Radio

Update 11/13/20: Traverse City Area Public Schools will keep the middle and high schools listed below closed through Friday, November 20, according to the district.  

Traverse City Area Public Schools will close East Middle School, West Middle School, Central High School, West Senior High School, and Traverse City High School for the rest of the week due to COVID-19. However, all elementary schools will remain open.

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. 

Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services is lowering the number of people allowed at indoor gatherings and sending the Traverse City region back to Phase 4 of the MISafeStart Plan. The move comes as the state sees record-high COVID cases.

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.

Courtesy Michigan Executive Officer of the Governor

Citing a recent surge of COVID-19 in the Upper Peninsula, Governor Gretchen Whitmer is moving the region back one stage in the state’s reopening plan.

 

The order will take effect Friday, October 9.

Northern Michigan Chamber Alliance

Cold fall and winter weather may be the death knell for some northern Michigan bars and restaurants, worry several northern Michigan chambers of commerce.

 

Currently, the state requires these restaurants only seat 50% occupancy indoors, while bars can’t serve any patrons inside. Over the summer, the venues overcame those limits by serving more people outside. 

Screenshot of the MI Safe Start Map on Sept. 24

 

Cases of COVID-19 in the Traverse City region have been declining this week and the percent of positive tests has also been decreasing.

 

  

 

But public health officials repeat the same refrain: don’t let your guard down. The pandemic is far from over and the upcoming flu season, in-person classes resuming and the cold pushing people in-doors — where risk is higher — remain top of mind.

 

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