Coronavirus

Owners of private campgrounds Up North eager to reopen

May 19, 2020
Taylor Wizner

Ahead of the partial reopening of restaurants, bars and retail businesses in northern Michigan, some private campground owners feel that Governor Gretchen Whitmer doesn’t understand the safety of camping.

"Camping is an extremely safe way to travel and get around, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t be out there enjoying the sunshine and the fresh air,” said Cathy Kuebler, owner of Traverse City Kampgrounds of America. “It should totally be allowed."

Recreational camping for individuals who otherwise have a primary residence is not permitted at this time.

Executive Office of the Governor

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says some rural regions of the state can partially re-open Friday, May 22 due to low COVID-19 infection rates. Restaurants and bars will be able operate at 50 percent seating capacity in the Upper Peninsula and 17 counties in the northern Lower Peninsula.

Michigan National Guard

 

Michigan is working with the National Guard to test all inmates in state prisons. It’s one of the first states in the country to do widespread coronavirus testing in prisons, which have become hot spots for the virus.

University of Michigan

The Bay Mills Indian Community announced Tuesday it will intervene in Enbridge’s application to build a tunnel underneath the straits of Mackinac. 

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

Update 5/14/20: IPR has learned the inmate hunger strike mentioned in the following story ended on May 13. 

As several hundred prisoners from California saturate North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin, more than 100 inmates started a hunger strike, refusing food until they’re tested for COVID-19.

All of this is happening as cases of coronavirus double at the immigrant prison.

Northwest Michigan Health Services, Inc.

 

Correction: In a previous version of this story IPR inaccurately reported that 22 people tested positive for COVID-19 and 14 were asymptomatic, as earlier reported to IPR by the Northwest Michigan Health Services, Inc. Please read the following story for the accurate information.

More COVID-19 testing is available in Northwest Lower Michigan, even for those without symptoms.

Pure Michigan campaign

Mackinac Island, one of Michigan’s largest tourist destinations, is still over a month away from opening for business due to the coronavirus pandemic, officials say.

State Theater / Courtesy

 

The Traverse City Film Festival is officially canceled. 

Film Festival Founder and President Michael Moore made the announcement Monday, saying there was no way around it amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

“I’m very, very sorry to announce that we cannot come together this summer to participate in our 16th Traverse City Film Festival,” Moore said in a statement. “We doubt the governor’s order closing our theaters and the festival will be lifted any time soon — and we agree it shouldn’t.”

Interlochen Center for the Arts

 

 

For the first time since 1964, Interlochen Center for the Arts will not be hosting its annual summer Arts Festival.

Max Johnston

As coronavirus sweeps through the nation, tearing families apart and overwhelming hospitals, there’s one part of healthcare that’s expanding: opioid addiction treatment.

Taylor Wizner

 

Update 5/13/20: The Federal Bureau of Prisons began publishing data about privately-managed federal prisons around May 8. That information can be found here

On April 21, IPR reported there were nine inmates at the North Lake Correctional Facility who tested positive with COVID-19. 

Since that story was published, IPR has been unable to obtain further information about the number of inmates who are sick, who have died or recovered from the disease. 

 

Rachel Krino / Bellaire Family Health Center

As more tests for COVID-19 become available, drive-thru test sites are popping up across the state. The newest one in northern Michigan is in Bellaire.

Max Johnston / Interlochen Public Radio

The Michigan Department of Education announced Thursday that a controversial part of the ‘Read By Grade Three’ Law has been delayed indefinitely.

Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson
Michigan.gov

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Michigan elections are still on for Tuesday, May 5.

 

Residents across the state — including some in northern Michigan — will vote on a variety of local ballot initiatives.

 

 


 

Families and friends that have succumbed to COVID-19 in northern Michigan will live on forever in the memories of those who loved them. 

Every passing was a blow to the tight-knit communities throughout the region. 

Interlochen Center for the Arts President Trey Devey
Interlochen Center for the Arts

Summer is going to look and sound a lot different at Interlochen Center for the Arts this year. The usual cacophony of music coming from students practicing their instruments all around campus will not happen.

 

Last week, Interlochen canceled its traditional summer arts camp experience due to COVID-19 concerns. Instead, the summer camp will transition to online, virtual instruction.

 

A woman in her 80s who traveled through Cherry Capital Airport earlier this month tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Benzie-Leelanau District Health Department.

She traveled just prior to symptom onset, and is recovering at her home in Leelanau County, states the health department press release.

The woman traveled to Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport from Chicago O’Hare on United Airline flight UA4132 on April 14, arriving at 9:30 p.m.

If you were on this flight contact the health department. 

Interlochen Center for the Arts

For the first time since 1928, Interlochen’s annual arts camp will not take place in person.

Instead, camp activities will move online with a series of three-week programs in what is being called Interlochen Online Arts Camp. The virtual courses will commence June 28 to July 19.


Interlochen Public Radio

This story was updated April 22 at 11:55 a.m. with more information from District Health Department #10.

Health officials confirmed coronavirus cases in what the state calls “congregate care facilities” in Otsego and Crawford counties this week. The Health Department of Northwest Michigan says a cluster of nearly 20 positive cases were found at an undisclosed care facility in Otsego County over the weekend.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

 

Nine inmates at the North Lake Correctional Facility in Baldwin tested positive for COVID-19, according to the state.

Last week, GEO Group — the company that owns the prison — said five prison employees also have the disease.

Isolation is one of the biggest triggers for people in addiction recovery, which is why socially distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic is especially hard time for some. That’s why Addiction Treatment Services in Traverse City is ramping up its virtual outreach efforts.

 

“The opposite of addiction isn’t necessarily abstinence, the opposite of addiction is connection,” says Matt Zerilli, Recovery Center Manager at ATS. 

 


hatchski/Flickr

Two Michigan residents say their constitutional rights are being violated because they can’t visit their second home in northern Michigan. 

JAN-MICHEL STUMP / Traverse City Record-Eagle

The Benzie and Leelanau County Democratic parties say sheriffs up north made a mistake by undermining Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s ‘stay at home’ order.

Megan Harris

Schools across the state are closed due to the coronavirus pandemic, meaning high school seniors like Megan Harris had their final year cut short.

As part of IPR's series School’s Out, hear how that's a big blow to Megan and her fellow seniors in the Petoskey High Steel Drum Band, who were looking forward to another summer of shows.

 

Morgan Springer / Interlochen Public Radio

National Cherry Festival organizers say the annual Traverse City festival will not go on as planned this year. 

The festival, which typically occurs the week of the Fourth of July holiday, attracts more than 500,000 people a year to the region, organizers say.

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