covid-19

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.  

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.

Charles Dawley

 

Emmet County has reported over a hundred new COVID-19 cases since Saturday and two deaths.

 

Most of the cases come from an outbreak at a nursing facility in Petoskey — Villa at the Bay — where more than 50 residents have tested positive, along with additional staff members. 

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. 

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.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer answers questions from reporters in Traverse City on October 9, 2020.
Dan Wanschura / Interlochen Public Radio

The legislative committee looking into the state’s COVID-19 response meets again Monday – where top health officials in Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s administration will face questions from lawmakers.

This will be the first committee hearing since the state Supreme Court struck down the governor’s continued use of emergency powers and encouraged the Legislature and Whitmer to strike a bargain.

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.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

The state Senate returns Thursday after the Michigan Supreme Court declared many of Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s COVID-19 executive orders unconstitutional.

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.

 

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.

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.

Daniel Barreto

 

Back in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, Suzanne Wagner realized that social distancing requirements had created an unlikely linguistic experiment. 


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.

Taylor Wizner / Interlochen Public Radio

 

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

Last updated September 29, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.

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.

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.

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