covid-19

Taylor Wizner

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

As soon as his company told him he could get the vaccine, he contacted his local health department. Beardslee got added to a list and waited.

Beardslee called to check in on his status every week. He says the health department told him he was on a list that went in order of who signed up first. 

Finally, after nearly two months of calling he got an appointment slot in March.

Cheyna Roth / WKAR-MSU

On Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer again claimed the Legislature’s Republican leaders are failing to bargain on a COVID-19 plan for Michigan. The governor said GOP leaders have not engaged in serious discussions, even though Republicans and business groups have put forward their plans.

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.

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.

GUNDULA VOGEL / PIXABAY

Chronic issues in Michigan’s long-term care facilities were deepened in 2020 by the pandemic.

Lester Graham / Michigan Radio

Updated 12/21/2020 10:30 a.m.

The Michigan House has approved a COVID-19 relief bill that includes a pay boost for workers on the front lines of dealing with COVID-19; funding for vaccine distribution; and extending unemployment benefits. There’s also money to help small businesses that have been hurt by the continuing health crisis. The bill now goes to Governor Gretchen Whitmer for her signature.  


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.

Jessyca Stoepker

 

When winter hits northern Michigan, there’s usually a bump in the number of people who don’t know where their next meal will come from. But this year, the pandemic has made food insecurity in the region much worse. 

As winter approaches, some Michiganders are still weathering the pandemic without a home.  

Ashley Halladay-Shmandt, director for Northwest Michigan Coalition to End Homelessness, says anyone unhoused is at a huge risk of catching and spreading the virus, especially during the winter.

“People who are experiencing homelessness are doing community exposure at a different rate than the rest of us,” she said.

Halladay-Schmandt spoke with IPR's Kendra Carr about the current state of homelessness in Northern Michigan and how COVID-19 has impacted housing. 

Steve Ioya / Flickr

A group of Christian high schools claims Michigan’s COVID-19 restrictions violate religious freedom rights. The schools have filed a federal lawsuit in west Michigan to block the continuation of the restrictions.

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. 

Taylor Wizner

Hospitals across northern Michigan say they have enough beds, ventilators and PPE for this surge in COVID cases — the most of the pandemic.

Their problem now is having the staff to care for these patients, especially as the virus spreads through communities and healthcare workers themselves fall ill.


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. 

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