Category Archives: COVID-19 coronavirus

The Huron Hub’s current coverage of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

Michigan loosens COVID restrictions, allows expanded capacity at restaurants and other venues


Posted by The Huron Hub – Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated two of its epidemic orders, allowing for increased capacity limits at various venues, larger residential and nonresidential gatherings and expanded visitation opportunities at residential care facilities.

“Changes are designed to balance reopening while controlling the spread of COVID-19 and save Michiganders’ lives,” a statement from Governor Gretchen Whitmer said. 

Although progress has been made in reduction of hospitalizations, officials say it is crucial that Michiganders continue to mask up and socially distance as we reopen.

“As we continue our vaccine rollout and make steady progress against the virus, we are taking additional incremental steps to re-engage to ensure we are protecting our families and frontline workers and saving lives,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Michigan is a national leader in the fight against COVID-19, and our fact-based, data-driven approach will help our state rebuild our economy and resume normal day-to-day activities. As always, mask up, maintain social distancing, and wash your hands. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of the virus so we can end this pandemic together. One of the most important things Michiganders can do is make a plan to get the safe and effective vaccine when it’s available to you.”

“More than 2 million doses of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine have been administered and a third vaccine will soon be arriving here in Michigan to help us end the pandemic in our state,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “We continue to monitor the data closely, and based on current trends we are taking another step toward normalcy. We urge Michiganders to continue doing what works and wearing a mask, washing their hands and avoiding crowds.”

MDHHS had been closely monitoring three metrics for stabilization or declines over the past several weeks.  As with other states, Michigan’s metrics are mixed. The presence of more infectious variants, such as the B 1.1.7 variant, threatens our progress in control of the epidemic and MDHHS will be monitoring data closely. In recent days:  

  • Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 is now at 3.9%. This metric peaked at 19.6% on Tuesday, Dec. 4.  
  • Overall case rates: After declining for six weeks, this metric is plateauing at 91.2 cases per million. The rate is similar to what we were at the beginning of October.
  • Positivity rate: is now at 3.7% having increased slightly from last week (3.5%). This metric is similar to where we were at the beginning of October. 

With all residents at skilled nursing homes having been offered their first dose of COVID-19 vaccineand a vast majority having had their second dose, the Residential Care Facilities Order goes into effect immediately.

The order encourages communal dining and group activities for residents and allows indoor and outdoor visitation in all counties regardless of county risk level. Visitation is allowed as long as the facility has not had a new COVID-19 case in the last 14 days and all indoor visitors ages 13 and older are subject to rapid antigen testing.

Testing will help keep residents, staff and families safe while allowing for visitation and an increased quality of life for residents. Adult foster care homes licensed for 12 or fewer residents, hospice facilities, substance use disorder residential facilities and assisted-living facilities are encouraged to implement visitor and staff testing protocols.

Visitors will be required to wear face masks or other personal protective equipment when required by the facility at all times. In general, visitors will need to maintain six feet from residents.  

“While we continue to have virus very present across the entire state, our improvements in case numbers, test positivity, and vaccinations mean we can move forward with reopening in an incremental way,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “I am glad we continue to make progress, but that progress is fragile. Everyone should continue to do important things like wearing a mask, washing hands, avoiding large gatherings and getting one of the three safe and effective vaccines when it becomes available to you.”  

Changes to the Gatherings and Mask Order go into effect Friday, March 5, and remain in effect through MondayApril 19.

Capacity changes include:

  • Restaurants and bars are allowed to be at 50% capacity up to 100 people. Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people per table. There is now an 11 p.m. curfew.
  • Indoor non-residential gatherings where people interact across households are permitted up to 25 people, allowing public meetings and other small indoor gatherings to resume.
  • Outdoor non-residential gatherings where people interact across households are permitted up to 300, allowing larger outdoor events to resume.
  • Indoor entertainment venues are allowed to be at 50% capacity, up to 300 people.
  • Exercise facilities are allowed to be at 30% capacity with restrictions on distancing and mask requirements.
  • Retail is allowed to be at 50% capacity.
  • Casinos are allowed to be at 30% capacity.
  • Indoor stadiums and arenas are allowed have 375 if seating capacity is under 10,000; 750 if seating capacity is over 10,000. 
  • Outdoor entertainment and recreational facilities may host up to 1,000 patrons. 

Indoor residential gatherings are now limited to 15 people from three households, while outdoor residential gatherings can include up to 50 people.  

The epidemic order continues to temporarily pause other venues and activities where participants have close physical contacts and are not consistently masked, like water parks. As before, employees who work in jobs that cannot be performed from home can continue to go to work, while employees who can work from home should continue to do so.   


 

Detroit Metro Airport named best in North America for customer experience amid COVID-19 pandemic


Posted by The Huron Hub – Monday, March 1, 2021

Detroit Metro Airport has been named best airport in North America for customer experience amid COVID-19 pandemic.

Detroit Metro Airport has earned Airports Council International’s 2020 Airport Service Quality Award for Best Airport by Size and Region (25 to 40 million passengers per year in North America).

This customer service award is one of the highest honors in the aviation industry, an airport spokesperson said.

DTW shares this recognition with Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.

The annual ASQ Awards recognize and reward the best airports in the world according to ACI’s surveys, which are based on live research gathered from travelers at the airport.

The surveys are conducted at nearly 400 airports worldwide. The ASQ program delivers an in-depth assessment of the quality of the customer service experience, including airport cleanliness, wayfinding and the courtesy and helpfulness of airport staff.

“It is a great honor for Detroit Metropolitan Airport to be named one of the best airports in the world for the second time in three years,” said Wayne County Airport Authority CEO Chad Newton. “To earn the ASQ Award during a global pandemic—a time that has proven challenging for everyone—is an even bigger accomplishment. Our airport team will continue to maintain a safe environment while we work to restore confidence in air travel.”

According to the survey results, DTW showed growth in several key performance areas over the last year. The most significant improvements noticed by DTW customers in 2020 include the cleanliness of restrooms and terminals, wait times, passport inspection, and the feeling of being safe and secure. Additionally, the surveyed travelers noted the efficiency and courtesy of airport staff.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport has always been committed to delivering an excellent customer experience with an emphasis on safety. This goal took on a new meaning as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. In response, the Airport Authority implemented measures to protect customers, visitors, and staff from the virus ranging from installing acrylic barriers, face covering dispensers and hand sanitizing stations to displaying signage promoting healthy habits. The janitorial staff increased the frequency of cleaning in high touch point areas as well.

“I congratulate Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport on their success in the Airport Service Quality Awards which represent the highest possible recognition for airport operators around the world and recognize excellence in customer experience,” said Airports Council International Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira. “Customers have spoken and recognized the successful efforts of the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport team in providing a superior customer experience under very trying circumstances during the pandemic.”

Detroit Metropolitan Airport has been a proud participant of the Airport Service Quality benchmarking process since 2006.

Prior to 2020, DTW received other ACI honors, such as being named one of the best airports by size and category (25-40 million passengers) in North America for customer service in 2018.

Airports Council International is the trade association of the world’s airports.

It was founded in 1981 with the objective of fostering cooperation among its member airports and partners in world aviation. A full list of the 2020 ASQ Award recipients can be found at https://aci.aero/customer-experience-asq/asq-awards-and-recognition/asq-awards/current-winner-2020/.


 

Huron School District staff receive COVID vaccination; March 1 classes to be held virtually due to expected staff shortages


By Scott Bolthouse | THE HURON HUB
Posted Friday, Feb. 24, 2021

Over 200 Huron School District staff have received the COVID-19 vaccination, according to Supt. Donovan Rowe.

Rowe said in a letter Wednesday that staff will receive the second dose of the vaccination Saturday, and that staff shortages are expected following the second dose.

This means that classes on Monday, March 1 will be held virtually.

Here is the entire letter sent out today by the superintendent:

Dear Huron Family,

The health and well-being of students and staff continues to be a top priority, and we have been working hard to ensure all Huron School District staff who wish to get the COVID-19 vaccine are able to do so. We’re pleased to report more than 210 staff have already received the first dose of the vaccine and the majority of them will be receiving their second dose on Saturday, February 27, 2021.  

According to the CDC patients receiving the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine can have symptoms like body aches, swelling, fever, chills, tiredness, and headache for up to two days following the second COVID-19 vaccine.  The majority of patients report mild to moderate symptoms, and most patients recover in one to two days.  It is important to note that these symptoms are not contagious, as the vaccine cannot make people sick with COVID-19. 

Given our vaccination timeline, we are anticipating the possibility of staff shortages on the Monday after the second dose of vaccines have been administered.  As a result, all classes in the Huron School District will be held online on Monday, March 1, 2021. This will allow teachers and staff to rest and recover, in the event they experience symptoms that are a normal part of the body’s reaction to the second dose of the vaccine, and we want to prepare for this without a last minute cancellation of school due to staff shortages.  Students will return to their normal class schedule on Tuesday, March 2, 2021. 

On Monday, March 1, 2021, students will log-in and follow the remote learning schedules that we have established for other remote learning days we have had. 

Food service will be running a food distribution on Monday evening from 5:00-6:00 PM.  This will take place in the parking lot between Renton Jr. High School and Huron High School. 

Thank you for your ongoing patience and understanding as we continue to navigate these challenging times together.  Should you have any questions pertaining to this, do not hesitate to contact my office. 

Sincerely,

Donovan Rowe

Superintendent of Schools

Huron School District


 

 

Wayne County residents 65 and over can receive COVID-19 vaccinations at community clinics


Posted by The Huron Hub — Monday, Feb. 22, 2021

Wayne County announced several local COVID-19 vaccination clinics for seniors opening next week across the county.

The free clinics are part of Wayne County’s continuing efforts to make more vaccines available and accessible to county senior residents.

“I’m pleased Wayne County is now in a position to begin vaccinating seniors,” Executive Warren Evans said. “I know everyone is eager to safely get back to normal. Our team is working hard to ensure all of our residents can get their COVID shot as quickly as the vaccine is available. Every vaccinated resident gets us closer to ending the pandemic.”

Executive Evans continued: “I also want to thank the state of Michigan for working with Wayne County to ensure we have more doses to vaccinate our seniors more quickly. The vaccine distribution process is limited by the available vaccine – of which no one is getting enough – but Wayne County is putting shots in arms as fast as we get them. By taking vaccines to where seniors are, Wayne County is making it even easier for people who want the vaccine to get a shot.”

Wayne County Public Health has administered 36,601 vaccines and is scheduled to administer another 13,000 doses in the coming week. In all, Wayne County Public Health and local health systems have provided more than 181,596 doses to Wayne County residents since the vaccine became available in December.

Seniors in the communities below should contact the nearest site to schedule their appointment. There are no walk-up appointments, and seniors must make an appointment by calling the number for the site in their communities. More senior vaccination sites will be announced as more vaccine becomes available. Visit http://www.waynecounty.com/covid19 for up-to-date vaccine information.

Canton and Plymouth:

February 25-26 (9AM-3PM)

Location: Summit on the Park; 46000 Summit Pkwy; Canton, MI 48188

Registration phone number: 734-203-7657

Highland Park & Hamtramck:

February 23- 24 (9 AM-3PM)

Location: Say Detroit Clinic; 211 Glendale Ave; Highland Park, MI 48203

Registration phone numbers:

Hamtramck: Ruth Harlin 313-252-0050 ext 240

Highland Park: 313-688-5180 (last names A-L); 313-590-0470 (last names M-Z)

Inkster:

February 25 (9 AM-12 PM)

Location: Booker T. Dozier Center; 2025 Middlebelt Rd; Inkster, MI 48141

Registration phone number: 313-563-4236 Extension 2383

Melvindale

February 24- 25 (9 AM-12PM)

Location: Melvindale Community Center; 4300 S Dearborn St; Melvindale, MI 48122

Registration phone number: 313-914-2178

Romulus

February 23 (9 AM-12 PM)

Location: Romulus Senior Center; 36525 Bibbins St; Romulus, MI 48174

Registration phone number: 734-955-4120

City of Wayne

February 26 (9 AM- 12 PM)

Location: Hype Athletic Center; 4635 Howe Rd; Wayne, MI 48184

Registration phone number: 734-722-2204 or email cityclerk@cityofwayne.com


Michigan allows contact sports to resume with COVID precautions in place


Posted by The Huron Hub | Feb. 4, 2021

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updated its current epidemic order to allow contact sports to resume as of Monday, Feb. 8, provided masks are worn during practices and competition.

If masks cannot be worn, participants must be regularly tested for COVID-19 consistent with guidelines issued by MDHHS.

Officials say safety protocols like wearing masks and testing will help keep kids, coaches and families safe and allow schools to remain open for in-person instruction. The order remains in effect through Monday, March 29.

“We continue to make progress in reducing cases and hospitalizations, helping protect our families and frontline workers and saving lives. Now, starting February 8, contact sports can resume with safety measures in place,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Michigan continues to be a national leader in fighting this virus, and we must continue using a fact-based approach so we can return to a strong economy and normal day-to-day activities. One of the most important things Michiganders can do is to make a plan to get the safe and effective vaccine when it’s available to
you. And as always, mask up and maintain six feet of social distancing. We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of the virus so we can end this pandemic together.”

“We are pleased at our continued progress in Michigan that has allowed us to take this step forward in a phased approach,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “As a parent and former student-athlete myself, I get how important athletics are to our children’s physical and mental health. However, parents and athletes need to understand the risk involved with contact sports if they choose to participate. Sports that require frequent closeness between players make it more difficult to prevent disease transmission even when mitigation measures are in place, including masks. Even when not required, we urge teams to implement a testing program to protect athletes, coaches and their families.”

MDHHS had been closely monitoring three metrics for stabilization or declines over the past several weeks, and Michigan continues to see improvements . In recent days:
• Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 patients has been in 10-week decline, with current capacity at 6.6% for beds with COVID-19 patients. Peaked at 19.6% on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
• Overall case rates: Currently at 159 cases per million after peaking at 740 cases per million on Saturday, Nov. 14. Rate has been in solid decline for 24 days. Three MERC regions in the state are now below 150 cases per million people: the Detroit, Traverse City and Upper Peninsula regions.
• Positivity rate: currently at 4.9% and declining. This is the first time positivity has been this low since mid-October

Contact sports are allowed as long as participants are masked during play or practice. For sports where masks cannot be worn and social distancing cannot be maintained all participants must be tested consistent with the program specified in the Testing and Additional Mitigation Measures for Athletic Practice and Play section of MDHHS’s Interim Guidance for Athletics which will be available online at Michigan.gov/coronavirus on Sunday, Feb. 7.
Sports organizers are encouraged to administer a testing program even if it is not required.

Participants need to maintain six feet of distance when not actively engaged in play and wear face masks at all times. Spectators are allowed with up to 250 people in stadiums that seat less than 10,000 and up 500 people at venues that seat over 10,000 people.

Indoor residential and non-residential gatherings are limited to 10 people and two households. MDHHS continues to urge families to avoid indoor gatherings or to pick a single other household to interact with consistent with guidance already released by the department. Families are encouraged to stay home as much as possible to maintain momentum and to protect loved ones. Families are also encouraged to Mask Up, Mask Right, using guidance for what masks to wear and how to wear them.

The epidemic order continues to temporarily pause other venues and activities where participants have close physical contacts and are not consistently masked, like water parks.

As before, employees who work in jobs that cannot be performed from home can continue to go to work, while employees who can work from home should continue to do so.

The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus. To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit Michigan.gov/COVIDVaccine.


Huron Township restaurants open for dine-in service

Posted by The Huron Hub| Feb. 1, 2021

Huron Township bars and restaurants have announced they are opening for dine-in service.

Restaurants that open will be required to maintain additional safety measures and guidelines, including a capacity limit inside of the business.

Related: Indoor dining can reopen in Michigan on Monday

Some local restaurants have posted on social media that they are now open for dine-in.

A phone call to Woodside Meadows golf course confirmed that they are also open for dine-in service. The business does not operate a social media page. They are located at 20820 Inkster Road.

This article will be updated regularly. If you own or operate a local restaurant that’s not included here, please email your information to Editor@HuronHub.com


Indoor dining in Michigan reopens Feb. 1


The Huron Hub | Posted Friday, Jan. 22, 2020Michigan COVID update

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released an order today reopening indoor dining begenning Monday, Feb. 1.

The order will allow for indoor dining at restaurants with certain requirements; concessions at casinos, movie theaters and stadiums; personal services requiring mask removal; and non-residential gatherings of up to 10 people from two households.

The new order will last three weeks, until Sunday, Feb. 21.

“The pause has worked. The efforts we have made together to protect our families, frontline workers and hospitals have dramatically reduced cases and we have saved lives. Now, we are confident that starting February 1, restaurants can resume indoor dining with safety measures in place,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Michigan continues to be a national leader in fighting this virus, and we must continue working to keep it that way. One of the most important things Michiganders can do is to make a plan to get the safe and effective vaccine when it’s available to you. And as always, mask up and maintain six feet of social distancing. We will end this pandemic together.”

“We are pleased to see the improvements in case rates, hospitalizations and percent positivity that have allowed us to reopen more activities,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “However, we must remain vigilant, especially since we now have a new more easily transmitted variant of this virus present in our state. This is not the time to let our guard down and Michiganders should minimize their risk by avoiding gatherings, wearing masks properly, social distancing and making a plan to get their vaccine when it is their turn.”

MDHHS says it has been closely monitoring three metrics for stabilization or declines over the past several weeks.

Michigan continues to see improvements in these metrics which has allowed for additional relaxing of protocols and reopening of activities. In recent days:

• Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 patients has been in seven-week decline, with current capacity at 9.9% for beds with COVID-19 patients. Peaked at 19.6% on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
• Overall case rates: Currently at 225 cases per million. Peaked at 740 cases per million on Saturday, Nov. 14, plateaued after a decline to 239 on Friday, Dec. 25 and has been in decline for 11 days.
• Positivity rate: currently at 6.8% and declining.

Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity with up to 100 people.

Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people per table. Outdoor tents with four sides are permitted under these same rules.

Bars and restaurants must close by 10 p.m., and contact information must be collected from diners for contact tracing purposes.

“Today’s announcement is possible because of our progress over the last two months,” said Robert Gordon, MDHHS director. “Even so, the science is clear that unmasked, indoor activities like dining and drinking are still a source of high risk around COVID-19. The safest course remains to support your favorite restaurant with carryout, delivery or outdoor dining. If individuals choose to eat out, there are two things they can do to make it much safer: go out only with members of their own household and choose a restaurant participating in the MI COVID-19 Safer Dining certification program.”

The voluntary MI COVID-19 Safer Dining program allows food service establishments to become certified by having their ventilation system inspected and submitting their inspection report to the state indicating they are optimizing airflow. Once certified, businesses will be featured on the Michigan.gov/covidsaferdining website and receive a copy of their certification to post at their establishment to alert diners of their participation.

Funding is proposed for food service establishments to participate as part of the $10 million included in the recent supplemental budget request for restaurant supports administered by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Two webinars will be hosted on Monday, Jan. 25 to provide additional information about the Safer Dining certification program – one at noon for HVAC contractors interested in conducting inspections and one at 3 p.m. for food service establishments interested in becoming certified. More information will be available at Michigan.gov/covidsaferdining.

Indoor residential and non-residential gatherings are limited to 10 people and two households. MDHHS continues to urge families to avoid indoor gatherings or to pick a single other household to interact with consistent with guidance already released by the department.

Families are encouraged to stay home as much as possible to maintain momentum and to protect loved ones, and are also encoured to wear masks in public.


First case of new COVID-19 variant identified in Michigan


Posted by The Huron Hub — Jan. 16, 2021

The first Michigan case of new COVID-19 variant, B.1.1.7. was identified in an adult female living in Washtenaw County by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Bureau of Laboratories today.

The person recently traveled to the United Kingdom, where this variant originated. Close contacts of this individual have been identified and are in quarantine. At this time two new cases have been identified from close contacts with the person, but it is not known if they are infected with the variant.

B.1.1.7. is believed to be more contagious, but there has been no indication that it affects the clinical outcomes or disease severity compared to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has been circulating across the United States for months.

However, a higher rate of transmission could increase the number of people who need to be hospitalized or who lose their lives to COVID-19 should the new variant begin circulating widely in Michigan, health officials said.

To date, the virus has been identified in at least 16 other states and jurisdictions in the U.S.

This is the only known case in Michigan at this time, however it is possible that there are more that have not been identified.

“The discovery of this variant in Michigan is concerning, but not unexpected,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “We all have a personal responsibility to slow the spread of COVID-19 and end this pandemic as quickly as possible. We continue to urge Michiganders to follow a research-based approach by wearing their masks properly, socially distancing, avoiding crowds, washing their hands often, and making a plan to get the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine once it is their turn.”

Based on available evidence, current tests and vaccines for COVID-19 also work against this new variant.

Protective actions that prevent the spread of COVID-19 will also prevent the spread of the new variant, B.1.1.7. Michiganders should:

• Get vaccinated for COVID-19.
• Wear a mask around others.
• Stay 6 feet apart from others.
• Wash hands often.
• Ventilate indoor spaces.

Viruses constantly change through mutation, and new variants of a virus are expected to occur over time. MDHHS’s Bureau of Laboratories is a national leader in whole genome sequencing for SARS CoV2.

MDHHS identified the variant in this individual’s sample and will continue to conduct whole genome sequencing to quickly identify any variants of interest, including B.1.1.7.

Whole genome sequencing allows scientists to examine the genetic material of pathogens, including SARS-CoV-2. Over the past 10 months, laboratories across Michigan have been submitting samples to the state public health laboratory for surveillance to help monitor the emergence of any variants of concern.

MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories prioritizes additional specimens for whole genome sequencing when there is increased concern for a new variant of the virus, such as in people with a travel history to places where the variant is known to be circulating.


Michigan reopens certain sectors of the economy; points to Feb. 1 for indoor dining


Posted by The Huron Hub
Posted Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021

–Gatherings remain limited, group exercise and non-contact sports now open 

–State  says “working plan” is to open indoor dining with mitigation measures, capacity limits and a curfew on Feb. 1

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) updated its epidemic order today to allow re-opening of additional activities where Michiganders can remain masked and socially distanced.

This includes indoor group exercise and non-contact sports.

The new order is effective Saturday, Jan. 16 and will last until Sunday, Jan. 31.

“The efforts we have made together to protect our families, frontline workers and small business owners are working. While there has been a slight uptick in our percent positivity rate, our cases per million have plateaued and more hospital beds are becoming available. Today, we are confident that MDHHS can lift some of the protocols that were previously in place,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Michigan is once again standing out as a nationwide leader in fighting this virus, and we must continue working to keep it that way. One of the most important things Michiganders can do is to make a plan to get the safe and effective vaccine when it’s available to you. And as always, mask up and maintain six feet of social distancing. We will end this pandemic together.”

Previously, MDHHS had identified stabilization or declines in three metrics as critical for relaxing protocols.

“We continue to make progress in our fight against this virus, and expanding vaccination to healthcare workers, long-term care residents and staff, some essential frontline workers and those age 65 and older is bringing us closer to ending the pandemic,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “It is important that everyone continues to do their part by avoiding gatherings, wearing masks properly and social distancing. This remains just as important, even as the safe and effective vaccine is being administered, to protect those who are not yet able to be vaccinated.”

Although Michigan saw improvements across all three following the “pause” implemented in mid-November, some numbers have plateaued or begun to increase in recent days:

-Hospital capacity dedicated to COVID-19 patients has been in 13-day decline, with current capacity is at 12% for beds with COVID-19 patients. Peaked at 19.6% on Tuesday, Dec. 4.
-Overall case rates: increasing, currently at 266 cases per million. Peaked at 740 cases per million on Saturday, Nov. 14 and declined to a low of 239 on Friday, Dec. 25
-Positivity rate: plateauing; currently at 9.1% after reaching a low of 8.1% on Monday, Dec. 28 and increasing up to 10% since then.

“We are reopening cautiously because caution is working to save lives. The new order allows group exercise and non-contact sports, always with masks and social distancing, because in the winter it’s not as easy to get out and exercise and physical activity is important for physical and mental health,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “We are glad that we made it through the holidays without a big increase in numbers, but there are also worrying signs in the new numbers. We need to remain focused and continue to see declines in hospitalizations and to bring case rates and percent positivity down by doing what we know works.”

Indoor residential gatherings remain limited to 10 people and two households. MDHHS continues to urge families to avoid indoor gatherings or to pick a single other household to interact with consistent with guidance already released by the department.

Families are encouraged to stay home as much as possible to maintain momentum and to protect loved ones. Families are also encouraged to Mask Up, Mask Right, using guidance for what masks to wear and how to wear them.

The epidemic order continues to temporarily pause indoor dining in bars and restaurants, but they can continue to offer outdoor dining, carry-out and delivery.

The working plan is to open indoor dining with mitigation measures, capacity limits and a curfew on Feb. 1, but the ultimate decision depends on data continuing to stabilize. Additional details on the reopening pathway are expected next week.

Colleges and universities can have students return to campus for the winter semester and restart in-person courses as of Jan. 18.

As before, employees who work in jobs that cannot be performed from home can continue to go to work, while employees who can work from home should continue to do so. Individualized activities with distancing and face masks are still allowed: retail shopping; public transit; restaurant takeout; andpersonal-care services such as haircuts, by appointment.


 

Whitmer to host 1:30 p.m. live stream Wednesday on coronavirus in Michigan


The Huron Hub
Posted Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021
10:15 AM EDT

Gov. Whitmer will host a 1:30 p.m. live streaming update Wednesday afternoon on Michigan’s coronavirus response.

Whitmer will be joined by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The live stream will be broadcast on the governor’s Facebook and Twitter pages and on local TV news networks.