Coronavirus in Michigan: Day 34 

COVID-19 death toll ticks past 1,800 in Michigan with 27K cases 

More than a dozen new coronavirus cases detected in Greater Lansing 

Posted

(This story was updated at 5:19  p.m.) 

TUESDAY, April 14 — More than 27,000 COVID-19 cases were tracked across Michigan today with nearly 1,800 dead as more than a dozen new cases were also reported in Greater Lansing.  

At least 1,366 new cases of coronavirus and 166 new deaths were reported statewide today, including at least 16 new COVID-19 cases tracked in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties. No new local deaths were reported; The coronavirus death toll in Greater Lansing remains at 13.   

Here are the latest case and death statistics across Greater Lansing, Michigan and the country:           

Ingham County           

Cases — 265 

Deaths — 4    

Recoveries — 69      

Most Ingham County cases, 41-45 of them, were tracked in Lansing in zip code 48911. Much of the rest of southwest Lansing, Mason, East Lansing, Meridian and Bath townships tallied 31-35 cases in zip codes 48910, 48823, 48854. Zip codes 48864 tracked between 21-25 cases. Zip code 48842 and 48906 tracked 16-20 cases. Zip codes 48912, 48915, 48840, 48895, 48917, 48819, 48827, 48892, 48909, 48933, 49251, 49264 and 49285 tracked 15 cases or less each.   

Eaton County           

Cases — 76    

Deaths — 5    

Recoveries — 49    

Clinton County           

Cases — 98 

Deaths — 4       

Recoveries — N/A       

Michigan           

Cases — 27,001 (+5.3%)           

Deaths — 1,768 (+10.4%)           

Recoveries — 433       

According to state reports, about 78% of cases (and about 84% of those dead) are from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties, including the city of Detroit. Data also shows African Americans accounted for 33% of cases and 39% of deaths. Caucasians accounted for 27% of cases and 39% of deaths; those of unknown race charted 31% of cases and 17% of deaths.       

At least 429 cases and nine deaths are among Michigan Department of Corrections inmates.     

U.S.         

Cases — 597,834    

Deaths — 25,191 

Source: The New York Times        

Michigan is the state with the fourth most confirmed cases in the country, behind New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Michigan also reports the third most virus deaths in the U.S. 

In Greater Lansing… 

The Ingham Community Health Centers have opened a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site but people who need testing must call ahead at 517-887-4517 to receive an appointment. Once fully scaled up as planned, the local health centers will be able to test up to 100 people per day.  

To be tested, people must have coronavirus symptoms. Community health centers provide care to everyone regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. People can test through the health center whether they have a primary care doctor, but still call ahead for an appointment. 

The expansion falls in line with expanded testing criteria to those with “mild symptoms,” as announced today by the Department of Health and Human Services. The state also launched a coronavirus test site finder online to help residents locate a testing site near their homes. 

The Michigan National Guard will assemble a medical screening tent outside of Sparrow Hospital in Lansing tomorrow to assist in the state’s ongoing response to COVID-19. The “Alaskan” shelter tent will replace smaller shelters used to screen patients before they enter. 

The Ingham County Board of Commissioners is expected tonight to reserve space at the Red Roof Inn in Lansing and Best Western in Okemos for essential frontline workers that need to isolate from their families and those with suspected or positive cases that need to quarantine.  

Ingham County Commissioner Thomas Morgan said the county will reimburse the hotels at a rate of $60 per person, per night as needed. Health Officer Linda Vail labeled the move as largely proactive, noting that county officials have not yet needed to use much of that space. 

The city of East Lansing will resume spring yard waste collection next week. No-fee yard collection will be offered on April 20 for eastside homes; West side homes are set for April 27. If City Hall reopens by May 1, yard waste collection will resume again as normal on May 4. 

East Lansing temporarily laid off 125 employees last week, including seasonal staff like lifeguards, crossing guards and child care aides who work in the before- and after-schools program, according to recently published reports from East Lansing Info 

Lansing Mayor Andy Schor, while freezing most new hires, doesn’t anticipate layoffs in Lansing. City officials don’t expect those cuts to be necessary through at least the end of April and May. The situation is evaluated on a month-to-month basis amid fluctuating revenues, Schor added.  

Okemos and Haslett students who left their schools owing thousands of dollars in lunch money this year are debt free after Meridian Township Manager Frank Walsh and his wife Shar gave Haslett and Okemos public schools more than $1,800 each, reports the Lansing State Journal 

Attorney General Dana Nessel sent a cease-and-desist letter today to Seek Everest LLC, a Wyoming-based business that had allegedly been price-gouging and misrepresenting the types of protective masks that it was attempting to sell to an employee at Sparrow Hospital in Lansing.  

The business was attempting to sell the employee face masks advertised as N-95 protection, however, because they were imported from China, they may not have the same protections, officials said today. The company also falsely claimed that they were “medically sterile,” a release noted.  

The number of price-gouging complaints filed with Nessel’s office surpassed 3,500 this morning.  

Peak Performance Physical Therapy in Lansing announced that it will collect personal protective gear — like masks, gloves and sanitizer — to distribute to local health care workers and hospitals. A collection bin is available at its main office, 7402 Westshire Drive, Suite 105.  

At least $256 million in grants have been secured as part of the CARES Act to help support airports struggling amid the pandemic. Capital Region International Airport in Lansing, among several others, is expected to receive $10.3 million in stimulus funding from the government. 

Across Michigan…      

While state officials continue to identify hundreds of COVID-19 tests every day, results released earlier this week offered a glimmer of hope for many residents. Michigan’s chief medical officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said yesterday afternoon that Michigan may be reaching a case plateau.   

“Despite the reduction in the rate of growth, there are still many new cases and deaths every single day,” she said at a recent press briefing. “As we move forward, we must be mindful that different areas of the state may be different as it relates to the number of cases of COVID-19.”   

The Department of Health and Human Services also cannot say this represents a “true decline” in coronavirus cases and deaths. Fewer tests performed over the holiday weekend may have created a lag, giving the false appearance of improvements, officials warned over the weekend.    

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continued to face criticism this weekend for mandating many businesses to remain closed under her “Stay Safe, Stay Home” executive order, which also restricts travel and largely confined many residents to their homes until at least April 30.    

While Whitmer said she hopes to eventually allow businesses to return to normal operations, she doubled down on the necessity of the business restrictions at a press conference yesterday. And until Michigan witnesses a sustained decrease in COVID-19 cases, that won’t change.    

“I’ve got to use every lever at my disposal to protect people,” Whitmer said. “I don’t enjoy using these levers, but the fact of the matter is that this virus is an incredible opponent that we all have to wage this war against together. I don’t do any of this lightly. It weighs heavily on me.”   

Meanwhile, a protest is still scheduled for tomorrow to push back against the state’s lockdown. “Operation Gridlock” is scheduled to take place noon tomorrow at the Capitol. Organizers recently told City Pulse about their plans in a story published online earlier today. 

The Department of Natural Resources issued five citations and gave 323 verbal warnings over the weekend to boaters, among others, in violation of Whitmer’s order, reports the Detroit News 

Whitmer today signed an executive order that suspended seasonal load restrictions on state and local roadways through May 11. Another order permits the Unemployment Insurance Agency, among other agencies, to meet by video conference through May 11 as well.  

Additional extensions were put in place to ensure restaurants continue to limit service to carryout and delivery services until at least April 30. That also applies to other already shuttered businesses like bars, gyms, theaters, casinos and other places of public accommodation.  

Additionally, Whitmer also signed an executive order this week to initiate a booze buyback program to offer financial relief to bars and restaurants with on-site liquor licenses. Remaining inventories purchased before March 16 will be eligible for a buyback at their full purchase price.  

Requests for buyback reimbursements must be made by April 17.  

Another executive order also temporarily extended the expiration of valid driver’s licenses, state identification cards and commercial vehicle registration that would otherwise expire before April 30. Vehicle registrations expiring on or before March 1 are extended through June 30. Driver’s licenses expiring between March 1 and May 31 have also been extended through June. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has launched a statewide warmline for Michiganders living with persistent mental health conditions. The goal: empower struggling residents with certified peer support specialists trained in both trauma and personal crises.  

The warmline, 888-PEER-753, is open daily from 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Those in a crisis or considering suicide can call other free helplines available at 800-985-5990 or 800-273-8255. 

Economic assistance for small businesses, early stage tech companies and Michigan communities impacted by COVID-19 was approved today by the Michigan Strategic Fund.  

The Northern Initiatives program will provide up to $2 million in loan funds and provide companies across 73 counties with micro- and small-business loans between $5,000 and $250,000 to provide working capital, new machinery and equipment and supplies.  

The MSF Awardee Relief Initiative also authorizes emergency pandemic relief to various businesses and community projects that have previously received grants, loans or other forms of economic assistance from the Michigan Strategic Fund for a variety of different expenses.  

The board also approved $3 million in funds to be administered by the Michigan State University Foundation to support entrepreneurs and tech startups across Michigan over a one-year period.  

Certain businesses that have experienced virus-related disruptions now also have more time to make monthly or quarterly sales, use and withholding tax payments, state officials announced today. Those scheduled to make payments for March or April can postpone until May 20. All penalties and interest will be waived. Visit the state Department of Treasury website for details.  

More than a million people — over a quarter of Michigan’s workforce — has filed for unemployment during the COVID-19 pandemic. And the state paid out $68 million more in March than February in food assistance benefits, according to recent reports from MLive 

Michigan’s top two budget lawmakers said it’s time to consider laying off nonessential state workers as the state faces a $1-3 billion shortfall amid the pandemic, reports the Detroit News. 

McLaren Macomb will lay off 16-20 operating and recovery room nurses this week, citing dwindling numbers of surgeries at its hospital in Mt. Clemens, reports the Detroit Free Press 

Meanwhile, Michigan dairy farmers are struggling with a market that has changed drastically in the past two months. While demand for dairy products is up, restaurants and schools nationwide are purchasing far less butter and cheese than normal, according to reports from MLive 

The latest information is posted at michigan.gov/coronavirus and cdc.gov/coronavirus.           

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