LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer provided an update Thursday on the state’s handling of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The governor was joined by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The daily briefing lasted from about 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday.
Michigan reported 504 new confirmed coronavirus cases and 68 additional deaths Wednesday afternoon. The state total is now 55,608 cases and 5,334 deaths.
Barber shops, salons, spas want to reopen
Michigan barber shops and salons came together Wednesday to create an eight-step safe reopening plan and Whitmer to lift the ban on their businesses
More than two dozen cosmetology salons, spa and barber shop owners and workers, representing more than 350 facilities across Michigan, delivered the letter Wednesday.
Michigan State to reopen this fall
Michigan State University also broke some news Wednesday, announcing a plan to resume in-person classes on schedule this fall, with students returning to campus as scheduled Sept. 2.
MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr. made the announcement Wednesday after consulting with health professionals, faculty and staff members, students and university leadership, he said.
Some of the modifications include eliminating fall break and allowing students to stay home for the rest of the semester after Thanksgiving.
Another problem with unemployment
A new problem is keeping Michigan residents from getting their unemployment checks, and this time, it has nothing to do with a computer glitch.
An alert is being sent out about the threat of fraudulent activity.
A UIA spokesperson said the fraud threat is causing issues for some people who are still trying to file and collect unemployment claims.
That’s why some accounts have been put on hold as investigations get underway, officials said.
Lawmaker sounds off on nursing home policy
A Michigan lawmaker didn’t pull any punches when discussing Whitmer’s controversial COVID-19 nursing home policy.
“Why the state of Michigan has chosen this path is beyond me,” Rep. Leslie Love (D-Detroit) said. “It seems like the most idiotic thing we could come up with.”
Love’s mother lives in a regional hub and has now tested positive for COVID-19. She said she’s furious.
The Swiss cheese analogy
Public health officials said the “Swiss cheese” approach to reducing the risk of being infected can help keep people safe.
“Each intervention that we currently have for COVID-19 prevention is kind of like a slice of Swiss cheese,” said Ryan Malosh, a research scientist at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. “There are holes in it, and so the virus can get through in certain ways.”
But if you layer multiple prevention practices on top of one another, it’s less likely the holes in every slice of cheese will align to make a clear path through the entire stack.
“The holes are not necessarily aligned in the same places on each slice,” Malosh said. “So if we stack those things up, then we have suddenly a block of cheese that the virus can’t get through.”