Morning Briefing Jan. 27, 2021: Whitmer State of the State tonight, recalling January 1999 snowstorm in Michigan, CDC says in-person learning can resume

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Gretchen Whitmer State of the State 2021
Gretchen Whitmer State of the State 2021 (WDIV)

Whitmer State of the State tonight

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s State of the State address is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday -- watch here on ClickOnDetroit and on Local 4.

Read: Whitmer to pitch pandemic relief in Michigan State of State speech tonight

January 1999: When a record snowstorm slammed southern Michigan

The start of 1999 around the Great Lakes region and Southern Ontario was one to remember.

Starting on Jan. 1, 1999, a storm - what some call the “North American blizzard of 1999” - began to dump nearly two feet of snow in areas from Iowa to Toronto, halting holiday travel for hundreds of thousands.

The hardest-hit area was Chicago, which saw a whopping 21.6 inches of snow. Most of the snow fell between Jan. 2 and Jan. 4.

Heavy snow was accompanied by high wind gusts, creating dangerous travel conditions.

The snow began to fall in Michigan during the early hours of Jan. 2, causing huge headaches for travelers, especially at Detroit Metro Airport -- arguably the hardest-hit airport in the storm.

In Detroit, a shortage of snowplows, combined with the subsequent cold weather, left some streets blocked for more than a week.

Read all about it here.

CDC says in-person learning can resume

In research published Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, researchers conclude that in-person learning has not meaningfully contributed to community spread of COVID-19, and in-person classes should resume with precautions in place.

Those precautions include mandatory mask wearing, social distancing and good ventilation.

In terms of high school sports, indoor and contact sports should not be permitted, meaning cross country outdoors would be fine while wrestling is not.

Additionally, the research states that in-person instruction also relies on what else a community is doing to stop the spread of the virus and specifically mentions limiting indoor dining.

Coronavirus in Michigan 🦠

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 552,556 as of Tuesday, including 14,405 deaths, state officials report.

Tuesday’s update includes 1,476 new cases and 79 additional deaths -- 44 from a vital records review. On Monday, the state reported a total of 551,080 cases and 14,326 deaths.

New COVID-19 cases have plateaued and deaths are starting to slow. Testing has been steady with more than 40,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate average around 6%. Hospitalizations continue to decline over the last several weeks.

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 1,815 on Monday, near the lowest since October. The 7-day death average was 64 on Monday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.6%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 73,700 on Monday -- near the lowest it’s been since November.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

Weather: Here comes the cold -- and a weekend storm to monitor

Here is the weather forecast for Detroit.
Here is the weather forecast for Detroit.

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About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.