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Morning Briefing Feb. 21, 2021: Massive fire destroys Detroit grocery store, local businesses ask to be included in eviction moratorium, Michigan governor declares energy emergency

Here are this morning’s top stories

Crews work to put out the fire at the Harper Food Center that started Saturday, Feb. 20, 2021.

Detroit grocery store a total loss after massive fire

The Harper Food Center on Detroit’s east side was burned down and destroyed in a fire that happened Saturday night. Harper Food Center is on Harper near Chalmers. Video footage of the fire showed flames shooting from the building.

Metro Detroit business owners ask to be included in eviction moratorium

President Joe Biden extended a ban on foreclosures for homeowners and an eviction moratorium is in effect until March. Local struggling small businesses facing hardship during the pandemic want to be included in those measures.

Michigan governor signs order to ensure adequate propane distribution

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Saturday declaring a Michigan state of energy emergency to ensure adequate propane distribution over the coming days.

The order temporarily suspends restrictions on commercial driver hours to allow the immediate delivery of energy to homes and businesses, Whitmer’s office said. It exempts motor carriers and drivers transporting propane and heating oil from compliance with maximum weekly driving and on-duty limits.


Weather: Snow in the forecast both Sunday and Monday

It will be frigid Sunday morning and chilly this afternoon with snow tonight.


Coronavirus in Michigan 💉

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 579,919 as of Saturday, including 15,359 deaths, state officials report.

Saturday’s update includes 635 new cases and 63 additional deaths -- including 57 deaths that were identified during a review of records, meaning they did not occur between Friday and Saturday. On Friday, the state reported a total of 579,284 cases and 15,296 deaths.

The state no longer provides coronavirus data updates on Sundays; the next update is expected Monday afternoon.

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 down below 4.0% as of Thursday. Hospitalizations continue to decline over the last several weeks.

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 814 on Saturday -- the lowest its been since September. The 7-day death average was 37 on Saturday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.6%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 35,300 on Saturday -- the lowest it’s been since October.

New Today: Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know Feb. 21, 2021

Here’s a look at more of the data:


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