Morning Briefing March 7, 2021: Livingston County reports first known case of COVID-19 variant, Biden to mark ‘Bloody Sunday’ by signing voting-rights order, Pope calls on Iraqi Christians to forgive

Here are this morning’s top stories

Local 4 News Today -- March 7, 2021
Local 4 News Today -- March 7, 2021

Livingston County reports first known case of COVID-19 variant

A case of the more contagious COVID-19 variant has been identified in Livingston County for the first time, officials reported Saturday.

The Livingston County Health Department on Saturday announced that a resident tested positive for the COVID-19 variant known as B117, which experts say is 50 percent more transmissible than the dominant virus strain in the United States.

President Joe Biden to mark ‘Bloody Sunday’ by signing voting-rights order

President Joe Biden plans to sign an executive order directing federal agencies to take a series of steps to promote voting access, a move that comes as congressional Democrats press for a sweeping voting and elections bill to counter efforts to restrict voting access.

Where IS ruled, pope calls on Christians to forgive, rebuild

Pope Francis called on Iraq’s Christians to forgive the injustices committed against them by Muslim extremists and to rebuild as he visited the wrecked shells of churches and met ecstatic crowds in the community’s historic heartland, which was nearly erased by the Islamic State group’s horrific reign.

Weather: Frigid Sunday followed by milder days ahead

Sunday, March 7, 2021 morning radar weather image. (WDIV)

Coronavirus in Michigan 💉

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 596,054 as of Saturday, including 15,666 deaths, state officials report.

Saturday’s update includes a total of 1,289 new cases and 56 additional deaths -- including 48 deaths that were identified during a review of records, meaning they did not occur between Friday and Saturday.

The state reported a total of 549,881 recoveries from the virus on Saturday.

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

Testing has slowed in the last week, dropping to about 35,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate down below 4.0% as of Friday. Hospitalizations have plateaued over the last two weeks.

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 1,210 on Saturday -- which is up slightly from last week. The 7-day death average was 27 on Saturday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.6%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 30,500 on Saturday.

Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know March 7, 2021

Here’s a look at more of the data:

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About the Author:

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.