Morning Briefing April 2, 2021: Michigan names top 10 ‘Regional Teachers of the Year,’ mandatory COVID tests for Michigan student athletes challenged in court

Here are this morning’s top stories

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Michigan announces top 10 ‘Regional Teachers of the Year’

Ten Michigan teachers have each been named Regional Teacher of the Year by the state’s education department, and are now in the running for the Teacher of the Year award.

The Michigan Department of Education says the honorees were selected for their “dedication to the teaching profession, as evidenced by their commitment to their students and track record of service in the teaching profession.”

See the honorees here.

Mandatory virus testing of teen athletes challenged in Michigan court

A high school sports advocacy group and some parents sued Michigan on Thursday, seeking to stop a new requirement that all teen athletes be regularly tested for the coronavirus.

The lawsuit, filed in the state Court of Claims, came on the eve of the mandate’s Friday effective date. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state health department announced the free, required rapid testing nearly two weeks ago as a way to help curb the spread of COVID-19 amid a climbing case rate that is now the country’s highest.

See the full story here.

For fun: Detroit Tigers Top Moments Bracket: Vote in Round 3, win prizes ⚾️

Officials say contagious COVID variant from Brazil found in Michigan as cases surge

The COVID-19 variant detected in Brazil has been identified in Bay County. That variant is known as the P1 strain and it is more contagious and more than 50% able to reinfect.

“Like the other variants, we are seeing it is more transmissible meaning it’s more contagious,” said Lynn Sutfin with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Learn more here.

Poll: Majority in US back easier voter registration

Democrats’ proposals to overhaul voting in the U.S. won solid -- although not overwhelming -- support from Americans in a new survey measuring the popularity of major pieces of the sweeping legislation in Congress.

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll found about half of Americans support expanding access to early and mail voting, while about 3 in 10 opposed the ideas and the rest had no opinion. Automatic voter registration was the most popular Democratic proposal in the survey, endorsed by 60% of Americans.

Read more here.

Live at 10:15 today: Day 5 coverage of Derek Chauvin’s trial in George Floyd’s death

Weather: Warming up for Easter weekend

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

Coronavirus in Michigan 💉

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 678,295 as of Thursday, including 16,141 deaths, state officials report.

Thursday’s update includes a total of 6,036 new cases and 49 additional deaths, including 33 deaths identified during a review of records. On Wednesday, the state reported 672,259 total cases and 16,092 deaths.

Testing has been steady around 35,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate above 13.5% as of Thursday, the highest since early December. The state has reported an up-tick in hospitalizations over the last several weeks.

Related: Whitmer says Michigan plans to combat rising COVID cases with masks, vaccines -- not new restrictions

Michigan’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 5,061 on Thursday -- the highest since December. The 7-day death average was 26 on Thursday and has been flat for several weeks. The state’s fatality rate is 2.4%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 94,500 on Thursday -- the highest it’s been since mid-January.

More than 569,000 have recovered from the virus in Michigan.

Michigan has reported more than 4.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Wednesday, with 34.5% of residents having received at least one dose.

According to Johns Hopkins University, more than 30.5 million cases have been reported in the U.S., with more than 553,000 deaths reported from the virus.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

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