Morning Briefing June 22, 2021: Where vaccination rates stand as Michigan loosens COVID restrictions, Warren police officer fired after racist Facebook comments

Here are this morning’s top stories


Michigan lifts COVID restrictions today: Where vaccination rates stand

After more than 15 months, most COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted in Michigan.

Starting today (June 22), there will no longer be any limits on indoor or outdoor capacity, and the broad mask order will expire, regardless of vaccination status.

Here’s a look at where vaccinated rates stand as restrictions are loosened.

Everything you should know before Gov. Whitmer’s briefing to fully reopen Michigan

Last week, Whitmer announced the state would fully reopen today, as opposed to the original July 1 target.

Many of Michigan’s restrictions were lifted June 1, but now, both indoor and outdoor settings will increase to 100% capacity, and face masks will no longer be required. Individual businesses will still be allowed to require masks.

Here’s a look at all the orders being rescinded Tuesday.

🎤 Watch live at noon: Gov. Whitmer holds news briefing as Michigan loosens COVID restrictions

Warren police officer fired over racist Facebook posts

Warren police Commissioner William Dwyer announced Tuesday morning that a police officer has been fired after making racially inflammatory comments on Facebook.

Comments brought to the department’s attention by another user showed the ex-officer making racist claims about Black people, and said he was glad that he was not born Black because he would kill himself.

See the story here.

Why was there no tornado warning for Lenawee County tornado?

A tornado touched down Sunday evening in Lenawee County. The funnel was 125 yards wide at the ground, and its speed reached 90 miles per hour, which rates it an EF-1 on the 0-to-5 Enhanced Fujita Scale.

So if no tornado warning was issued, was that a mistake by the National Weather Service? The answer is short and decisive: no.

Learn more here.

🚗 Ann Arbor: Lanes closed at Jackson Avenue, Maple Road due to water main break

Group raises concerns over reparations petition circulating in Detroit

Michigan Southern Christian Leadership President Rev. Aaron McCarthy said the recent circulating petition on reparation isn’t all it’s pushed out to be.

“This is just a game and it’s a scam that people need to know about right now,” McCarthy said. “You are being tricked and fooled by signing this. What you’re signing is that you’re taking away all of your rights ... You’re putting the fox in the chicken coop.”

See the story here.

Some restrictions eased for Canadians, permanent residents crossing US border

Canada has eased some travel restrictions for fully vaccinated Canadian citizens and permanent residents crossing the U.S. border.

Canadian citizens and permanent Canadian residents may reportedly begin entering Canada without quarantining afterward on July 5 if they are fully vaccinated.

Read more here.

🎵 Michigan Songs Bracket: Vote for your favorite songs that mention Michigan (Round 4)

Detroit could use 1.2 million more trees, study says

The city of Detroit could use more trees -- about 1.2 million more, according to American Forests.

The Washington-based, nonprofit conservation organization on Tuesday published Tree Equity scores for 150,000 neighborhoods in 486 urbanized areas. Each score is based on how much tree canopy and surface temperatures align with the number of people living in a given area or neighborhood, income, employment, race, age and health factors.

Read the report here.

Weather: Chilly morning with afternoon rain chance 🌧️

Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.

COVID in Michigan 💉

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 893,491 as of Monday, including 19,647 deaths, state officials report.

Monday’s update includes a total of 327 new cases and 35 additional deaths over the past three days -- an average of 109 cases per day. On Friday, the state announced a total of 893,164 cases and 19,612 deaths.

Testing has been steady around 20,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate below 1.5% as of Friday, the lowest on record. Hospitalizations have declined over the last several weeks.

The state’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 146 on Monday -- the lowest since June 2020. The 7-day death average was 13 on Monday, the lowest since March. The state’s fatality rate is 2.2%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 14,000 on Monday.

Michigan has reported more than 8.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Sunday, with 61.2% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 53% of 16+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.