Morning Briefing July 1, 2021: What’s inside Michigan’s COVID vaccine sweepstakes, MDOT lifts lane restrictions to ease July Fourth traffic

Here are this morning’s top stories

(Eugene Hoshiko, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

Michigan COVID vaccine sweepstakes: Who can enter, how to sign up, prize list, full details

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a briefing Thursday to break down the details of Michigan’s new COVID vaccine sweepstakes, which offers incentives to residents who get vaccinated.

“This is going to be a chance for Michiganders to get registered and to be eligible for $5 million in cash prizes and college scholarships,” Whitmer said.

Learn more about the sweepstakes here.

MDOT lifting lane restrictions to ease Michigan holiday weekend travel

The Michigan Department of Transportation is removing lane restrictions on nearly 63 percent of its road and bridge projects statewide to ease traffic delays for Independence Day travelers.

With pandemic restrictions being lifted, AAA Michigan estimates more than 1.5 million Michigan residents are expected to travel 50 miles or more from home during the Fourth of July holiday weekend, a 22% increase from last year.

Learn more here.

11 Michigan beaches closed for high bacteria levels after stormy week

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality flagged 11 Michigan beaches for increased bacteria levels, as of July 1.

Most of the high bacteria levels are due to storm water runoff. With a heavy week of rain and storms behind us, this is pretty typical. Storm water runoff causes issues for beaches across the state.

See the list of beaches here.

🚘 Report reveals most dangerous Michigan intersections in 2020

Metro Detroit journalist detained in Myanmar appears in court, continues to be held

Metro Detroit journalist Danny Fenster appeared in court on Thursday in Myanmar, where he has been detained since May.

Fenster’s lawyer told CNN that Danny “looks healthy,” and is “doing okay,” though he continues to be held. His next hearing is scheduled for July 15.

Read more here.

Rusty water investigation in 3 Detroit neighborhoods expands to Grosse Pointe Woods

An investigation into rust-colored water coming out of taps in three Detroit neighborhoods has expanded to include Grosse Pointe Woods.

Residents and businesses in the eastside neighborhoods of Cornerstone Village, East English Village and Morningside in District 4 are reporting brown, rusty water in their taps and toilets.

See the report here.

🛩 Police: Pilot crashes private plane at Cheboygan County Airport

Family remembers 5-year-old boy killed in Macomb County hit-and-run incident

A family is mourning the loss of a 5-year-old boy who was killed Tuesday night in a hit-and-run incident at the edge of Warren and Center Line.

“It’s hard. It’s like a bad dream. I just want to wake up,” said the boy’s father, Christopher Singleton.

See the story here.

US jobless claims fall to 364,000, a new pandemic low

he number of Americans applying for unemployment aid fell again last week to the lowest level since the pandemic struck last year, further evidence that the job market and the broader economy are rebounding rapidly from the coronavirus recession.

The Labor Department reported Thursday that jobless claims dropped by 51,000 to 364,000. Applications for unemployment benefits have fallen more or less steadily since the year began. The rollout of vaccines has sharply reduced new COVID-19 cases, giving consumers the confidence to shop, travel, eat out and attend public events as the economy recovers.

Learn more here.

Weather: Heat breaks, some rain chances linger

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 894,628 as of Wednesday, including 19,748 deaths, state officials report.

Wednesday’s update includes a total of 195 new cases and four additional deaths. On Tuesday, the state announced a total of 894,433 cases and 19,744 deaths.

Testing has been steady around 20,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate below 1.3% as of Wednesday, near the lowest on record. Hospitalizations have declined over the last several weeks, now near the lowest point since the start of the pandemic.

The state’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 125 on Wednesday. The 7-day death average was 11 on Wednesday, the lowest since March. The state’s fatality rate is 2.2%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 9,700 on Wednesday.

Michigan has reported more than 9 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Wednesday, with 61.8% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 54% of 16+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

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