Morning Briefing Aug. 7, 2021: Agreement reached in Canadian border strike, US now averaging 100K new COVID-19 infections a day, Senate edges toward vote on Biden’s $1T infrastructure bill

Here are this morning’s top stories

Strike at Canadian border ends
Strike at Canadian border ends

Agreement reached in strike that caused delays at Canadian border

Officials announced an agreement has been reached following a strike by Canadian border workers that caused massive freeway backups Friday on I-75 and I-94.

The agreement comes days before the border opens on Aug. 9 to fully vaccinated Americans for non-essential travel.

It had been a long and slow Friday for anyone trying to cross into Canada from Detroit. Wait times at the Ambassador Bridge and Blue Water Bridge spanned for hours. The wait time at the tunnel was going on four and a half hours.

Canada’s border guards and staff have been unable to come to terms on a new contract -- an impasse that’s been festering for three years. Friday marked the first day of their work-to-rule strike action. It brought every border between the U.S. and Canada to a halt.

It is unknown unclear whether unions will return personnel full-time starting Saturday.

Read: Canada to allow fully vaccinated US residents to cross border Monday

US now averaging 100,000 new COVID-19 infections a day

The U.S. is now averaging 100,000 new COVID-19 infections a day, returning to a milestone last seen during the winter surge in yet another bleak reminder of how quickly the delta variant has spread through the country.

The U.S. was averaging about 11,000 cases a day in late June. Now the number is 107,143.

It took the U.S. about nine months to cross the 100,000 average case number in November before peaking at about 250,000 in early January. Cases bottomed out in June but took about six weeks to go back above 100,000, despite a vaccine that has been given to more than 70% of the adult population.

The seven-day average for daily new deaths also increased, according to data from Johns Hopkins University. It rose over the past two weeks from about 270 deaths per day to nearly 500 a day as of Friday.

Senate edges toward vote on Biden’s $1T infrastructure bill

Edging toward a vote, senators are convening for a rare weekend session on the bipartisan infrastructure bill, which could wrap up swiftly with passage of the $1 trillion package or drag out for days by opponents trying to slow President Joe Biden’s big priority.

The president nudged senators along from the White House, praising their work so far as a potentially “historic investment” — on par with the building of the transcontinental railroad or interstate highway system — that will bring jobs and modernization to millions of Americans.

Senators appear on track to approve the bill, despite days of fits and starts.

“It’s a bill that would end years of gridlock in Washington and create millions of good-paying jobs, put America on a new path to win the race for the economy in the 21st century,” Biden said Friday.

Saturday’s session will launch with a crucial 60-vote hurdle at midday that will determine if the bipartisan alliance between Republicans and Democrats holds on the public works package. Ten Republicans would be needed to join all Democrats to advance it past a filibuster; more votes would follow.

Weather: Steamy weekend with storm chances

Saturday, August 7, 2021 weather forecast
Saturday, August 7, 2021 weather forecast

COVID in Michigan 💉

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 910,500 as of Friday, including 19,951 deaths, state officials report.

Friday’s update includes a total of 3,962 new cases and four additional deaths over the past three days -- an average of 1,320.6 cases per day. On Tuesday, the state announced a total of 906,538 cases and 19,947 deaths.

Of the four deaths reported Friday, three were identified through a review of Vital Records.

Testing has dropped to around 10,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate around 5.9% as of Tuesday, slightly higher than the previous week. Hospitalizations have been slowly increasing for the last two weeks.

Cases are rising again in Michigan. The state’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 694 on Tuesday, more than triple the average on July 1. The 7-day death average was 6 on Tuesday, near the lowest since March. The state’s fatality rate is 2.2%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 14,600 on Tuesday.

Michigan has reported more than 9.2 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Monday, with 63.9% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 55.6% of 16+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Read more: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 910,500; Death toll now at 19,951

📈 Data: Michigan’s vulnerability ‘high’ as COVID sweeps across US again

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.