COVID testing, vaccines, PPE supplies offered at Detroit church’s annual back to school event

Many school districts still undecided on whether students will wear masks

DETROIT – Greater Grace Temple held its 24th annual back to school event on Tuesday.

It was full of fun, games and for the first time vaccines in addition to PPE supplies.

“I think in person learning will be better,” said Gloria Hill.

Hill and her great granddaughter Lonna were one of the many at the event.

Read: School districts across the U.S. consider if masks should be required

“A lot of parents can’t afford all of this that the children need, but Greater Grace opened up their doors and gave out whatever the children needed for back to school. I think that’s a blessing,” said Hill.

But this year, Greater Grace Temple is passing out more than just general school supplies. It also gave out Personal Protective Equipment or PPE Materials. And the Wayne County Health Department provided vaccine and COVID testing opportunities as well.

Bishop Charles Ellis III said all of these items are vital to keep the community safe.

“Listen, we’re in a new normal, we’re in a different day of time. There is a real danger out here. I think they have to do whatever they can to keep these kids safe. One death is too many, one kid losing their future with health challenges is too many,” he said.

Several school systems throughout Metro Detroit are still deciding if students should wear masks at school.

As for second grade student Jay Box and third grade student Duane Robinson the answer is clear.

“I want to be safe from the coronavirus,” said Box.

“Yeah, I feel comfortable wearing my mask. Because I want to be safe from corona, because I don’t want to catch the coronavirus. Because my cousin caught corona,” said Robinson.

Read: Health officials raise concerns about spread of COVID as students return to the classroom

Related: Widow concerned Plymouth-Canton Community Schools mask policy will put lives in danger

Read more: Education headlines from around Michigan

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 913,220 as of Monday, including 19,958 deaths, state officials report.

Monday’s update includes a total of 2,720 new cases and seven additional deaths over the past three days -- an average of 906.67 cases per day. On Friday, the state announced a total of 910,500 cases and 19,951 deaths.

Details: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 913,220; Death toll now at 19,958

COVID case and testing data will be posted three times a week on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.