Morning Briefing Aug. 15, 2021: 107K still without power, 56 Henry Ford medical leaders call for Michiganders to get vaccinated as statewide COVID death toll tops 20K, Taliban enter Kabul, await ‘peaceful transfer’ of power, at least 304 dead, 1,800 hurt as powerful quake slams Haiti

Here are this morning’s top stories

Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021 Local 4 News Today
Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021 Local 4 News Today

About 107,000 DTE Energy customers still without power in Metro Detroit

As of 6:30 a.m. Sunday there were about 107,000 DTE Energy customers still without power following severe storms that hit Metro Detroit days ago.

DTE Energy and Consumers Energy crews have been working to restore power to the regionBoth companies estimate restoration work will be completed by the end of the weekend.

“We are on track to the have the vast majority of customers – around 95% – restored by the end of today,” said DTE Energy in a statement released Sunday.

The statement continued, “We understand how hard it is to be without power, especially with the repetition of strong storms that occurred from July 1 to August 11. We have deployed 3,000 workers throughout our communities to restore power to customers as swiftly as possible. Our DTE lineworkers have been joined by more than 1,200 workers from other states as far as New York, Louisiana and Florida, as well as Canada.”

‘Vaccines save lives’: 56 Henry Ford medical leaders call for Michiganders to get vaccinated against COVID

Medical leaders at the Henry Ford Health System are calling for all people to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

COVID hospitalizations have risen 90% in the last two weeks across Michigan and the threat of another surge is looming, according to health officials.

Fifty-six medical leaders from Henry Ford signed an open letter to Michigan residents. They said the “science is clear” about the safety and effectiveness of the COVID-19 vaccines.

The letter is signed by physicians, nurses and medical professionals who hold leadership positions across the health system and its six hospitals.

“Vaccination provides the best protection against COVID-19, including unnecessary surges – like the new Delta variant that’s currently sweeping across Michigan,” the letter reads. “Vaccines are effective at preventing the devastating effects of the illness and stopping the spread to our community.”

With delta variant surging, Michigan surpasses 20,000 COVID-related deaths

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is bracing for a possible fourth coronavirus surge as we head into the fall.

The state said the delta variant has now been found in more than 50 counties and the city of Detroit.

CVS and Walgreens began giving booster shots to the people most at risk. The CDC is recommending a third dose for seven million immunocompromised Americans.

“When I hear that 20,000 Michiganders have died at the hands of COVID, it makes me angry,” said Orlando Bailey, an advocate for the COVID vaccine. “I think that so many of the deaths that we’re experiencing -- especially within the recent months -- could have been avoided if we have taken and continue to take the necessary precautions to remain safe.”

Taliban enter Kabul, await ‘peaceful transfer’ of power

Taliban fighters entered Kabul on Sunday and sought the unconditional surrender of the central government, officials said, as Afghans and foreigners alike raced for the exit, signaling the end of a 20-year Western experiment aimed at remaking Afghanistan.

The beleaguered central government meanwhile sought an interim administration, but increasingly had few cards to play. Civilians fearing that the Taliban could reimpose a brutal rule that all but eliminated women’s rights rushed to leave the country, lining up at cash machines to withdraw their life savings. Helicopters buzzed overhead, some apparently evacuating personnel at the U.S. Embassy.

At least 304 dead, 1,800 hurt as powerful quake slams Haiti

A powerful magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck southwestern Haiti on Saturday, killing at least 304 people and injuring at least 1,800 others as buildings tumbled into rubble. Prime Minister Ariel Henry said he was rushing aid to areas where towns were destroyed and hospitals overwhelmed with incoming patients.

The epicenter of the quake was about 125 kilometers (78 miles) west of the capital of Port-au-Prince, the U.S. Geological Survey said, and widespread damage was reported in the hemisphere’s poorest nations as a tropical storm also bore down.

Haiti’s civil protection agency said on Twitter that the death toll stood at 304, most in the country’s south. Rescue workers and bystanders were able to pull many people to safety from the rubble. The agency said injured people were still being delivered to hospitals.

☀️ Weather: Another nice day before the humidity returns

Warm and sunny Sunday ahead
Warm and sunny Sunday ahead

COVID in Michigan 💉

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 919,133 as of Friday, including 20,011 deaths, state officials report.

Friday’s update includes a total of 3,127 new cases and 29 additional deaths over the past two days -- an average of 1,563.5 cases per day. On Wednesday, the state announced a total of 916,006 cases and 19,982 deaths.

Of the 29 deaths reported, 14 were identified through a Vital Records review.

Michigan is now reporting COVID-19 data on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Testing been steady around 10,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate at 6.93% as of Wednesday, slightly higher than the previous week. The positive test rate has been steadily climbing since the end of June, when it was at its lowest. Hospitalizations have been slowly increasing for the last four weeks.

Cases are rising again in Michigan. The state’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 1,164 on Wednesday -- a significant jump since the beginning of July. The 7-day death average was 4 on Wednesday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.2%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 21,900 on Wednesday.

Michigan has reported more than 9.4 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Tuesday, with 64.4% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 56.1% of 16+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Read: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 919,133; Death toll now at 20,011

Read more: Michigan COVID: Here’s what to know Aug. 15, 2021

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.