Morning Briefing Aug. 31, 2021: Michigan GOP group moves to ‘tighten’ voting laws, tips for boosting kids’ immune systems amid delta variant spread

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, election inspectors are reflected in a window at right as they begin processing ballots while a voter outside arrives to drop a ballot into an official box on Election Day at City Hall in Warren, Mich. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, election inspectors are reflected in a window at right as they begin processing ballots while a voter outside arrives to drop a ballot into an official box on Election Day at City Hall in Warren, Mich. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File) (Copyright 2020 Associated Press)

Welcome to the last day of August! Here are this morning’s top stories:

Michigan GOP group launches ballot drive to ‘tighten’ voting laws, making it harder to vote for many

A group of Republican operatives in Michigan are launching a ballot drive to change voting and election laws, making it harder to vote for thousands, while evading a potential veto from Democratic Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

“Secure MI Vote” aims to collect 340,000 valid voter signatures in a six month window. 

See what the petition proposes here.

Survey: 57% of Gen Z is ‘very concerned’ about spreading COVID-19 to family member

New survey results show Gen Z is prioritizing COVID-19 safety precautions at their colleges and universities of choice while many are concerned about spreading COVID-19 to a family member this fall.

Researchers for Tallo found 61% of students are excited and hopeful about the return to campus, while 13% are feeling anxious. But 68% of Gen Zers surveyed by Tallo have already received the vaccine.

See more data here.

🚘 Ford temporarily stops taking online reservations for Bronco

Detroit Lions trade 2 draft picks to Broncos for rookie receiver, future pick

The Detroit Lions have reportedly traded two 2022 draft picks to the Denver Broncos in exchange for a rookie wide receiver and a future draft pick.

Broncos reporter Mike Klis said the Lions have acquired wide receiver Trinity Benson in exchange for Detroit’s fifth- and seventh-round picks in 2022. The Lions will also receive Denver’s sixth-round pick in 2023, he said.

Read more here.

Washtenaw County preps mask mandate amid ‘high’ COVID transmission level

Schools across Michigan, including Ann Arbor Public Schools and the University of Michigan, started classes on Monday. The start of the new school year coincides with rising COVID cases as students and teachers head back into the classroom.

On Aug. 26, Washtenaw County reached a “high” level of community spread, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Now, Washtenaw County Health Department officials are finalizing the details of a countywide mask mandate that’s set to be announced later this week and implemented after Labor Day weekend.

“We had said in our school plans that once we reached a ‘high’ level of transmission that we would

Learn more here.

🦠 Unvaccinated children head back to classrooms: Tips to help boost their immune system against delta COVID variant

Former Michigan State University police captain pleads guilty to driving drunk

A former Michigan State University police captain pleaded guilty to driving drunk while she was a member of the department.

Officials said Valerie O’Brien was arrested in February after she pulled onto the shoulder of I-96 and a Michigan State Police trooper asked if she needed help.

See the report here.

As US military leaves Kabul, many Americans, Afghans remain

As the final five U.S. military transport aircraft lifted off out of Afghanistan Monday, they left behind up to 200 Americans and thousands of desperate Afghans who couldn’t get out and now must rely on the Taliban to allow their departure.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the U.S. will continue to try to get Americans and Afghans out of the country, and will work with Afghanistan’s neighbors to secure their departure either over land or by charter flight once the Kabul airport reopens.

Read more here.

🌧️ Live stream: Tracking Tropical Depression Ida as it moves through the South

Weather: Welcoming dry, stable, cooler air

Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.
Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.

COVID in Michigan 🦠

Michigan reported 5,020 new cases of COVID-19 and 26 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 1,673.3 cases over a three-day period.

Of the 26 deaths announced Monday, six were identified during a review of records.

Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 946,698, including 20,256 deaths. These numbers are up from 941,678 cases and 20,230 deaths, as of Friday.

Testing has increased to around 20,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate at 9.14% as of Monday, 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 increased by 231% since July 1.

Cases are rising again in Michigan. The state’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 1,901 on Monday -- a significant jump since the beginning of July. The 7-day death average was 17 on Monday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.2%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 39,500 on Wednesday.

Michigan has reported more than 9.5 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Monday, with 65.8% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 57.1% of 12+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

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