Morning Briefing Sept. 22, 2021: How Michigan’s COVID situation has changed in 3 months, new Michigan budget bill could impact school mask mandates

Here are this morning’s top stories

FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2021, file photo, Jack Kingsley R.N. attends to a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke's Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Kyle Green, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 31, 2021, file photo, Jack Kingsley R.N. attends to a COVID-19 patient in the Medical Intensive care unit (MICU) at St. Luke's Boise Medical Center in Boise, Idaho. (AP Photo/Kyle Green, File) (Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

How COVID situation has changed in Michigan since Gov. Whitmer lifted restrictions exactly 3 months ago

The COVID situation has changed drastically in Michigan since Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held her last briefing to lift restrictions on June 22, exactly three months ago.

On that day, Whitmer stood in front of an outdoor podium on Belle Isle. Unlike dozens of previous briefings, this one had a celebratory vibe.

“We are now dropping the (epidemic) orders,” Whitmer said. “Effective today, there is no more mask or gathering order. Effective today, there are no more capacity limits -- indoors or outdoors. Effective today, our Pure Michigan summer is back, and we can realize it.”

It’s been 92 days since she said those words, and the pandemic is far from over.

Here’s how the situation has changed over the last three months.

🌊 SE Michigan under flood watch through Thursday; river, lake flood advisories issued for some

New Michigan budget bill could impact school mask mandates

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s team and its legislative counterparts have come to a budget agreement before the Oct. 1 deadline.

The 1,000 pages delve into all sorts of appropriations but they also include a section which says “the director or local health officer shall not issue or enforce any orders or other directives that require an individual in this state who is under the age of 18 to wear a face mask or face covering.”

Learn more here.

‘Put the data out there’: Macomb County parents call for transparency in school COVID outbreak reporting

A local parent organization is pressuring Macomb County health officials to provide more details for COVID-19 school numbers in the area.

Amanda Angst is one of many parents insisting the Macomb County Health Department can do a better job of releasing COVID numbers when it comes down to students in the classroom.

“Right now as it stands, parents are being left in the dark. We’re a couple of weeks into the school year and parents are questioning the data. We should be able to have access. This is a parent’s right to know what is going on in the schools,” Angst said.

See the story here.

🚨 Innocent driver killed, 3 hurt in crash when car speeds through red light in Harper Woods

Whitmer: Michigan to develop nation’s first electrified roadway for EVs

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a new partnership aimed at developing the country’s first electrified road for charging electric vehicles.

The Inductive Vehicle Charging Pilot is a partnership between the Michigan Department of Transportation and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification that will deploy an electrified roadway system that allows electric buses, shuttles and vehicles to charge while driving, enabling electric vehicles to operate continuously without stopping to charge.

Read more here.

Ticks still a risk in the fall: What to know

Ticks are no longer just a problem up north or deep in the woods -- they can be found all across Michigan, and sometimes right in our own backyard. And the fall season is no time to let your guard down.

One of the most commonly encountered ticks in Michigan, the blacklegged tick, is active anytime the temperatures are above 40 degrees. These ticks can transmit Lyme disease, and the risk has been rising.

Learn more here.

🏫 25 best public high schools in Michigan for 2022

One-on-one with Stacey Abrams: Former Georgia rep. talks policy, future

A lawyer, politician, entrepreneur and author, former Georgia lawmaker Stacey Abrams is touring the U.S. to talk to citizens -- and her next stop is right here in Detroit.

Local 4′s Rhonda Walker, who will be moderating Thursday’s “A Conversation with Stacey Abrams” at the Detroit Opera House, had a chance to sit down with Abrams beforehand and ask some questions.

See the interview here.

Weather: Flood watch continues with waves of rain expected ☔️

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

COVID in Michigan 🦠

Michigan reported 7,185 new cases of COVID-19 and 35 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 2,395 cases over a three-day period.

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

Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 995,910, including 20,700 deaths. These numbers are up from 988,725 cases and 20,665 deaths, as of Friday.

The next data update is expected this afternoon.

Testing has increased to around 20,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate at 8.75% as of Monday, slightly lower 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 steadily increasing for several weeks.

Cases are rising again in Michigan. The state’s 7-day moving average for daily cases was 2,772 on Monday -- the highest it has been since early May. The 7-day death average was 22 on Monday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.1%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 69,100 on Monday.

Michigan has reported more than 9.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Monday, with 67.2% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 58.4% of 16+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

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