Morning Briefing Sept. 24, 2021: CDC endorses COVID booster shots for vulnerable Americans, Metro Detroit sees rise in respiratory virus spread

Here are this morning’s top stories

FILE - In this May 21, 2021, file photo, licensed vocational nurse Angeline Gabuten administers the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine to a patient at Providence Edwards Lifesciences vaccination site in Santa Ana, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File) (Jae C. Hong, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

CDC endorses COVID booster for millions of older Americans

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Thursday endorsed booster shots for millions of older or otherwise vulnerable Americans, opening a major new phase in the U.S vaccination drive against COVID-19.

CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky signed off on a series of recommendations from a panel of advisers late Thursday.

The advisers said boosters should be offered to people 65 and older, nursing home residents and those ages 50 to 64 who have risky underlying health problems. The extra dose would be given once they are at least six months past their last Pfizer shot.

However, Walensky decided to make one recommendation that the panel had rejected.

Learn more here.

Here’s what’s going around: Metro Detroit sees big increase in respiratory viruses

Coronavirus is still spreading in Michigan, but there are several other viruses circulating now, too -- and that’s creating a difficult situation for doctors, workplaces, schools and parents.

There has been a big increase in respiratory viruses in general, ranging from the common cold to COVID-19. The problem is that symptoms can appear to be very similar, and that means a lot of people need to get tested to determine if they have COVID or something else entirely.

Here’s what other viruses have been spreading across Metro Detroit.

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Adoption fees waived as Detroit Animal Care and Control desperately needs dogs adopted

The Detroit Animal Care and Control shelter has space for 84 and is currently housing 150 dogs. Every single cage is being used right now.

Because of the serious overcrowding, DACC will waive adoption fees and all dogs will be spayed/neutered, vaccinated, microchipped and, if you live in Detroit, your license is included.

Learn more here.

Survivors of late University of Michigan doctor’s abuse confront Board of Regents face-to-face

The survivors of Dr. Robert Anderson’s abuse addressed the University of Michigan Board of Regents Thursday.

More than 900 victims are now involved in the lawsuit against the university. The lawsuit alleges sexual abuse at the hands of Anderson, who was employed at the university from 1966 through 2003.

Several of the former patients who have come forward -- most of them athletes -- were in Ann Arbor Thursday to finally see members of the university face-to-face.

See the story here.

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Boyfriend of slain Gabby Petito charged with bank card fraud

The boyfriend of Gabby Petito, whose body was found at a national park in Wyoming after a cross-country trip with him, was charged with unauthorized use of a debit card as searchers continued looking for him Thursday in Florida swampland.

A federal grand jury indictment filed in U.S. District Court in Wyoming alleges Brian Laundrie used a Capital One Bank card and someone’s personal identification number to make unauthorized withdrawals or charges worth more than $1,000 during the period in which Petito went missing. It does not say who the card belonged to.

Read more here.

Police: 1 dead, 12 wounded in Tennessee store shooting; shooter dead

A gunman attacked a grocery store in an upscale Tennessee suburb on Thursday afternoon, killing one person and wounding 12 others before he was found dead of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the store, authorities said.

Collierville Police Chief Dale Lane said the shooting broke out at a Kroger grocery in Collierville, a suburban community 30 miles (50 kilometers) east of Memphis. He said the gunman shot 13 others and himself, and that 12 of the victims were taken to hospitals, some with very serious injuries.

See the report here.

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Weather: Warming up with Friday sunshine

Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.

COVID in Michigan 🦠

Michigan has surpassed 1 million COVID cases since the start of the pandemic, reporting 6,079 new cases and 81 virus-related deaths Wednesday -- an average of 3,039.5 cases over a two-day period.

Wednesday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 1,001,989, including 20,781 deaths. These numbers are up from 995,910 cases and 20,700 deaths, as of Monday.

Testing has increased to around 30,000 diagnostic tests reported per day on average, with the 7-day positive rate at 8.72% as of Wednesday, slightly lower than the previous week due to the increasing test volume. 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 2,697 on Wednesday -- the highest it has been since early May. The 7-day death average was 27 on Wednesday. The state’s fatality rate is 2.1%. The state also reports “active cases,” which were listed at 75,100 on Wednesday.

Michigan has reported more than 9.8 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Wednesday, with 67.3% of 16+ residents having received at least one dose while 58.7% of 16+ residents are considered fully vaccinated.

Here’s a look at more of the data:

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About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.