Morning Briefing Nov. 27, 2021: Omicron COVID variant causes concerns; Michigan, Ohio State fans prepare for The Game

Here are this morning’s top stories

People queue to get vaccinated at a shopping mall, in Johannesburg, South Africa, Friday Nov. 26, 2021. Advisers to the World Health Organization are holding a special session Friday to flesh out information about a worrying new variant of the coronavirus that has emerged in South Africa, though its impact on COVID-19 vaccines may not be known for weeks. (AP Photo/Denis Farrell) (Denis Farrell, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Experts concerned new COVID variant ‘omicron’ could be more contagious, more vaccine resistant

Experts are concerned that a new variant of COVID-19, “omicron,” could possibly be even more contagious than the delta variant and more resistant to vaccinations.

Learn more here.

Michigan, Ohio State fans prepare for top-five matchup in Ann Arbor

It’s that time of the year again for one of the biggest rivalry face-offs in the country. The Michigan-Ohio State game always brings thousands of alumni back to their old college stomping grounds -- and, in some cases, enemy territory.

See more here.

Small Business Saturday: A 2021 local shopping guide for Metro Detroit

While the Friday after Thanksgiving is, for most, dedicated to shopping, the following Saturday is devoted to shopping local.

Small Business Saturday was created to encourage consumers to support the businesses and people in their communities during the holiday season.

See a list of Metro Detroit businesses and Small Business Saturday events here.

Paul Whelan in message to family from Russian prison: ‘Corruption here knows no bounds’

Paul Whelan’s parents recorded a Thanksgiving message from their son, who remains inside a Russian prison.

See the story here.

Detroit businesses hit hard by COVID pandemic determined to get people back in stores

The COVID-19 pandemic has been tough on Detroit businesses, as many people stay home and shop online. But the Detroit Economic Growth Corporation is determined to get people out of their houses and into shops.

See the report here.

Weather forecast: Accumulating afternoon snowfall ahead ❄️

Here is the weather forecast for Metro Detroit.

COVID in Michigan 🦠

Michigan reported 17,003 new cases of COVID-19 and 280 virus-related deaths Wednesday -- an average of 8,501.5 cases over a two-day period. Of the 280 deaths announced Wednesday, 143 were identified during a review of records.

Note: The state did not publish new COVID data on Friday, Nov. 26 due to the Thanksgiving holiday. The next data update is expected Monday, Nov. 29.

Wednesday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 1,276,264, including 23,595 deaths. These numbers are up from 1,259,261 cases and 23,315 deaths, as of Monday.

Read the latest COVID report here.

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