Morning Briefing Dec. 21, 2021: Whitmer to hold first Michigan COVID briefing since June

Here are this morning’s top stories

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a May 12, 2021, COVID-19 briefing. (WDIV)

Michigan Gov. Whitmer holds first COVID briefing since June

For the first time since restrictions were lifted in June, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is hosting an official COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday morning as omicron cases surge in the U.S.

Related: Omicron sweeps across nation, now 73% of US COVID-19 cases

Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Elizabeth Hertel will provide an update regarding COVID-19 and the continued efforts to slow the spread of the virus as the Omicron variant emerges as a dominant strain ahead of the holidays.

Watch the briefing at 9:20 a.m. right here or on WDIV Local 4. 

Whitmer and Hertel will be joined by:

  • Dr. Shelley Schmidt, Pulmonary Disease - Spectrum Health
  • Dr. Daliya Khuon, Pediatric Infectious Disease - Helen Devos Childrens
  • Dr. Lillian Cummings-Pulliams, School Psychologist – Wyoming Public Schools
  • Alita Kelly, Small Business Owner – Southeast Market
  • Pastor Jerry Bishop, Senior Pastor of Life Quest Center

In Michigan, new cases have slowed in the last two weeks, but remain near record-high levels.

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St. Clair Shores middle school teacher facing false report/threat of terrorism charge

Johnna Rhone, 59, was arraigned Monday in St. Clair Shores District Court on a count of making a false report or threat of terrorism, a 20-year felony. Bond was set at $75,000. Rhone has worked at Jefferson Middle School for 21 years.

Read more here.

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COVID testing requirements reinstated at Canadian border: Here’s what to know

Those traveling across the border to Canada face new testing requirements starting Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021.

Anyone traveling into the country must have a negative PCR test for COVID-19 no more than three days before the trip.

The Canadian government is reinstating testing requirements for vaccinated travelers returning to the country after short foreign trips:

  • Effective December 21, 2021, at 12:01 am (EST): All Canadians returning from short trips must take a molecular pre-entry test. The test can’t be taken in Canada before you leave.
  • Travelers are eligible to enter or return to Canada if they qualify as a fully vaccinated traveler.

Read more here.

Weather forecast: What to expect for Christmas 2021

Here is the Christmas week forecast for Metro Detroit. For more:

COVID in Michigan 🦠

Michigan reported 13,999 new cases of COVID-19 and 160 virus-related deaths Monday -- an average of 4,666.3 cases over the past three days.

Monday’s update brings the total number of confirmed COVID cases in Michigan to 1,434,837, including 25,984 deaths. These numbers are up from 1,420,838 cases and 25,824 deaths, as of Friday.

Read the latest COVID report here.

About the Author:

Dave Bartkowiak Jr. is the digital managing editor for ClickOnDetroit.