Coronavirus in Michigan: Here’s what to know Aug. 23, 2020

953 new COVID-19 cases reported Saturday in Michigan

Michigan COVID-19 data through Aug. 22, 2020.
Michigan COVID-19 data through Aug. 22, 2020. (WDIV)

DETROIT – The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 96,024 as of Saturday, including 6,389 deaths, state officials report.

Saturday’s update represents 953 new cases and 11 additional deaths. Saturday’s higher number of daily cases is the result of a recent issue with the reporting of electronic lab results.

A message from the state’s site with background on the issue read, “A large number of received lab messages were improperly formatted and temporarily blocked some valid results from being processed and entered into the reporting system ... As the valid results enter the system over the next day or two, there will likely be higher than expected numbers of daily case counts. This lab result backlog should not affect the 7-day rolling average or the cases by date of onset in the dashboard data.”

On Friday, the state totals were 95,071 cases and 6,378 deaths.

Read more: Here’s how coronavirus (COVID-19) cases are trending in all 8 of Michigan’s regions

6 Michigan businesses fined for ‘serious violations’ of COVID-19 safety protocols

Six businesses in Michigan have been fined for “serious violations” of coronavirus (COVID-19) safety protocols and potentially endangering workers, state officials said.

READ: Here’s what the businesses did to get fined

The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration performed its first round of inspections to make sure workers are being protected from the spread of COVID-19. Six businesses earned “general duty” citations for “failing to uphold safe and healthy practices.”

FEMA approves Michigan for additional $300 in weekly unemployment payments

Michigan submitted an application for federal funding that would provide an additional $300 per week to Michiganders receiving unemployment benefits. FEMA approved it on Friday.

The additional $600 payments included in the first federal relief bill ended on July 31. The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) submitted an application to the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) for funding on Tuesday, according to a release.

The UIA estimates that under the program, about 910,000 Michiganders would receive at least $300 per week in supplemental benefits. The program allows for existing Unemployment Trust Fund payments delivered by Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency to count as 25% matching funds required for participation. Eligible claimants will be paid benefits retroactive to August 1. It is unclear at this time how long funding for the program will last.

Michigan health officials report 14 coronavirus outbreaks at schools

Michigan health officials reported 14 coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreaks at K-12 schools and universities as of Thursday, Aug. 20.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) said the outbreaks are reported to them by local health departments. Here’s where the outbreaks are:

  • 1 in Region 1
  • 8 in Region 2S
  • 2 in Region 2N
  • 3 in Region 3

You can find the regions on the Michigan Emergency Preparedness Regions map here.

Washtenaw County restricts outdoor gatherings in Ann Arbor, Ypsi to 25 people

Washtenaw County Health Department issued a public health emergency order to limit the size of social gatherings or events Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.

County officials are not allowing more than 25 people to gather at outdoor events. The local order enhances existing state orders and further restricts social gathering in areas at increased risk for COVID-19 outbreaks as the student population returns to local universities.

Michigan announces $65M in CARES Act funding for schools

Michigan is using $65 million in federal funding to support school districts that are most significantly impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made the announcement Monday about the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act dollars for schools. The money is for school districts, higher education institutions, and “other education-related entities that have been most significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to the governor’s office.

The governor says the money is going to disadvantaged districts and will help address the digital divide that has served as a barrier to remote learning for students and educators across the state. The funding comes from the Governor’s Education Emergency Relief (GEER) Fund.

What Whitmer said about allowing businesses that are still closed to reopen

Whitmer was asked Wednesday what she needs to see to allow businesses that are still closed due to the pandemic. The question was posed during her COVID-19 press briefing. While she didn’t offer specifics in terms of where the state’s statistics would need to be to reopen certain businesses, Whitmer offered the following answer:

“So, right now, we are working with (the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) to drill down on that, and I think that you’re asking an important question, and I want to give you an answer with as much specificity as I can, but I’m hampered right now because we’ve asked them to articulate -- all of the businesses that still have zero presence in terms of economic reopening -- where we can do another assessment on risk mitigation and determine if we might consider making some improvements in the policy. We’ve learned a lot, of course. This still is a novel virus. There still is no vaccine and no cure at this juncture, and we’re learning a lot about it every single day, and we have the benefit of learning what is happening in other states, what’s happening that’s bad that we don’t want to do, but perhaps some things that they’ve done that have been successful, and so I would anticipate I’ll be able to share a little bit more on that front with you next week as that work is happening right now.”

Undergraduate classes at Michigan State University will be taught remotely this fall

Michigan State University is asking undergraduate students who planned to live on campus to stay home and take their classes remotely due to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Any classes that were in-person or hybrid will be transitioned for remote learning. There will be exceptions for colleges of Law, Human Medicine, Nursing, Osteopathic Medicine and Veterinary Medicine as well as all graduate programs.

“As president of Michigan State University, it is my ultimate responsibility to protect the health and safety of our students, faculty and staff. That has been my guiding principle since I arrived at this great university last year, and even more so since the coronavirus pandemic turned our lives upside down,” president Samuel L. Stanley, Jr. said.

Outdoor events limited to 25 people in part of East Lansing

Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail signed an emergency order on Tuesday that restricts outdoor gatherings to no more than 25 people in the city of East Lansing amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

The state of Michigan currently restricts indoor public gatherings to 10 people and outdoor gatherings to 100 people under Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders.

Vail’s new emergency order is specific to East Lansing -- which is home to thousands of college students who attend Michigan State University (MSU).

Coronavirus headlines:

Michigan COVID-19 daily reported cases since Aug. 1:

  • Aug. 1 -- 735 new cases
  • Aug. 2 -- 426 new cases
  • Aug. 3 -- 604 new cases
  • Aug. 4 -- 664 new cases
  • Aug. 5 -- 657 new cases
  • Aug. 6 -- 722 new cases
  • Aug. 7 -- 762 new cases
  • Aug. 8 -- 898 new cases
  • Aug. 9 -- 514 new cases
  • Aug. 10 -- 557 new cases
  • Aug. 11 -- 796 new cases
  • Aug. 12 -- 515 new cases
  • Aug. 13 -- 1,121 new cases
  • Aug. 14 -- 748 new cases
  • Aug. 15 -- 1,015 new cases
  • Aug. 16 -- 565 new cases
  • Aug. 17 -- 465 new cases
  • Aug. 18 -- 477 new cases
  • Aug. 19 -- 616 new cases

Michigan COVID-19 daily reported deaths since Aug. 1:

  • Aug. 1 -- 7 new deaths
  • Aug. 2 -- 0 new deaths
  • Aug. 3 -- 6 new deaths
  • Aug. 4 -- 7 new deaths (5 of which are from vital records)
  • Aug. 5 -- 2 new deaths
  • Aug. 6 -- 26 new deaths (17 from vital records)
  • Aug. 7 -- 0 new deaths
  • Aug. 8 -- 3 new deaths
  • Aug. 9 -- 2 new deaths
  • Aug. 10 -- 8 new deaths
  • Aug. 11 -- 7 new deaths
  • Aug. 12 -- 9 new deaths
  • Aug. 13 -- 16 new deaths (9 from vital records)
  • Aug. 14 -- 11 new deaths
  • Aug. 15 -- 18 new deaths
  • Aug. 16 -- 6 new deaths
  • Aug. 17 -- 1 new death
  • Aug. 18 -- 15 new deaths (7 from vital records)
  • Aug. 19 -- 9 new deaths

Coronavirus resources:

Here is the moving 7-day average of COVID-19 cases in Michigan:

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