Health and Wellness

School district makes masks mandatory after community vote

Masks are mandatory in a southwestern Michigan school district after officials set the policy in an unusual way: They took a vote of the people. Parents, guardians and staff in the Pennfield district voted for masks, starting Monday and lasting through Feb. 18. There were 1,041 votes, and about 58% were in favor. Masks to reduce the risk of COVID-19 …

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Michigan projects COVID-19 surge won’t peak for some weeks

Michigan’s record high COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations could peak in late January or early February before beginning to drop, state health officials said Tuesday, while urging residents to help control the height of the crest. “We have a choice to make: Do we want to work on bringing that peak down or do we just want to let this omicron …

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COVID-19 hospitalizations reach new high in Michigan

Michigan hospitals reported a record number of COVID-19 patients Monday, surpassing the peak from nearly a month ago before the state’s daily already-high infection counts surged to new heights due to the more contagious omicron variant. Roughly 4,900 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of the virus, including 4,580 adults with a positive test. The previous pandemic high …

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Michigan gets initial small shipment of COVID-19 pills

Michigan has received an initial, small federal shipment of COVID-19 pills that can be taken at home, state health officials announced Friday. The arrival of the newly authorized oral medications comes as the state confronts record high coronavirus cases and near-peak hospitalizations amid a surge fueled by the omicron variant. The pills cleared federal approvals over two weeks ago and can only be …

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Michigan urges schools to delay events or make them virtual

Michigan’s health and education departments on Thursday urged schools to postpone or make virtual large gatherings, including sporting events, if they are not “essential” — as COVID-19 cases spike across the state. The recommendation, intended to keep schools open when classes resume after the winter break next week, was included in a letter to K-12 superintendents and charter school directors. Large events …

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Daily COVID-19 cases explode to new highs in Michigan

Michigan on Wednesday recorded all-time high COVID-19 case counts, reporting nearly 13,000 a day — almost a third more than the peak set more than a year ago. The two-day average was 12,929, some 3,100 infections above the nearly 9,800 from a single day in November 2020. The explosive growth came as the state already grapples with a fourth, months-long …

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Michigan governor supports vaccine mandate; AG would defend

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that she still supports President Joe Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, clarifying comments she made earlier this month in which she expressed concerns about it. After a federal appeals court overruled a decision last week that paused a nationwide vaccine mandate for employers of 100 workers or more, 27 Republican-led state governments have come forward with their intent …

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Michigan officials expect omicron variant to sweep state

People who haven’t been vaccinated for COVID-19 are taking up too many beds at Michigan’s strained hospitals, as the state prepares for the rapid spread of omicron variant, the governor said Tuesday. The omicron variant is already the dominant strain in the U.S. and is expected to spread rapidly through Michigan in the near future, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said at a news …

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A Message from the Health Officer as COVID-19 Cases Continue to Rise

How many people would still be alive if not for COVID? How many more loved ones and people in our lives will we lose to this virus? We many never know. It takes a toll to witness so much death and suffering. During the summertime, I watched as my team and I started to heal. Morale was coming back, stress …

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