5/21/20 – Thursday, May 21: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

(Mlive) – The state’s health department announced 659 new cases of COVID-19 and 43 new deaths associated with the virus. The new additions increased Michigan’s totals to 53,009 confirmed cases and 5,060 deaths

 

.Michigan county expands drive-thru coronavirus testing to all adults, regardless of symptoms

As parts of Michigan gradually reopen and return to some semblance of normal, health officials have said expanded testing for COVID-19 is critical.

And one of the state’s hardest-hit counties on Wednesday, May 20, announced it will offer free drive-thru coronavirus testing for all adults 18 and older, especially those who are returning to work.

 

Mackinac Island won’t open for Memorial Day Weekend, citing health and safety concerns

Emphasizing the need to put people’s health and safety first, Mackinac Island city officials decided they’ll be sticking to their original plan: working toward reopening the island to visitors safely and gradually starting May 29, once Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-home order ends.

The island is not encouraging any guests this weekend ahead of Monday’s Memorial Day holiday, and ferry boats will not be running between Mackinac and the mainland on Saturday and Sunday. Local residents are also being strongly encouraged to remain on the island until the stay-home order is lifted.

 

Caregiving in crisis: Nurses balance duty with lack of protection

Nursing is the nation’s largest health care profession, with 3.8 million registered nurses, or three times the number of doctors, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing. That means the hour-by-hour care of hospitalized victims of the novel coronavirus falls largely on their shoulders.

Their work has required frontline exposure to COVID-19, an illness whose vicious and unpredictable severity has left them stunned and fearful. They’re afraid for themselves, but even more terrified that one tiny lapse in caution could bring the coronavirus home to their loved ones.

That fear has been exacerbated by spotty availability of the most basic personal protective equipment, or PPE.

“I never thought I’d be fighting for my life at my job,” said 57-year-old Sheryl Mount, who volunteered to return to the intensive care unit because she knew she’d be assigned there once the wave of COVID-19 cases hit her South Jersey community. “Everyone is scared to death.”

 

National study of coronavirus in children to include Michigan patients

A Michigan hospital system has agreed to participate in a national study of coronavirus in children and whether rates of infection differ with children who have asthma or other allergic conditions.

Over the course of six months, the study will follow 6,000 people from 2,000 U.S. families to gauge who gets infected with SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. It’ll also determine whether the virus is transmitted to other family members, and which family members with the virus develop COVID-19.

 

Western Michigan University awards grants for COVID-19 research

Western Michigan University awarded five grant for research related to the coronavirus pandemic.

The university’s office of research and innovation awarded the grants for projects covering a diverse field of study from religion to education and language support, the university said in a press release.