GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Here is the latest information on the coronavirus in Michigan, including the number of cases state offices report and other updates affecting West Michigan.
MDHHS releases guidance to schools on offering in-person instruction by March 1
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced new safety guidance during a press conference Friday for schools to adhere to while providing the in-person instruction that is crucial to learning and development.
The state’s goal is to have all Michigan school districts offer an in-person learning option for students no later than March 1, and earlier if possible.
Guidance emphasizes use of scientifically proven methods of reducing the risk of COVID-19 spread, include wearing masks, ventilation improvements, frequent hand washing and social distancing.
Vaccination of teachers and other school staff will begin by Jan. 11 due to educators’ roles as essential frontline workers.
Guidance is for grades pre-kindergarten through 12 and includes early childhood education, such as Head Start and Great Start Readiness Program.
DHD#10 reaches capacity at vaccine clinics due to shortage
District Health Department #10 said they reached capacity at their COVID-19 vaccination clinics due to a shortage of the vaccine.
The registration link on the DHD#10 website has been removed and will be replaced when the health department is able to schedule more appointments.
“Unfortunately, the state was unable to supply the number of doses we ordered, which requires us to make adjustments to our vaccine clinics,” Kevin Hughes, Health Officer for DHD#10, said Friday. “We understand this disruption may cause frustration, but please know we are doing everything we can to deliver the vaccine as soon as the supply is accessible.”
Some individuals who are currently scheduled to receive the vaccine next week may be cancelled or rescheduled. DHD#10 will notify those individuals via the email used to registered if that is the case.
DHD#10 said it would resume scheduling as soon as it gains access to more doses of the vaccine.
Pfizer study suggests coronavirus vaccine works on variants from Britain, South Africa
New research suggests that Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine can protect against a mutation found in two contagious variants of the coronavirus that erupted in Britain and South Africa.
Those variants are causing global concern. They both share a common mutation called N501Y, a slight alteration on one spot of the spike protein that coats the virus. That change is believed to be the reason they can spread so easily.
Daily COVID-19 deaths reach new record, US tops 4,000 for first time
The United States recorded more than 4,000 COVID-19 deaths on Thursday, the most coronavirus deaths in a single day since the pandemic began.
The top three highest days of coronavirus deaths in the U.S. have all taken place this week, according to a tally from Johns Hopkins University.
On Thursday there were a record-setting 4,085 people who died, followed by 3,854 deaths on Wednesday and Tuesday there were 3,768 lives lost.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 3,625 confirmed daily cases of COVID-19. There have been a total of 516,376 cases announced since mid-March.
There were 38 COVID-19 deaths reported Friday. In Michigan, the death toll is 13,132 from the virus.
State recommendations for COVID-19
People with COVID-19 have reported a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mild to severe illnesses. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus, according to the CDC. The symptoms include:
- Shortness of breath
- Repeated shaking with chills
- Muscle pain
- Sore throat
- New loss of taste or smell
- Nausea or vomiting
*Note: This list does not include all possible symptoms. It will be updated as the CDC and health officials learn more about the virus.
The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:
- If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.
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