A three-judge panel at the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled last night at 9 pm that gyms in Michigan will have to remain closed. Gyms across the state were set reopen their doors at midnight. Governor Whitmer’s press secretary, Tiffany Brown said, “Today, three Republican-appointed judges got it right: In the fight against a global pandemic, courts must give governor broad latitude to made quick, difficult decisions. The governor will continue to take the actions necessary to save lives.” The appeals panel included Judges Deborah Cook, Chad Readler, and Julia Gibbons. The panel’s ruling said, “We sympathize deeply with the business owners and their patrons affected by the governor’s order. Crises like COVID-19 can call for quick decisive measures to save lives. Tet those measure can have extreme costs — costs that often are not borne evenly. The decision to impose those costs rests with the political branches of government, in this case, Governor Whitmer.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 323 newly confirmed cases yesterday. Making it the highest single rise in case counts in nearly a month. The seven-day average of new cases has risen to 223 per day, which suggests a scaling up of the curve. On June 15, the seven-day average was at 152. The MDHHS said that there are several locations in the state with clusters of new cases. The worry is if those clusters of cases turn into a wider community spread.
Senate Bill 956 passed in the Michigan Senate yesterday that would keep COVID-19 positive patients from being put into nursing homes with those who are COVID-19 negative. Michigan Senator Peter Lucido noted that he had two doctors who testified about the health policy in which they unequivocally said this is not a standard of care that they could support. Governer Whitmer responded, “Yeah, I would say, we need to remember where we were 10 weeks ago. When we saw exponential growth, where we had hospitals at capacity, where we only had enough PPE for each shift. We were following, what should be the gold standard, which is the CDC standard and that’s what we were following at the time.” The bill will go to the Michigan House next. If it passes there, Governor Whitmer will have 12 days to either sign or veto it.
Pooled testing, or group testing, is where you use one test to test multiple people. To put it simply, pooled testing is where you take multiple tests and mix them together to make one. This has been suggested as a means to test groups such as dorm rooms, entire nursing homes, food processing plants and other groups more quickly. The idea is that it would expand testing and make it quicker; if the test comes back negative then you can let the whole group go. If the test comes back positive then you have to test each person from the group individually. The FDA is currently working on validating pooled testing for COVID-19.
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s predecessor, Ruth Johnson, is leading the GOP charge during a Senate Elections Committee hearing saying, “Changes and attempts to centralize certain election functions are really truly alarming.” Benson announced in May that the SOS would use $4.5 million of election funds from the CARES Act to send absentee ballot applications to all of the state’s 7.7 million registered voters. Please click here to read more about this issue.
as ‘spring’ training shifts to comerica park, tigers’ enthusiasm tempered by positive covid-19 tests
Tigers general manager Al Avila confirmed yesterday that a player and staff member have recently tested positive for COVID-19. According to the health and safety protocols agreed to by the league and players union, before a player can return after a positive test he must 1) test negative twice in a row 2) have no fever for at least 72 hours 3) pass a cardiac exam 4) be cleared by both the league and doctors. The league and players union recently agreed to a truncated 60 game season to begin in mid-to-late July.
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