Michigan guidance on COVID-19 possible, 3-year-old among 2 dead in explosion, free rides home this weekend

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hinted Tuesday that new guidance is expected before Thanksgiving Day from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as COVID-19 cases surge but said lockdowns are unlikely.

Last week, the health department issued an advisory urging people to wear masks at indoor gatherings and businesses to implement mask mandates.

"I think you'll see something coming out today or tomorrow," she said. "We recognize that our healthcare workers are exhausted."

However, Whitmer believes lockdowns like the ones in 2020 are unnecessary because of the vaccine.

The Democratic governor was speaking during a turkey giveaway in Metro Detroit on Tuesday and said that she is worried about people gathering this weekend.

"As the holidays happen I’m concerned. We've got multiple generations of families gathering, some of whom will bring COVID into those events, and sadly some family members could get sick," she said.

Whitmer urged vaccinations as Michigan has been leading the nation in COVID cases.

Fauci: with boosters, the definition of 'fully vaccinated could change

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert said the definition of being fully vaccinated could change as boosters from the Moderna, Pfizer, and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are distributed but it all depends on how long immunity lasts in people after a booster dose.

"We’re going to take a look right now at what the durability is of the booster. We’re going to follow people who get boosted," Fauci said during an interview on CNN’s "State of the Union" on Nov. 21. "We don’t know right now, you have to be perfectly transparent and honest. We’re going to be doing the best we can to keep the American public optimally protected. If that means that that’s going to be a boost that absolutely everyone will have to have, then so be it, we’ll do it that way, but it will be guided by the science. And people should not be put off by the fact that as time goes by, and we learn more and more about the protection, then we might modify the guidelines. That’s what we’ve been saying all along by ‘follow the science.’ Things change, you have to follow the data." 

Currently, the definition of fully vaccinated remains as two shots of Pfizer or Moderna or just one of the J&J vaccine.

"Well, two shots, for a time frame, means you are fully vaccinated," Fauci continued. "But the thing that you want to get the people, the viewers, to understand, it isn’t the effectiveness of the vaccine, it’s quite effective, it’s how long it lasts. And that’s the reason, when we started to see the immunity start to wane, we said people should get boosted. And that’s the reason why we’re going to keep following it closely."

Last week, the U.S. opened COVID-19 boosters to all adults and are encouraging all adults over 50 to get one as soon as possible to ward off a winter surge in cases.

TSA prepared for Thanksgiving travel, all airports fully staffed

Despite the surge in COVID-19 cases in Michigan, millions are expected to get on a plane - some for the first time in almost two years. Across the country, 4.5 million Americans are expected to travel, up 80% from 2020. But TSA says it's prepared.

"We have full staffing at all our airports within the state of Michigan," said Steve Lorincz, the TSA federal security director for the state.

Driver must wear a mask - that's a federal mandate - and are asked to just be a bit kind to others around them at the airport, on the plane, or while moving through security.

"We also want to make sure people understand we have seen unruly behavior in the system. We want to make sure people pack, not only for their trip, but they also pack a little kindness," Lorincz said.

If you will be traveling this holiday season, arrive early, check your bags for prohibited items, arrange for assistance in advance, and check out expedited screening programs such as TSA Pre-Check.

Going out this weekend? Get a free ride for you and your car

AAA of Michigan is bringing back its AAA Tow to Go in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Starting on Wednesday, Nov. 24, AAA will transport would-be impaired drivers and their cars to a safe place within 10 miles of where they requested help.

Don't drive home impaired. Especially when you can get a free ride for yourself and your car.

By calling AAA, you can get a free ride for you and your car to safe place. Like your home so you can go to bed and wake up the next morning.

Just, don't treat AAA like Lyft or Uber. Your friends can't ride with you in the tow truck so they will need to find a Lyft or an Uber.

Details on how to get a ride home here.

Peach Manhattans on a table at Stokesay Castle in Lower Alsace Township, PA Thursday evening August 6, 2020. (Photo by Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images)

Flint home explosion: 2 dead including 3-year-old girl

Authorities spent most of Tuesday morning searching for a 3-year-old girl who was missing after a devastating home explosion late Monday night. Tuesday afternoon, the family got the news they dreaded: the little girl was killed in the blast

Athena Simerson is the grandmother of the little girl, who she identified as NuVeah Lucas. She told FOX 2's Jessica Dupnack that police notified the family that a body was found and it was presumed to be Nuveah.

RELATED: Video shows fatal home explosion in Flint 

NuVeah's mom and her mom's boyfriend, David Brown, were both in the home at the time of the explosion. Her mother was hospitalized but released while Brown is in critical condition with burns to more than 70% of his body.

Family members said they tried to save NuVeah after the blast but were unable to save her.

"I guess the initial explosion happened and he [Brown] went over her [NuVeah] to protect her," Simerson said.

The explosion and fire destroyed three homes in Michigan, damaged several others and sent debris falling onto a neighborhood, authorities said.

The other victim killed in the fire was a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house next door. The explosion and fire destroyed three homes in Michigan, damaged several others and sent debris falling onto a neighborhood, authorities said.

The other victim killed in the fire was a 55-year-old woman who lived in the house next door. 

A fundraiser has been set up for the family of NuVeah on Facebook.

Flint Fire Chief Raymond Barton said Tuesday that two people were rushed from the scene Monday night to area hospitals, the girl's parents.

Barton said a Michigan State Police cadaver dog and fire crews with specialized equipment were searching for the 3-year-old.

"This is a tragic time for our community," Mayor Sheldon Neeley said during a Tuesday morning news conference.

Three houses were fully engulfed in flames when firefighters arrived at the scene after 9:30 p.m. Monday. Officials said around 20 houses sustained damage, including broken windows from debris thrown across an entire block by the explosion, which was felt miles away.

One critically injured after shooter opens fire on car on 8 Mile in Detroit

A car full of people was shot at Tuesday afternoon on 8 Mile near Gratiot in Detroit, sending one person to the hospital with critical injuries.

"Around 3:12 I heard shots, about ten shots going off and I see the car up in the middle of 8 Mile," said Malik Davis, who works at 3Fifteen Cannabis near the shooting scene.

The car they were traveling in, a Chevy Cruze, then crashed into a tree on the 8 Mile median.

Davis said he saw three people crawl out and called 911.

While on the way to the scene, an EMS supervisor got in a head-on crash at Gratiot and State Fair. They were not seriously injured.

When police arrived, Davis was able to tell them where the shooter's vehicle came from and where it fled.

"It pulled up alongside our establishment let the shots off, reversed and went inside Motor City Pawn Brokers, exited out and went down 8 Mile," he said. "I did see someone reach outside of the window with a weapon and then fire shots off."

The other two people who were in the Cruze were not struck. One person suffered minor injuries from the crash, and the other person was not hurt.

Police are still investigating.

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Daily Forecast

Mother Nature will mostly cooperate on the busy travel day with dry conditions. But you'll need to keep an eye on the wind as it's expected to gust at 25 or even 30 MPH on Wednesday. We're caught between a high pressure anchored on the east coast and our next weather maker back west. The rain holds off - until Thursday morning.