WEDNESDAY NEWS HIT - It's been two weeks since Michigan's newest round of business and gathering restrictions went into effect, which means whatever changes in trends for COVID-19 in the state will begin showing up in data of cases and deaths.
Tuesday offered a curious window into just what direction the state is heading in. Far from the near-10,000 cases that were reported by the state on Nov. 20, there were another 5,793 new cases tallied yesterday. Those are numbers similar to what early November brought - which is a good sign.
Unfortunately, Tuesday was also one of Michigan's deadliest days during the pandemic. One-hundred and sixty more people died from the virus yesterday and another 30 were added after a vital records review. So where do these diverging trends leave health experts? "Cautiously optimistic."
"We are seeing more people starting to do the right thing: mask up and keep social distancing beginning in early November and we think that is contributing to the decrease in our rate of rise of cases," said Dr. Joneigh Khladun.
Khaldun and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave hopeful assessments on Tuesday that rules that closed indoor dining, reduced limits on gatherings, and sent high school students home were having an effect.
The good news was bolstered by recommendations from the CDC that advocated for a shortened quarantine time following a negative test and exposure, as well as vaccine news after the United Kingdom was the first country to authorize the use of them, approving Pfizer's treatment on Wednesday.
Whitmer offered a warning for the next several weeks, admitting the timing of Thanksgiving and Christmas could upend efforts to slow the spread of the virus.
"The next two months are going to be bad," she said. "Our cases are dangerously high with more hospitalizations and deaths already even with our targeted actions. we expect to see numbers increase over the coming weeks and months as more people travel for the holidays."
Federal agencies have already said people should assume they were exposed if they traveled for Thanksgiving. Whitmer also declined to commit to extending or ending the three-week pause in the state.
According to the state, nothing has been pre-determined and that policy changes are subject to change, depending on what direction new cases and deaths follow.
Before she was killed, Shavon Mitchell was a victim of domestic abuse
Detroit police had a busy Tuesday morning after a man holed up in his SUV had targeted officers, shot at a precinct, and refused to surrender before exchanging a final round of gunfire then dying.
But hours before 28-year-old Kevin Fox turned violent toward police, he allegedly killed his estranged girlfriend Shavon Mitchell over a dispute about custody of their 5-year-old child.
Their relationship had started in high school but became abusive over the years. Mitchell would pay the ultimate price for trying to leave.
“She just didn’t understand how dangerous he really was and when she found out it was too late," said Nicole Jones, Mitchell's aunt. “She was a victim of domestic violence for years and when she tried to walk away he tried to use her son as a pawn."
Mitchell was fatally shot late Monday night in the area of Grand River and Warren in Detroit. Her family soon began receiving cryptic text messages from Fox, bragging about what he had done and that her family couldn't find her.
Fox would eventually drive to the Detroit police's 5th Precinct, where he would open fire on the front door.
That child is now in the care of family who is very appreciative of all the support they’ve received.
Trump's lawyer to testify on voter fraud in Lansing on Wednesday
After weeks of arguing about voter fraud on a scale big enough to swing an entire state election for one candidate over another, Donald Trump's lawyer will finally have the opportunity to present his case in Lansing.
Since the election, Rudy Guliani has alleged all sorts of fraud and irregularities that helped throw Michigan's votes for Joe Biden, which had its election certified last week. As it stands, Biden won 154,000 more votes than Trump.
But according to poll watchers and Republican activists that spoke in front of a committee in the state capitol on Tuesday, there's enough proof of faulty equipment and late-night ballot deliveries that should invalidate the state's election. So far, no allegations of any kind of fraud that could overturn Michigan's election have been proven.
Guliani plans to testify in front of the House Oversight Committee, whose Chair, Rep. Matt Hall (R-Marshall) said he wanted to hear from the source of the claims before passing any judgment.
“Election security and transparency are top concerns for people I represent. I have been getting thousands of emails and calls from people regarding this election. Other legislators have also. People have questions and concerns about the election process, the way it was handled and how our future elections could be impacted. Rumors and hearsay are everywhere and our committee is attempting to get to the bottom of all of it to deliver people answers they deserve," Hall said in a statement.
Guliani has also delivered similar allegations of fraud in Pennsylvania and Georgia. However, none of those claims have held any water either.
Trump has also vowed to never concede the election but has directed the White House to begin the transition process of power.
Fatal rollover closes I-696
Around 5:30 a.m., Michigan State Police were dispatched to the eastbound lanes of I-696 near M5 after a single-vehicle crash.
A preliminary investigation revealed a driver drove off the road to the right and stuck a bridge abutment, killing them.
That section of the highway located in Farmington Hills was closed for several hours.
The driver was identified as a 45-year-old man from Brighton. He was the only occupant in the vehicle and no other vehicles were inolved in the crash.
Who in Michigan gets a vaccine first?
While the decision to ship hundreds of thousands of the first COVID-19 vaccine doses to Michigan was an easy choice, who gets them and how they are distributed is a whole other topic.
But health experts have been preparing for this day for a long time and have presented a list of prioritization for different demographics on who gets the vaccine first.
Health care workers who operate in ICU's, hospital medical floors, and in emergency medical scenarios will be the first. After that, a second allotment delivered in January will be for care facility workers and nursing facility residents.
"All of this is dependent on how quickly additional vaccines become available from the manufacturer," Dr. Khaldun reminded.
The manufacturers, Pfizer and Moderna, have moved at break-neck speed to come up with a medicine for COVID-19, developing a vaccine in months. Both expect to have their emergency requests authorized by the end of December.
Shelby Township Christmas decorations being vandalized
Just because it's been a rough year doesn't mean the Grinch can take any time off from his annual duties of ruining Christmas.
This time, he's arrived in Shelby Township, cutting Christmas lights and destroying property.
"We are angry and everyone is a little (expletive) off," said Sharon May.
On Monday police released a video of three young men severing Christmas light strands over the weekend off Schoenherr near 22 Mile including five houses hit.
"They are punks (and) they’re out there to damage and destroy property," said Sgt. Terry Hogan, Shelby Twp police.
Manhunt underway in Detroit's east side
Several police agencies are looking for a murder suspect in the area of Mound and McNichols in Detroit.
Romulus police had chased a suspect from I-94 and Middle Belt before requesting assistance from state troopers around 9:30 Tuesday night.
A heavy police presence eventually was spotted on the city's east side with Romulus police acting as the lead agency.
As of Wednesday morning, there was no update on the investigation.
1. It's not just community spread in Macomb County that's worrying health experts about COVID-19. The jail is also having issues, with 25% of inmates testing positive for the virus.
2. Porch pirates during the holidays is the perfect way to ruin Christmas. That's why White Lake Township Police are using a new method to deter thieves.
3. With indoor dining restricted, restaurants are pushing for more outdoor seating, even as cold weather arrives. At Marrow Detroit, that mission got even tougher when their heat lamps were stolen.
4. You may have heard of using human waste to track the coronavirus. The detection method is now being rolled out by cities with the help of universities.
5. She's worked for the local government, the city health department, the state health department and volunteered in positions to help the city. And she still hasn't been paid for her work.
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You can kiss the snow goodbye (for a bit) and say hello to the sun on Wednesday. Temperatures will climb up to 42 degrees every day for the rest of the week.
Coronavirus was present in US earlier than initially thought: Study
Though the first case of the coronavirus wasn’t identified in the U.S. until January, a new study suggests that the novel disease was present earlier in the country than first thought.
A study published Monday in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases conducted by researchers with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that the novel virus was present in the United States as early as mid-December 2019.
The conclusion is based on blood donations from the Red Cross from nine states, including Washington, Oregon, California, Connecticut, Iowa, Massachusetts, Michigan, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin.
More specifically, evidence of SARS-CoV-2, the scientific name for the novel virus, was present in 106 of the 7,389 blood donations, which were collected between Dec. 13, 2019, and Jan 17, 2020, according to the study.