TUESDAY NEWS HIT - A heated debate between parents at a Grosse Pointe schools meeting Monday underscored the growing tension in the U.S. this summer - to require masks or not to require masks.
On one side were parents upset the district would not be enforcing a mask mandate. And on the other side were parents that supported a more lax policy toward mitigating health measures like social distancing and face coverings.
"Everybody wants to be back in-person learning, but I don't understand why we do not have mitigation strategies. Why would we not have our youngest learners who are not vaccinated being around a bunch of people who don't want to wear masks?" said one woman.
Both the state and the federal government recommend masks in the fall for students. Ann Arbor is requiring them, while Utica is not. Detroit and Dearborn have yet to make decisions, but at least Detroit looks like it will require them.
The debate over masks in schools appears to be taking hold as one of the flashpoint issues for many at this stage in the COVID-19 pandemic. Vaccine rates are still too low and the surge of new cases and hospitalizations are starting to worry health officials in Michigan.
While masks have proven to be a significant tool in curbing the spread of the virus, most states have stopped short of mandating them again - although some have. Even as universities and government agencies start mandating vaccines, they've yet to have full approval from the U.S. government.
Further complicating the problem is who is eligible for the vaccine. Kids age 11 and under cannot get the shot - yet. This is why the CDC and Michigan health officials recommend masks for the upcoming school year.
"In a pre-Covid world, we used to operate with a certain degree of risk assessment and common sense. So everyone wants to follow the science, but what does the science say about the masks? Do they work? The CDC says that they do," said another parent. "But a while back, Fauci said that they didn't. Now we know the virus particles are smaller than the weaves in the masks themselves."
In the early stages of the pandemic, the CDC said masks weren't necessary to curbing infection rates - but shifted its stance in April after new evidence came out showing how COVID-19 spread. More recently, the CDC reverted to an older policy of recommended everyone - including those vaccinated - wear masks in highly infectious areas.
This comes after a new study found the Delta variant, the latest strain to mutate from the original virus, could move between vaccinated people.
3 shot after dispute between couple turns into wild shootout
Three people were shot and are now in critical condition after an apparent fight between a couple escalated into a gunfight at a Detroit motel. Preliminary information from police say the brothers of the girlfriend and her boyfriend are all in the hospital after the shooting early Tuesday morning.
While they were traveling to the hospital, the brothers also got into an accident with a Southfield police vehicle. The scene unfolded outside the Deluxe Inn Motel around 1 a.m. in Detroit, located near Grand River and Winston. Police said it started when a boyfriend and girlfriend got into a fight at the motel, prompting the woman to call her two brothers.
After they arrived, police said the boyfriend came out shooting and struck one of the brothers. The other brother, who is driving a red Dodge Ram drives it into the boyfriend and pins him against the wall. More gunfire spilled from the scene. At one point, according to police, a brother gets the boyfriend's gun and shoots him.
From there, the two brothers hop in a different car and travel to the hospital on Greenfield and Eight Mile when they get into an accident with a Southfield police car. The boyfriend ended up in a different hospital. As per police protocol, the series of events reported is preliminary information and is subject to change. There were deputies from Oak Park, Southfield, and Detroit all at the scene.
Video catches woman dancing on DPD cruiser, sparking questions
A video circulating online this weekend caught a woman dancing on top of a Detroit police cruiser and another woman dancing in front of the vehicle. It happened at a ruckus party on Detroit's east side this weekend. While the video sparked buzz online, it was the police officer's decision not to engage that brought up questions.
"Had they driven off with this young lady on the very top of the car dancing, had they drove off and she rolled off and was injured, then I would be asking the question, 'Was that the right decision to make?'" Chief James White said.
White addressed the video Monday during a press conference, arguing there were no easy answers to the question of what officers should have done. Residents that saw the video said it was "totally unacceptable" and warranted an arrest. "I look at it like this," Kierra Wilson. "The cops are working to protect us but at the end of the day they had a good show."
Officers that spoke with FOX 2 anonymously were divided on the issue. Some would have found a way to go after the woman and arrest her for disorderly conduct. But others said there wasn't much more they could do in that situation. White commended the officer for his restraint.
Black Bottom gets historical marker
On Monday community leaders, historians, and those who called Detroit's famous Black Bottom home, gathered to celebrate the dedication of a historical marker to honor the once-famous neighborhood and to recall the truth about its past.
"Detroit's historic Black Bottom running from Gratiot to Larned, from St. Aubin to Brush before it was buried, wiped away by I-75," said Rochelle Riley. "'They paved paradise and put in a parking lot' - and a highway." Other residents of the former neighborhood made it clear that celebrating the moment didn't erase the pain of losing their community.
"There were at least 350 thriving businesses serving the families living in this beloved neighborhood," said Riley, director of arts, culture, and entrepreneurship, city of Detroit. "With music in its' DNA, Detroit's small, all-Black community served as a backdrop for thriving clubs and bars. It was dubbed 'Detroit's Black Wall Street.'"
The new marker helps us "tell our stories" the CEO of Motown Museum and a member of the Michigan Historical Commission said. "If we don't tell our stories, someone else will tell them and our truths will be lost."
COVID-19 hospitalizations on the rise in Metro Detroit
Southeast Michigan's honeymoon from the coronavirus appears to be over as case rates took a quick turn back up, and hospitalizations in Metro Detroit followed. "Unfortunately we are still in the middle of a pandemic. We are seeing our cases, unfortunately, going in the wrong direction," Michigan's Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said.
That's being felt in southeast Michigan where Dr. Dennis Cunningham, the Assistant Medical Director of Infection Prevention at Henry Ford Health Systems, said most of the people they're treating have not been vaccinated. "Our numbers have seen an increase from last week.
Among the five hospital systems, we have approximately 70 patients admitted with COVID right now. The vast majority of them are unvaccinated," Dr. Dennis Cunningham.
That's true at Beaumont Hospital too, where Dr. Christopher Carpenter, the Chair of the Department of Internal Medicine & Infectious Disease Specialist, said unvaccinated people are the majority of people being admitted as the highly contagious Delta variant spreads. The concern now is in our children who are under the age of 12 and can't get vaccinated.
What else we're watching
- The Oakland County Sheriff is honoring nine citizens and a collection of deputies whose acts of service earned them a commendation. Michael Bouchard will award the recipients Tuesday morning at the county's Board of Commissioners Auditorium.
- Michigan is poised to get over $8 billion from the bipartisan infrastructure package that appears to have enough votes in the U.S. Senate. Whether it clears enough legislative hurdles remains to be seen.
- Meijer is offering a $10 coupon off any purchase to college students who get their vaccines at any of the company's stores. The incentive program runs through Sept. 30.
- Police in West Michigan handcuffed a Black real estate agent, his client, and the client's son after a neighbor called 911 believing they were burglarizing the home. They were on a tour to see if the home would be a good place to purchase.
- Childhood vaccinations rates continue to fall, worrying public health officials that see a deluge of misinformation and skepticism about science making it harder to convince parents to get their children protected.
Live on FOX 2
Cloudy conditions are expected to hold until the afternoon when sunny skies and hot temperatures accompanying them return to the forecast. But a storm with damaging winds is brewing in the west that could take a direction towards Metro Detroit.
CDC urges against travel to Israel, France, other nations as COVID-19 delta variant spreads
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in the U.S., the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new travel guidance Monday, adding several countries to the "Do Not Travel" list.
The advisories warn against travel by unvaccinated travelers unless their trips are necessary.
The government has maintained a strict observance of the pandemic situation across the globe, adding new nations to the list as their numbers climb in the face of the delta variant.
Health officials added Israel, Thailand, French Polynesia and several other countries to its list of "Level 4: Very High" risk travel destinations. At the same time, the U.S. State Department issued a Level 4: "Do Not Travel" advisory for Iceland and France.