LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The number of new coronavirus cases in Michigan topped 8,400 Saturday, the highest daily total since early December. The health department also reported 57 deaths from COVID-19, including 51 that were identified through a records check and had occurred earlier. The weekly number of new cases was 24% higher than the previous week. At the same time, vaccines are being administered statewide, with the minimum age dropping to 16 Monday. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says there's light at the end of the tunnel — but Michigan still is “in the tunnel.”
Michigan is facing another public health threat on top of COVID-19 with soaring domestic violence cases. Advocates say an inability to fundraise during COVID-19, having limited shelter space available and a statewide effort to limit incarcerations because of COVID has created a perfect storm of need and danger for victims. The Michigan Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence represents 73 shelters across the state. In the year leading up to October, the coalition received 1,300 calls on its helpline. In the next two months it received 1,250 calls and then in January, it had 1,000 calls for domestic and sexual violence assistance. Its executive director, Sarah Prout Rennie, says she believes the biggest surge hasn’t arrived yet.