Record Numbers Of People In Michigan File For Unemployment

Mar 27, 2020
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A record 129,000 Michiganders filed claims for unemployment benefits last week amid fallout from jobs lost due to the virus outbreak.

The number of applications shattered the previous high of 77,000 in January 2009, during the Great Recession.

Applications for the week ending March 21 rose more than 23-fold from the week before and represent 3% of Michigan's total workers who are eligible for jobless benefits.

New Michigan COVID-19 Stats: In One Day Deaths Are Up 28%, Cases Up 53%

Mar 26, 2020
AP Photo/Paul Sancya

NEW (Posted Afternoon of March 27):

New numbers released by the State of Michigan show that total deaths from COVID-19 are now at 92. That's a 53% increase in deaths in one day. (On Thursday, March 26th, deaths were at 60.) 

Total cases are up 28% in one day. Today there are 3,657 cases. That's up from 2,856 Thursday. 

Berrien County has 18 cases, Cass County has 1, Van Buren County has 3 and St. Joseph County still has none reported. 

Detroit has 1,000+ cases.

The global coronavirus pandemic has brought water shutoffs in Detroit and communities across the nation into sharp focus at a crucial time when officials are urging Americans to practice basic hand-washing techniques to stop the spread.

Water advocates and elected officials argue it’s impossible for families to follow the hygienic standards outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization when they don’t have water in their homes.

Members of Congress and national organizations are pushing for federal legislation and action to protect residents facing high water bills and shutoffs amid the crisis.


EMPIRE, MICH. (AP) — Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan has closed all of its restrooms after vandals ransacked them and made off with toilet paper and hand sanitizer, two items made scarce by the coronavirus pandemic.

Park Superintendent Scott Tucker says vandals unrolled entire rolls of toilet paper and broke plastic dispensers to steal bags full of hand sanitizer over the weekend.

The park locked all of its restrooms Monday because they lack items needed for visitors to safely use them.

Ford Steps Up To Help Produce Medical Equipment

Mar 24, 2020
AP Photo

Ford Motor Company is working with 3-M and GE to speed up production of medical equipment for health care workers and patients. 

Jim Baumbick is with Ford.

He says the equipment includes high-tech respirators and face shields for health care workers, and ventilators for COVID-19 patients to help them breathe.

New information released by the State of Michigan indicates there are now 2,295 cases of COVID-19 and 43 deaths. That's up from 1,791 cases and 24 deaths as of Tuesday, March 24th. Berrien County has 10 cases.


DETROIT (AP) — A Detroit police captain has become the second member of the department to die of complications from the coronavirus.

Police Chief James Craig said Tuesday that the captain was in his 50s. He was not believed to have any underlying health issues.

Michigan Governor Issues Stay-At-Home Order, In Effect As Of Today

Mar 23, 2020


Gov. Whitmer issues a "stay at home' order that goes into effect just after midnight and lasts 3 weeks. Whitmer says COVID-19 cases doubled over the weekend and the disease continues to spread exponentially. She criticizes the national governement's response.

She says, "Do not panic. Do not hoard."

This order means schools will be closed at least thorugh April 13.

"Our action will save lives," Whitmer said.

"Doing this now shortens the time our economy suffers."

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

DETROIT (AP) — Two men, one from Macomb County and one from Kent County, have died from complications due to the coronavirus, bringing the number of fatalities in Michigan to eight.

Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel announced Saturday night that a 52-year-old man with underlying health conditions died at a hospital in Clinton Township. 

In Kent County, the local health department released a statement that confirmed the death of a 71-year-old man, also with underlying health conditions. 

Jennifer Weingart / WVPE Public Radio

The spread of COVID-19 is forcing many cultural organizations and artists to cancel events and close their doors to the public.

As part of the weekly series MichMash, Jake Neher and Cheyna Roth speak with WDET’s Ryan Patrick Hooper about what this means for the future of the arts in Michigan.

AP Photo/David Eggert

DETROIT (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says she has no plans to tell Michigan residents to strictly stay at home to cut the spread of the cornonavirus.

Whitmer's comments were made a day after the California governor told residents to stay inside except for essential jobs, errands and some exercise.

The governor has tried to reduce the virus by limiting crowds at popular gathering spots and closing schools. Bars, fitness clubs and theaters are closed, and restaurants can only prepare food for carry-out.

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE


Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks, Michigan, has posted on Facebook that the business will make hand sanitizer.

Lake Michigan Vintners tasting room
Jennifer Weingart / WVPE


  With coronavirus closures Michigan’s only degree earning wine and viticulture program is facing the challenges of colleges and wineries.

Wineries across Michigan are closed as part of the restaurant and bar closure instituted by the Governor to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Lake Michigan College has a Wine and Viticulture program where students also work in a college owned vineyard, winery and tasting room.

NEW: Michigan Virus Cases Jump To 336, Including 3 Deaths

Mar 19, 2020
AP Photo/Paul Sancya


DETROIT (AP) — Michigan has signed off on $20 million in grants and loans to thousands of small businesses harmed by the coronavirus.

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File


DETROIT (AP) — Detroit's three automakers have agreed to partial factory shutdowns, deep cleaning of equipment and longer periods between shifts to head off union demands for U.S. plant closures due to the coronavirus threat.

The agreements came Tuesday night after union officials spoke individually with General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler.

The companies also agreed to “extensive plans” to avoid member coming in contact with one another, the United Auto Workers union said in a statement.

The United Auto Workers union said earlier in the day that it wanted the automakers to shut down their factories for two weeks to keep its members safe from the spreading coronavirus.

PREVIOUS POST:  DETROIT (AP) — The United Auto Workers union wants Detroit's three automakers to shut down their factories for two weeks to keep its members safe from the spreading coronavirus.

Credit Provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention/ Alissa Eckert, MS


Governor Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order that effectively shuts down many businesses where people congregate. The list includes bars and restaurants, gyms and health clubs, as well as theaters and other performance venues. Restaurants may still offer delivery and take-out service. Last week, the governor banned most gatherings of more than 250 people as part of the state’s response to the coronavirus. 

She also ordered that more people qualify for unemployment benefits during the global pandemic.

 Michigan's Lt. Governor confirmed the information in a tweet. 

Jennifer Weingart/WVPE

Have you been stocking up on supplies in light of the coronavirus? Many in Michiana are doing just that.  WVPE's Jennifer Weingart found that out the hard way when she tried to go shopping at the Aldi's in Benton Harbor and found plenty of bare shelves. Share your images with us, if you have had a similar experience. Send photos to wvpe@wvpe.org.