Metro Detroit’s Latest COVID-19 Updates: April 14

A quick look at what’s happening locally
Detroit Metro Airport - covid-19
The McNamara Terminal at Detroit Metro Airport is pictured above. The airport will receive nearly $142 million in funding through the CARES Act to help it get through the pandemic. // Photograph courtesy of Wayne County Airport Authority/Vito Palmisano

The CDC is now reporting 579,005 COVID-19 cases and 22,252 deaths in the U.S. The rapid spread of the coronavirus, the lack of medical resources across states, and inefficient testing and tracing procedures remain the biggest issues preventing the end of shut-ins in America. In an interview today with The Associated Press, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said, “we have to have something in place that is efficient and that we can rely on, and we’re not there yet.” Fauci also said that opening the country after May 1 — which is after the federal social distancing guidelines expire — isn’t plausible for many states in the U.S. Here’s what’s happening in metro Detroit:

The state of Michigan is reporting 1,366 new COVID-19 cases and 166 deaths today. In total, the state has seen 27,0001 cases and 1,768 deaths. [Michigan.gov]

Ninety Michigan airports will receive $256 million in funding through the CARES Act — the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act passed by Congress last month — to help them respond to the coronavirus crisis. Detroit Metropo Airport in Romulus will receive the most funding, with nearly $142 million secured for the airport. “The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted every business sector — big and small — across Michigan and these grants will provide much-needed resources to help airports across the state weather this public health crisis and be prepared when more people resume air travel,” says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, noting that Michigan congressional leaders were responsible for securing the funding for the airports. [Michigan.gov]

A new report from real estate broker Redfin says that a $1,200 stimulus check — the average amount that will be distributed to adults who make less than $75,000 annually — from the federal government’s CARES Act will help 56% of Detroiters cover their monthly mortgage and utilities. According to the report, a check of $2,400 — the amount being distributed to couples earning below $150,000 — will help nearly 90% of Detroiters cover their mortgage and utilities for a month. The broker reports the median monthly mortgage payment in the city as $927. [Redfin]

The recently launched 2020 Coronavirus Stimulus Payment website — poverty.umich.edu/stimulus-checks — aims to share need-to-know information about the federal stimulus checks with Michiganders. Visitors can learn if they’re eligible for a check, how much money they’ll get, and how to avoid scams related to the stimulus payment. For individuals who aren’t already set up to receive a check through direct deposit, there’s also information on bank accounts, filing tax returns, and sharing your address with the IRS. The site is developed through a partnership with Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan and Civilla, a nonprofit design firm based in Detroit. [2020 Coronavirus Stimulus Payment]

Forgoing his daily afternoon press conference in Eastern Market, Mayor Mike Duggan will instead address the city’s budget shortfalls amid the COVID-19 pandemic in a live broadcast at 7 p.m. tonight. As the city’s income tax and casino revenues have taken a hit, Duggan projects that the city will see $300 million in losses over the next year and a half. The broadcast can be watched on channel 10 and 21 (Comcast) and channel 99 (AT&T), on the City of Detroit Government Facebook page, and detroitmi.gov. [City of Detroit]

General Motors Co. has started production of its Ventec Life Systems V+Pro critical care ventilators at the auto company’s facility in Kokomo, Indiana. The first 600 ventilators will be shipped by the end of April, and almost half of the company’s 30,000 order from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is expected to be ready by the end of June. The entire order should be complete by the end of August. [General Motors Co.]

Hyundai Motor America is expanding its COVID-19 support efforts. As part of the motor company’s Hope on Wheels program, Hyundai is providing a $100,000 grant and 10,000 test kits to the city of Detroit Department of Health. Officials with the company say that Hyundai and its more than 825 dealers across the country have provided financial assistance to local organizations, food donations, face mask production, and loaned vehicles during the pandemic. [Hyundai Motor America]

Blake’s Hard Cider is the latest distillery to offer online ordering and shipping. Customers can visit blakeshardcider.com/delivery to place an order and ship it to anywhere in the country. “This pandemic has really given us some business challenges, but it has also presented a great opportunity for creativity too,” says Andrew Blake, owner and founder of Blake’s Hard Cider. “As a result, we have pulled ahead our plans to offer online availability and shipping in order to meet the demand from our fans.” [Blake’s Hard Cider

Following last night’s announcement that Pistons Owner Tom Gore has purchased 100,000 PPE masks for the City of Detroit, the basketball team has launched a new initiative on its website that highlights restaurants in Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties that are still offering carryout, delivery, and curbside pickup during the pandemic. Simply visit nba.com/pistons/pistons-open-for-business to search by restaurant name, city, or delivery options. Restaurants that wish to participate can fill out a form offered through the website. [Open for Business]

Officials with Henry Ford Health System are sharing details about uplifting sendoffs for COVID-19 patients who are ready to leave the hospital. Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’” is played every time a COVID-19 patient leaves the health system’s Detroit, Macomb, and Clinton Township hospitals. “The song is a sign of hope, a reminder to patients to never give and a motivational thank-you to tired, never-stop-trying team members,” says nurse Veronica Hall, president of Henry Ford Hospital. As of this morning, Henry Ford had discharged 1,151 COVID-19 patients. [Henry Ford Health System

Researchers with Oakland University’s Department of Biological Sciences are seeking participants for a new study that identifies COVID-19 symptoms and tracks their development. To participate, visit this site to anonymously answer questions about symptoms and your background, such as age, sex, country of origin, and ethnicity. are asked to fill out an anonymous online survey. Officials with the department say they are seeking responses from individuals who have been or are currently diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as healthy individuals who would like to track symptoms and monitor if they contract the coronavirus. “This data will expand our knowledge of COVID-19 and may also help us determine whether certain anecdotally reported symptoms, such as loss of smell and taste, are truly associated with the disease,” says Luis Villa-Diaz, assistant professor of biological sciences and principal investigator of the study. “The more we can distinguish COVID-19 symptoms from those of other respiratory diseases, the more effective our diagnostics will be.” [Oakland University

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