Metro Detroit’s Latest COVID-19 Updates: April 30

A quick look at what’s happening locally
Michigan dairy - covid-19
Kroger Michigan Dairy and Michigan Milk Producers Association are partnering to donate rescued milk to food banks during the pandemic. // Photograph courtesy of Kroger

The CDC is now reporting 1.03 million COVID-19 cases in the U.S. and 60,057 deaths. According to CNN, at least 31 states will partially reopen in the coming days. Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp allowed some businesses to reopen last week and is not extending the state’s stay-at-home order; West Virginia restaurants, salons, and churches can open on May 4; and most of Florida’s restaurants and retail shops can start letting a reduced number of customers inside starting May 4. Meanwhile, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine is extending his state’s stay-at-home order, and Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has extended his state’s stay-at-home order until May 15. In other news, Frontier airlines will require passengers to wear face masks on flights starting May 8 — this comes days after JetBlue’s announcement of a similar policy. Plus, this year’s Little League World Series, scheduled Aug. 20-30, has been canceled, and Tyson Foods is temporarily closing its plant in Dakota City, Nebraska — one of the largest beef process plants in the country — for cleaning. Here’s what’s happening in metro Detroit: 

The state of Michigan reported 980 new COVID-19 cases and 119 deaths today. Due to a review of old death records, today’s data includes 40 additional deaths. So far, the state has seen 41,379 cases and 3,789 deaths. [Michigan.gov

The Michigan House voted today to not extend Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s state of emergency, which is due to expire tonight. Whitmer had asked the legislature to extend the state of emergency another 28 days so that she could appropriately respond to the threat of the coronavirus. While the state legislatures gathered to discuss extending the state of emergency, hundreds of protestors entered the Capitol building in Lansing to protest Whitmer’s orders. According to NBC, the protest was called the “American Patriot Rally,” and it was organized by an organization that goes by Michigan United for Liberty. Like Operation Gridlock on April 15, the protestors donned Make America Great Again hats and Donald Trump signs. Rep. Haley Stevens of Michigan’s 11th district responded to the demonstration by tweeting, “Today’s display in Lansing was reckless, needlessly divisive, and in direct contradiction to the guidance we have from medical experts. We are better than this.” [MLive / NBC / Twitter: Rep. Haley Stevens]

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan was joined by Joe Tsai, co-founder and executive vice chairman of Alibaba Group, Inc., and owner of the Brooklyn Nets, during his daily press conference today. After partnering with Duggan’s office, the Joe and Clara Tsai Foundation decided to donate 350,000 KN5 masks and 100,000 medical goggles to the city. The Pistons organization is arranging logistics and support to ensure the items are delivered to Detroit’s COVID-19 testing centers and homeless shelters as well as to front line workers in the city’s transportation and police departments. Duggan went on to share that the city has now seen 1,036 deaths from COVID-19. As of today, there are 12 beds filled at the TCF Center field hospital, and there are 700 empty hospital beds in Detroit — a number that the city doesn’t even see in a typical year. Duggan encouraged the governor to open up the rest of the medical system. “I think the day-to-day healthcare of a lot of Detroiters is being neglected,” he said, noting that the black and white healthcare disparity will get even worse when people can’t get into their doctor or hospital. Watch the entire conference on the City of Detroit Government Facebook page. [Facebook: City of Detroit Government] 

Featuring guests such as Big Sean, Jeff Daniels, and Hill Harper, the Artists Relief Telethon will air at 7 p.m. tonight to raise money for the Artists Crisis Emergency Fund, which supports creatives in Wayne and Oakland counties who have lost income during the pandemic. Detroit Arts and Culture Director Rochelle Riley and author Mitch Albom are hosting the event. Tune in to Channel 21 in Detroit, Comcast Channel 900, detroitmi.gov/ace, and the Detroit Public Television Facebook page to watch. [Detroit Arts, Culture & Entrepreneurship

Kroger Michigan Dairy and Michigan Milk Producers Association are partnering to donate rescued milk to organizations with the Food Bank Council of Michigan. The partnership is part of Kroger’s expanded Dairy Rescue Program, which is working with suppliers and farmers across the Midwest and South to process and donate 200,000 gallons of milk to food banks from May through August. As a result of the closure of restaurants and hotels during the pandemic, officials with Kroger say American farmers have been left without buyers. “At a time when dairy farmers have surplus raw milk, we’re doubling down on our mission to reduce hunger and waste,” says Erin Sharp, Kroger’s group vice president of manufacturing. [Kroger / Michigan Milk Producers Association / Food Bank Council of Michigan

As Ford Motor Co. prepares for a phased restart of its global plants, the Dearborn-based auto company is releasing its new global health and safety plans. Ford officials shared today that as employees return to company facilities, they will be required to complete daily online health self-certifications before starting the workday, take a no-touch temperature scan upon arriving at their job, and wear a face mask and other items found in a company-provided care kit. Ford is also increasing its frequency of cleaning and disinfecting in its facilities when they reopen and placing hand sanitation stations throughout its buildings and posting CDC signs with proper handwashing techniques. These standards expand upon those implemented in Ford’s facilitates in China, which have already reopened. “We have gone through and trialed these processes,” says Ford COO Jim Farley. “We’re abiding by our first principles, and we are working with our union and government partners to restart.” While the safety plans are set, exact start dates for most of Ford’s hour and salaried workers have yet to be determined. [Ford Motor Co.

High School Glam Suite, a nonprofit started by Detroit makeup artist Kori C. Fields that provides prom makeovers at no cost, is offering Glam Suite Graduation Boxes to high school students. The boxes, to be sent out in July, will be customized to fit each student’s needs. They may include everything from college dorm bedding for a university-bound student to a magazine subscription for a senior heading to beauty school. “When our board discussed this year’s school cancellation, we decided that despite not having a prom these students still deserve to feel special,” says Fields. “We know the Glam Suite Graduation Boxes cannot take the place of prom, but we want to make sure we create something memorable for our seniors.” To apply for a box, visit this website. [High School Glam Suite

Oakland County Executive David Coulter and the Board of Commissioners announced today that $12 million was added to the county’s small business stabilization fund. Initially, the fund was $3 million, but officials say it was “quickly exhausted” by the city’s small businesses. “This allocation quadruples the first stage of our assistance package and provides an immediate infusion of working capital for our small businesses,” Coulter says. He also shared that the Oakland County Health Division has partnered with local fire departments and EMS to provide COVID-19 testing to independent living facilities. More than 1,200 cases and 313 deaths have come out of the county’s senior living facilities. [Oakgov.com

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