Metro Detroit’s Latest COVID-19 Updates: May 12

A quick look at what’s happening locally
MGM grand - covid-19
MGM Grand — which has temporarily closed its locations during the pandemic, including its Detroit casino and hotel pictured here — released a seven-point safety plan today. // Photograph courtesy of MGM Grand Detroit

John Hopkins University is now reporting 1.36 million cases of COVID-19 and 81,847 deaths in the U.S. Today, House Democrats unveiled the Heroes Act, a new $3 trillion COVID-19 stimulus bill. CNN reports that the bill, if passed, would be the largest relief package in history and provide nearly $1 trillion to state and local governments, a $200 billion fund for essential worker hazard pay, $75 billion for testing efforts, and a second round of $1,200 payments to Americans — with no more than $6,000 per household. The House is expected to vote on the legislation on May 15. Here’s what’s happening in metro Detroit: 


The state of Michigan today reported 459 new COVID-19 cases and 90 new deaths. Following a review of old death certificates, today’s numbers include 19 additional deaths. In total, the state has seen 48,021 cases and 4,674 deaths. []  


The Commerce Twp.-based founders behind Ugly Christmas Sweater and TV Store Online have launched a new online store called Mask Market, which offers customers the opportunity to order custom face masks. To create a personalized or branded mask, visit the site and upload your image, logo, or artwork using its design tool. Orders ship in one to three days. For each mask purchases, the company is donating one mask to a front line worker. [Mask Market]  


Former Michigan Senator Morris Hood III has died from COVID-19 at the age of 54. Hood was a senator for Michigan’s 3rd district in Dearborn, Melvindale, and Detroit for eight years, and he served three terms representing Michigan’s 11th district in the House of Representatives. “Morris was a dear friend. He was a proud Detroiter and continued the family commitment to the service of his community,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in a statement released today. “There was not a more loyal friend, thoughtful advisor, or quicker wit. Mo was the type of guy that lit up the room and made you glad to be there. He is doing that in his next life now and those of us left here are better having known him. May he rest in peace. My love and prayers go to his beloved family and many friends who grieve this tough loss.” []


Archbishop Allen Vigneron released guidelines for public Mass in the Archdiocese of Detroit to begin again. The guidelines, which can read in full here, state that a parish in the Archdiocese of Detroit is permitted to resume public Masses on May 19 and all parishes in the Archdiocese of Detroit will resume public Mass by May 29. Face coverings must be worn in and around churches, churches are not to exceed 25% of their total capacity, and social distancing — including limiting the number of pews that are open for seating and maintaining 6-feet of distance while in line for Holy Communion — will be observed. “The Mass you may attend in the weeks ahead will look and feel quite different from the Mass you remember from two months ago,” said Vigneron in a letter shared on the Archdiocese of Detroit website today. “It will be imperative for all of us – pastors, parish staff, volunteers, and all the faithful – to work together during these times.” [Archdiocese of Detroit


According to new research from Poverty Solutions at the University of Michigan, Detroit needs more eviction protections in place as unemployment due to the pandemic has made it more difficult for people in the city to pay their rent or mortgage. Even before the pandemic, 13% of Detroit residents reported being evicted or forced to leave their housing in 2017. Poverty Solutions officials also say that failing to ensure Detroiters can stay in their homes can lead to an increase in COVID-19 cases in the city as social distancing requires individuals have a stable place to live. [Poverty Solutions – University of Michigan


MGM Resorts — which has temporarily closed its locations during the pandemic, including its casino in Detroit — has unveiled a seven-point safety plan that will go into effect when the company reopens. Under the plan, employees will be required to go through health screenings and temperature checks. Staff is also being trained in how to assist guests should they come down with COVID-19 symptoms while at an MGM property. Guests will be encouraged to wear masks, and staff will be required to wear them. MGM will also implement social distancing through floor guides, increase the number of hand washing and sanitation stations on its properties, improve air quality in its buildings and guest rooms, and activate protocols should a guest or employee test positive for the coronavirus. Finally, MGM Resorts is exploring new digital opportunities, such as a contactless check-in process. [MGM Resorts


Broadway in Detroit has postponed a number of its touring shows — including Summer: The Donna Summer MusicalAin’t Too Proud – The Life and Times of the Temptations, and Beautiful – The Carole King Musical — to next year. The postponed shows were originally scheduled between June-September of this year. [Broadway in Detroit


Michigan officials are preparing for another protest at the state Capitol on May 14, the Detroit Free Press reports. Groups associated with the rally, as well as past protests held at the Capitol building, have reportedly been circulating violent messages about Gov. Whitmer, and now Michigan Senate Republican leaders are denouncing their threats. The paper reports that Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said today that anybody bringing firearms into the Capitol to intimidate or threaten anyone else should be “properly handcuffed, properly taken in [and] fingerprinted.” [Detroit Free Press


According to the state, more than 120 Michigan state-chartered banks and credit unions have now provided Paycheck Protection Program loans to small businesses. The program was established through the U.S. Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act to provide forgivable loans to businesses facing hardships during the pandemic. In total, more than $16 billion in forgivable loans have been provided to more than 110,000 businesses in Michigan. Officials with the U.S. Small Business Administration say the average loan is nearly $147,000. []   


Wayne County Health Communities (WCHC) is launching COVID-19 testing on May 18 at its Hamtramck Health Center, located at 9021 Joseph Campau Ave., and its Wayne Health Center, located at 33030 Van Born Road. Both clinics will be able to test current WCHC patients and local residents at no cost. To make an appointment for testing, call 313-871-1926. [Wayne County Health Communities