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

Mo Pop Cancels its 2020 festival, protestors gather at the Capitol, and Michigan Medicine encourages patients to return for non-COVID-19 procedures
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mo pop - covid-19
Amid concerns of the pandemic, Mo Pop has canceled its 2020 festival. // Photograph courtesy of Mo Pop

John Hopkins University is reporting 1.41 million cases of COVID-19 and 85,489 deaths in the U.S. According to CNN, at least 48 states will be partially reopened by next week. Yet, there are still concerns about the coronavirus. A new study shows that a rare inflammatory condition in children is likely linked to COVID-19. Called pediatric multisite inflammatory syndrome, The New York Times reports that the condition has been seen in 50 children in European countries such as France, Switzerland, and Spain. The condition has also been seen in states such as Louisiana, Mississippi, California, and New York — the latter of which has seen 100 cases. Experts believe the inflammation appears in children as a delayed reaction to COVID-19. Here’s what’s happening in metro Detroit:  

The state of Michigan today reported 1,191 new COVID-19 cases and 73 deaths. Following a review of old death records, today’s death numbers include 35 additional deaths. So far, the state has seen 49,582 cases and 4,787 deaths. [Michigan.gov

 NPR reports that armed protestors — some of whom were holding signs comparing Gov. Whitmer to Hitler — gathered at the Capitol building in Lansing today for the third planned demonstration against the governor’s executive orders. While concerns about today’s protest were high, the crowd was smaller than expected. That is likely due to the heavy rain as well as Facebook’s removal of the organizer’s private group for inciting violence. [NPR]

 Rep. Elissa Slotkin of Michigan’s 8th District published a piece on Medium today prior to the protest in Lansing that encouraged protestors to refrain from threatening violence to make their point. She tells a story of her friend Jan, a Republican that Slotkin shares is upset with Gov. Whitmer, but would “never, ever wish violence upon her.” Slotkin says, “Maybe the people who are threatening to lynch the Governor think they are being brave. They are not. I wish they could be brave like my friend Jan.” [Medium

Mo Pop has canceled its 2020 festival amid ongoing uncertainty around the pandemic. The Detroit-based festival, which announced its lineup the day after the first COVID-19 case was reported in Michigan, was to take place at Detroit’s Historic Fort Wayne Park this year and feature headliners such as Kahlid and The 1975. In an announcement shared today, Mopop officials said, “for seven straight years we’ve come together for a festival of joy and good times, to celebrate great music and a taste of the amazing character of this city. Not being able to bring it to you for ear eight breaks our hearts, but it’s the right thing to do.” [Mo Pop

General Motors Co. is inviting its U.S. dealers to participate in its Clean program, a new initiative that embraces CDC guidelines to maintain cleanliness in facilities. The dealers who enroll in the program agree to use Environmental Protection Agency-approved cleansers to clean high-traffic areas and new, used, and serviced customer vehicles. “With all of the uncertainty in today’s world, we know that our customers’ expectations have changed and that more will need to be done to meet those expectations,” says Barry Engle, executive vice president and president of GM North America. [General Motors Co.

Literati Bookstore is known for accepting anonymous notes from the public on its in-store typewriter. The offering is so popular it even lead to the creation of the book “Notes Fromm a Public Typewriter” in 2018. Now, the Ann Arbor-based shop has launched a digital typewriter — that clicks and clacks — on its website, and is encouraging visitors to leave messages while Literati’s brick and mortar space remains closed to the public. “…Now more than ever, I want to read the notes our customers often left behind: Notes of love, loss, introspection, hope, and, yes, the occasional fart joke,” says Mike Gustafson, owner of Literati Bookstore. “I feel like we all need an anonymous outlet during these unsettling times.” Click here to leave your note. [Literati Bookstore

Gov. Whitmer has signed an executive order that expands access and capacity for child care service, with priority to essential workers, until June 10, and another that provides standards at nursing homes and other long-term facilities to suppress the spread of the coronavirus. [Michigan.gov

Michigan Medicine at University of Michigan in Ann Arbor is expanding its availability of time-sensitive surgeries, procedures, and clinic appointments. At the height of the pandemic, the medical center put many of these procedures and surgeries on hold to create capacity for COVID-19 patients. Michigan Medicine officials are encouraging patients to seek healthcare for issues not related to the coronavirus. “It is understandable that people have concerns about leaving their homes and being exposed to COVID-19,” says Jeff Desmond, chief medical officer at Michigan Medicine, in a press release. “However, it is just as concerning to us that people may be delaying appropriate care and getting sicker as a result. So we are taking steps, as we always do, to ensure we provide a safe environment for patients and employees in our hospitals and health centers.” Masks will be provided to patients, employees, and visitors, and must be worn at all times. Furniture will also be rearranged to encourage social distancing, and cleaning and disinfecting procedures will be increased. [Michigan Medicine

The 2020 Concours d’Elegance of America has been postponed to 2021. The event, which celebrates “automotive works of art and the people who create them,” was originally scheduled for July 24-26 at The Inn at St. John’s in Plymouth. “Postponing this year’s event was not an easy decision,” says Chairman of the Board, Larry Moss. “With continued health concerns a top priority, we felt it was in the best interest of our Concours’ collectors, partners, volunteers, judges, and spectators to reschedule the event.” Ticket holders can transfer their tickets to next year’s event or receive a refund. [Concours d’Elegance of America

Officials with the Michigan Senate Fiscal Agency say the state’s general fund is expected to face a $2.7 billion deficit during the current fiscal year. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Senate forecast says “both the U.S. and Michigan economies are expected to experience recessionary conditions, largely driven by COVID-19 disruptions.” [Detroit Free Press]

Score Detroit, a nonprofit that connects entrepreneurs with local mentors, has released a downloadable storefront reopening checklist for Michigan small businesses. The three-page guide is intended to help business owners navigate reopening their brick and mortar spaces while following state mandates. The checklist covers business and service model changes, financials, facility capacity issues, marketing and customer engagement, employees, and human resources. [Score Detroit

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