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

The Movement At Home lineup is unveiled, Ford Motor Co. prepares for President Trump’s visit, and Plymouth plans a Memorial Day celebration with social distancing
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DJ Carl Craig is photographed at the 2019 Movement Music Festival in Detroit. This year, the festival is going virtual with Movement at Home, and Craig is among the artists participating in the event. // Photograph by Steven Pham / Movement Music Festival

John Hopkins University is now reporting 1.52 million COVID-19 cases and 91,570 deaths in the U.S. By tomorrow, CNN reports that every state in the country will be partially reopened. Today, the Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it has canceled its Met gala for 2020, Sesame Street shared its plan to hold a town hall program about the coronavirus for kids and parents on May 30, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said that his state will allow Memorial Day ceremonies of 10 people or less. Here’s what’s happening in metro Detroit:

The state of Michigan today reported 435 new COVID-19 cases and 102 deaths. Following a review of old death certificates, today’s data includes 43 additional deaths. So far, the state has seen 52,350 cases and 5,017 deaths. [

All 7.7 million Michigan voters will be mailed absentee ballot applications for the August and November elections. According to the Detroit News, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson, who announced the news today, says residents shouldn’t have to “choose between their health and their right to vote.” [Detroit News

Movement At Home, a virtual festival put on by Movement Music Festival from May 23-25, has released its lineup. Streaming on, Twitch, Facebook, and Youtube, the festival will feature artists such as Carl Craig, Claude VonStroke, Dez Andrés, Loco Dice, Lucy, and Matthew Dear. Virtual afterparties will also take place on Saturday and Sunday. Movement At Home is accepting charitable donations during the festival, which will benefit the MusiCares COVID-19 Relief Fund. [Movement Music Festival] 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed a new executive order, extending her previous order that expands access to prescriptions during the pandemic. Under the order, pharmacists can dispense emergency refills of prescriptions for up to 60 days, require insurers cover early refills for up to 90 days’ worth of supply, and dispense COVID-19 treatments according to approved protocols. “As we continue to suppress the spread of COVID-19, Michiganders need to continue to stay safer at home,” Whitmer says. “By allowing patients to get a refill of their prescriptions for up to 60 days from pharmacists, people can reduce their time traveling and in turn lower the chance of a second wave of COVID-19.” []

New data shows that hundreds of Michiganders were infected with COVID-19 before the state confirmed the first case on March 10. Metro Times says the undetected spread, in part, could explain why Michigan was hit hard by the pandemic. [Metro Times

Ahead of President Donald Trump’s visit to a Ford Motor Co. plant in Ypsilanti tomorrow, officials with the auto company are sharing their safety protocols with the White House. “In preparation for the visit, we’ve shared with the White House all of Ford’s safety protocols, including our self-assessment, thermal scanning, and manufacturing playbook, which outlines our policy that everyone wears PPE,” a Ford spokesperson told CNN today. The visit is part of Trump’s tour of facilities that have provided personal protective equipment and medical equipment during the pandemic. During his last two trips, Trump did not wear a mask. When asked today if he planned to wear a mask when visiting Ford, Trump said, “I don’t know. I haven’t even thought of it. It depends. In certain areas I would, in certain areas I don’t. But I will certainly look at it.” [CNN

The annual 99.5 WYCD Hoedown music festival has been canceled. The festival — which was to feature artists such as Rascal Flatts, Chase Rice, Avenue Beat, and Rob Stone this year — was scheduled for Aug. 28 at DTE Energy Music Theatre. Refunds are available at point of purchase. [99.5 WYCD

Consumers Energy, Google, and Uplight are partnering to provide Google Nest thermostats to up to 100,000 Michigan households so residents can save energy and money during the pandemic. “Consumers Energy is committed to Michigan’s success, and we’re excited to help so many of our friends and neighbors during these challenging times by putting this powerful technology into their hands at no cost,” says Patti Poppe, Consumers Energy’s president and CEO. “We want to give our customers more control to manage their energy use, helping reduce their bills while protecting the environment.” The initiative, which will deliver the thermostats through July 31, is part of Consumers Energy’s Clean Energy Plan. [Consumers Energy

Honey Bee Market in Southwest Detroit is closing from May 25-31 to give staff a paid vacation, Eater Detroit reports. In response to recent customer demand, some part-time employees have seen their hours increase from 30 to 60 hours a week. [Eater Detroit]  

While the Plymouth Memorial Day Parade will not take place this year, the city and the Plymouth Lions Club are still planning to honor local heroes. On May 25, a short, private ceremony will be held at the city’s Veterans Park. The ceremony, which veterans can watch from outside their vehicles alongside the park, will include the laying of wreaths and the playing of taps. Starting at 10 a.m., vehicles carrying veterans will then make their way through the neighborhoods of Plymouth so residents can show their support from their porches. [Plymouth Downtown Development Authority

Appearing on NBC’s Late Night with Seth Meyers last night, Gov. Whitmer said images of recent protests at the Capitol building in Lansing don’t reflect “what the average person in Michigan is all about or what we are doing.” The Detroit Free Press reports that governor also reflected on her nickname “Big Gretch” and the recent Saturday Night Live sketch that featured Cecily Strong playing Whitmer. [Detroit Free Press]  

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