News Update

[COVID-10]WVBI COVID-19 Updat efor July 1, 2020

Governor Whitmer unveiled a return to school guide for the fall in a news conference yesterday. The 60 plus page plan requires preparation and planning for three possible modes of operation: remote learning if the school is in a phase 3 zone of the Michigan Safe Start Plan, an in person plan with strict protocols for Phase 4 and a more flexible plan for Phase 5. Both of the in-school plans either require or recommend that staff and students in grades six to twelve wear masks at all times while in school, except when eating. For younger students, the requirements and recommendations vary, but for the island it appears they would wear masks while in the halls. Right now, we are in a Phase 5 area, so the least restrictive measures will apply this fall unless the designation for our zone changes. The complete plan is available on the WVBI COVID-19 info page.
As a result of recent surges in cases, the Lansing and Grand Rapids zones of the state yesterday saw their so called risk phase heightened—Lansing moved to high and Grand Rapids to medium high. Both regions had been at medium. The risk phase is one of the inputs to determine where a zone fits in the Governor’s reopening plan. For now, there’s no change in that for either region. They both remain in Phase Four.
A hearing on an injunction in the latest litigation over Line Five under the straits ran more than four hours yesterday. There was no ruling from the court, but a previously imposed preliminary injunction remains in effect. It shuts down the normal flow of nearly 23 million gallons of oil per day through the line. The current litigation is the result of something—it is unclear what—dragging across one of the two pipelines causing damage to its protective coating as well as one of the supports for the pipeline.
Daily COVID-19 data reported by state health officials has blipped up again. There were 373 new cases, up from 236 yesterday) and 32 new deaths, up from four yesterday. Total cases in Michigan now stand 63,870. Deaths total 5,947. Seven day moving average of cases is up again to 320. Yhat’s the highest since June 1. Average for deaths is up from 7 to 12.
On the Island, still at 96 tests run. 93 tests results are back. 92 of those are negative. Still only one back as positive. Three tests pending.
In our region, there’s been a third day over day jump in total confirmed cases. After being up 13 over the weekend and five on Monday, another eight were added yesterday, including one in Charlevoix bring the total to 260. Death toll is stable at 21. Case increases were in Grand Traverse, where they are up two to 46, Benzie where they are up three to ten, Charlevoix is up one to 23, Kalkaska up one to 21, and Leelanau up one to 17. Full county by county data are in today’s script. [Otsego confirmed case count is at 104 with 10 deaths. Emmet is at 22 with two deaths. Grand Traverse is at 46 cases with six deaths. Charlevoix has 23 cases including one from the island, and two deaths. Kalkaska has 21 confirmed cases two deaths. Antrim 17 cases, still no deaths, Leelanau at 17, no deaths. And Benzie is at 10 cases and no deaths.] Up in the U-P, they are up another eight four cases after adding nine over the weekend and four yesterday. That brings the total north of the bridge to 161. Death toll in the UP is stable at 18.