WVBI COVID-19 Update for June 11, 2020

Defunding the police was discussed at a Grand Rapids virtual townhall meeting on policing yesterday. Grand Rapids Police Chief Eric Payne was questioned about decisions to use aggressive measures against protestors during rioting in the city. He said those measures weren’t used until police came under attack. City Manager Mark Washington said he wasn’t prepared to move to defunding the police, especially with no plans on how to maintain public safety. Police funding in Grand Rapids is also protected by a charter amendment that sets it at no less than 32% of the general fund—a requirement that came into place in the nineties as part of a tax increase.
In Lansing, Democrat lawmakers in the Senate are advancing a resolution to declare racism a public health crisis. They say this is in response to the disproportionate way in which the COVID-19 pandemic is harming the state’s black population. Black residents account for about 13.6 percent of the state’s population but 40 percent of all coronavirus deaths in the state.
As businesses re-open across the state, mask wearing has become a flash point. The orders allowing reopening require them inside, but some customers object while others are concerned about hose who do not wear them. On the island, people are asked to use masks when in public places unless they are sitting down and not moving around. Experts say that wearing masks and social distancing are critical to avoiding spread of the virus that causes COVID-19.
As Mackinac Island reopens, they are asking visitors to B-Y-O-P-P-E. That’s Bring your own personal protective equipment. They’ve posted signs encouraging visitors to follow safety procedures that are illustrated with examples of their iconic horses following them. Be sure to wash your hooves. See the script for a picture.
The Michigan legislature is on track to allow restaurants to sell to-go and delivery cocktails, as well as allow local governments to create “social districts” where people of age can purchase to-go drinks and consume them in designated areas.
Statewide data on COVID-19 continues to look good. Yesterday, 171 new cases were reported and 13 deaths. That brings totals in the state to 59,278 cases and 5,711 deaths.
Running averages continue to look good as well. Seven day moving averages stand at 178 cases 20 deaths.
Island situation remains stable despite many trips tip the mainland and an influx of returnees since mid-May. 80 tests run. 77 of those are back as negative. 2 pending. Still only one back as positive.
In our region, total confirmed case count is up one to 222. Death toll remains stable at 20—no change in that since May 12th. County by county data are unchanged except for Lelanau where there is one additional case bring them to 12 cases. Data for the rest of the counties we’ve been watching is unchanged, but in today’s script online if you are interested. [Otsego confirmed case count is at 102 with 10 deaths. Emmet is at 21 with two deaths. Grand Traverse is at 34 cases with five deaths. Charlevoix has 16 cases including one from the island, and one death. Kalkaska has 20 confirmed cases two deaths. Antrim 12 cases, still no deaths, Leelanau at 11, no deaths. And Benzie is at five cases and no deaths.] Up in the U-P, they are up one case to 125 confirmed cases. Death toll is stable at 16.