Robin Erb, who leads health coverage for Michigan Health Watch, believes it is our personal stories that keep us connected on common ground, whatever the break-neck fragmentation of a digital world. A long-time journalist, Robin previously spent six years at the Detroit Free Press chronicling the fight against —and sometimes the triumph over— our most horrific diseases. Her award-winning stories chronicled the battle over the Affordable Care Act, state expansion of Medicaid, cutting-edge research led by Michigan’s hospitals and universities, deadly mistakes and extraordinary care in Michigan’s nursing homes, and a nearly forgotten mix-up of chemicals in cattle feed in the 1970s and its lingering effects today. She holds bachelor’s degrees in communications and political science from Miami University and a master’s in organizational leadership from Lourdes University (Toledo, Ohio). You can contact Robin at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-725-1155.
COVID-19 cases have quintupled in Houghton County in the western Upper Peninsula this month. The halt to in-person learning is scheduled to extend to Oct. 12.
September 28, 2020 | Robin Erb
Despite pleas from health experts to guard against flu before a COVID resurgence, some parents aren’t comfortable taking children to the doctor. But so far in Michigan, there’s a 30 percent rise in flu shots.
Pressure mounted for more than a month on the administration to require more immediate public notifications of coronavirus outbreaks at Michigan schools as students returned for the fall term.
September 24, 2020 | Robin Erb
The number of coronavirus cases on the Michigan State University website since Aug. 24 jumped to 1,219 Thursday, two days after Ingham County health officer Linda Vail noted the website was significantly undercounting MSU-related cases. U-M boosts its reporting too.
Ingham County health officer Linda Vail said Michigan State has more than double the number of coronavirus cases listed on the school’s website. She said if case counts don’t drop, she would advise MSU to call off its opening game against Rutgers.
Health care, abortion and even the presidential election could be impacted by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death on Friday evening.
September 21, 2020 | Robin Erb
After being hospitalized with the coronavirus, many “long-hauler” patients return home with a host of serious symptoms, from brain fog to tremors and unrelenting fatigue. Longer-term complications such as dementia or organ problems are still being studied.
September 21, 2020 | Robin Erb
Health officials worry about a ‘twindemic’ of the flu and COVID-19, and some are getting creative about distributing vaccines as many workplaces remain closed.
September 18, 2020 | Robin Erb
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, had said the boy died “because of COVID-19.” But a medical examiner’s report lists a birth defect as the cause of death, with respiratory problems caused by COVID as a complicating factor.
COVID is spreading at Grand Valley through off-campus gatherings and students who become infected aren’t saying who they’ve been hanging out with, health officials said.
Republican legislators accused Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration of failing to adequately prepare for the pandemic. “20/20 hindsight is a wonderful thing,” countered state health director Robert Gordon.
Saying an upswing in COVID cases is “quickly becoming a crisis,” Ingham County health officer orders lockdown on 30 frats, sororities and other big homes. The mandatory order comes after the health department recommended voluntary quarantines for some 38K students.
September 10, 2020 | Robin Erb
Michigan health officials announced that nursing homes may find ways to allow loved ones to meet with residents under certain conditions. The state also may soon approve a provision that allows family members to volunteer in homes.
September 8, 2020 | Robin Erb
DeGroat’s bulldog persistence has yielded bipartisan legislation in Lansing and a network of powerful backers.
Strict health protocols on campuses aren’t stopping the spread of coronavirus. With cases rising fast, some experts fear more a wave of deaths, but others say aggressive testing and quarantining could prevent the worst from happening.
Michigan will begin listing schools with outbreaks Monday, but disclosure is bogged down by testing delays and reporting lag times. Some fear the information will be so dated, it could be of little use to parents.
The hallways are deadly quiet. They can hear sounds from other rooms but don’t know who lives there, and can’t visit. Life in CMU’s COVID Dorm is an eerie, monotonous journey for two, now-separated roommates.
September 1, 2020 | Robin Erb
The state’s announcement follows weeks of pressure as many parents must decide whether to send their children to school or have them learn from home. State officials did not include colleges in its decision.
August 27, 2020 | Robin Erb
State law gives schools wide discretion on whether to inform the public if there’s an outbreak. That must change, says a union representing 120,000 teachers and support staff.
The governor’s office and state health officials have yet to identify schools with active coronavirus outbreaks. And under current state policy, there is no requirement of a public announcement.