Michigan Health Watch

In-depth reporting on the intersection between public policy and important health topics ‒ such as insurance coverage, hospital admissions, opioid abuse, access to care, medical research and the business of health care ‒ that impact nearly every Michigan resident. 

Articles

How to make your own hand sanitizer during coronavirus shortage

How to make your own hand sanitizer during coronavirus shortage

March 13, 2020 | Kelly House

With stores across Michigan running out of cleaning supplies, soap and hand sanitizer as residents seek to protect themselves from coronavirus, a homemade sanitizer recipe may come in handy

10 new Michigan coronavirus cases as state reacts dramatically to spread

10 new Michigan coronavirus cases as state reacts dramatically to spread

March 13, 2020 | Robin Erb

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the state’s top medical and school leaders announced the new cases, which brings Michigan’s total to 12. The state also is closing schools for three weeks to slow the illness. 

Whitmer closes all Michigan schools for three weeks due to coronavirus

Whitmer closes all Michigan schools for three weeks due to coronavirus

March 13, 2020 | Ron French

Faced with a growing health crisis, the Michigan governor ordered all public schools closed beginning Monday

Coronavirus is here. And Michigan’s public health system is underfunded.

Coronavirus is here. And Michigan’s public health system is underfunded.

March 12, 2020 | Riley Beggin, Robin Erb

Michigan has the lowest rate of public health funding in the Midwest, and local governments may strain to provide other services in the wake of the coronavirus.

Washtenaw school districts first in Michigan to close due to coronavirus

Washtenaw school districts first in Michigan to close due to coronavirus

March 12, 2020 | Ron French

Seven districts in Washtenaw County are moving to online-only learning beginning Monday, March 16. Districts around the state are wrestling with the pros and cons of closing as Ohio announced it was shutting its public schools.

Michigan is ‘flying blind’ on coronavirus without more testing, experts say

Michigan is ‘flying blind’ on coronavirus without more testing, experts say

March 12, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Health experts say testing needs to ramp up to better track and slow down the spread of the virus. The state says it currently has capacity to test for 1,300 cases of the disease.

Michigan’s top doc: No signs yet of ‘community spread’ of coronavirus

Michigan’s top doc: No signs yet of ‘community spread’ of coronavirus

March 12, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting

Michigan is bracing for more cases, but has no backlog of tests after three state residents tested positive for the virus, Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun told lawmakers Thursday.

At Michigan State, deciding whether to go home or stay for the meal plan

At Michigan State, deciding whether to go home or stay for the meal plan

March 12, 2020 | Kelly House

MSU emptied out quickly Wednesday as the school put an end to in-person classes until April. Some students worried about the quality of virtual education. Another is staying in the dorms to avoid his younger sister back home.

Coronavirus fears shutter Michigan university classrooms

Coronavirus fears shutter Michigan university classrooms

March 11, 2020 | Ron French

The state's public universities have told students not to attend classes in person as schools scramble to convert to virtual learning. Some students were told to go home, others are staying on campus.

These Michigan colleges shut down because of coronavirus concerns

These Michigan colleges shut down because of coronavirus concerns

March 11, 2020 | Ron French

Universities across the state stop holding in-person classes, as of Wednesday. Others will move online after spring break.  

States are taking drastic measures to contain coronavirus. Is Michigan next?

States are taking drastic measures to contain coronavirus. Is Michigan next?

March 11, 2020 | Mike Wilkinson, Ted Roelofs

Michigan should consider containment, bans on gatherings to “flatten the curve” and slow the spread of the coronavirus, experts say. ‘If I overdo it, so be it,’ one expert says.

Fever, but must work. Will coronavirus change paid sick leave in Michigan?

Fever, but must work. Will coronavirus change paid sick leave in Michigan?

March 11, 2020 | Ted Roelofs

Restaurant and direct care workers with no paid sick leave could increase coronavirus risk for Michigan, which currently exempts businesses with fewer than 50 workers from being compelled to offer paid leave.

Michigan reports first two coronavirus cases, in Wayne and Oakland counties

Michigan reports first two coronavirus cases, in Wayne and Oakland counties

March 10, 2020 | Jonathan Oosting, Ted Roelofs

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer confirmed the cases late Tuesday involving two residents who recently traveled, one internationally.

Detroit to offer $25 water restorations as coronavirus fears mount

Detroit to offer $25 water restorations as coronavirus fears mount

March 9, 2020 | Joel Kurth

Detroit is offering to turn back on water for $25 to halt the spread of coronavirus, and for 30 days, the state of Michigan will pick up the tab for those who can’t afford it, Mayor Mike Duggan announced.

How Michigan hospitals and businesses try to keep workers happy, healthy

How Michigan hospitals and businesses try to keep workers happy, healthy

March 9, 2020 | Catherine Shaffer

Research is mixed on whether employee wellness programs actually change behaviors and improve health. But businesses like Quicken Loans, Bell’s Brewery and large hospital systems insist their efforts improve work culture.

Cow dung won’t stop coronavirus and you can open Amazon boxes from China

Cow dung won’t stop coronavirus and you can open Amazon boxes from China

March 5, 2020 | Robin Erb

Cons and conspiracies abound in Michigan as residents brace for coronavirus. Now would also be a good time to tell you not to drink bleach.

Coronavirus fears renew calls for Gov. Whitmer to end Detroit water shutoffs

Coronavirus fears renew calls for Gov. Whitmer to end Detroit water shutoffs

March 2, 2020 | Joel Kurth

One day after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer denies a request for a health emergency in Detroit’s water shutoffs, activists again are seeking another one, saying that living without water could spread coronavirus.

State 'may not have' needed supplies if coronavirus spreads in Michigan

State 'may not have' needed supplies if coronavirus spreads in Michigan

February 28, 2020 | Robin Erb

The state’s top doctor says Michigan has enough supplies “for now,” but is limited in specialized masks and other items if coronavirus hits. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer activates emergency center in “abundance of caution.”

Michigan schools scramble to plan for a potential coronavirus outbreak

Michigan schools scramble to plan for a potential coronavirus outbreak

February 27, 2020 | Ron French, Robin Erb

Would schools close for weeks at a time? Would lessons be online? What if a student travels overseas? Michigan districts are creating protocols on the fly to address a possible outbreak.

Detroit says no proof water shutoffs harm health. Get real, experts say.

Detroit says no proof water shutoffs harm health. Get real, experts say.

February 26, 2020 | Joel Kurth

 Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is unlikely to declare a state emergency to end Detroit water shutoffs, prompting debate about how much proof is needed about health detriments that researchers say are obvious.  

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