Wednesday State News Summary
Wed, 12 Jan 2022 04:24:00 EST

The CDC is warning against travel for visiting our neighbors to the north. Even those
who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 should not visit Canada. That's according
the the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and U.S. State Department, as
Canada -- due to a rapid rise in cases -- is being designated as "Level Four: Very High"
advisory. This month, Canada broke its one-day record for the highest number of
people hospitalized with COVID-19. Canada remains a top foreign destination for

Ford and Honda took center stage at the North American Car, Truck, and Utility Vehicle
of the year awards.
The Honda Civic was named car of the year, the Ford Maverick was dubbed truck of
the year, and the Ford bronco... Utility Vehicle of the year. 50 jurors selected the
winners, which were announced during a ceremony at Huntington Place... the former
TCF Center... Tuesday morning.

A familiar name is back with the Detroit Red Wings - Nicklas Lidstrom. Red Wing
General Manager and Lidstrom's longtime teammate Steve Yzerman made the
announcement, saying as the team's new Vice President of Hockey Operations,
Lidstrom will be involved in all aspects of hockey operations for the Red Wings in his
new role. Lidstrom retired from hockey in 2012 after a celebrated career that included
four Stanley Cups, seven Norris Trophies as the league's best defenseman and entry
into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2015. He played his entire 20 year career with the Red

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has announced the prize for this year's State of the State
art contest for students K-12 who can submit their creative designs for a program cover
to be used for the event. Normally the winner and their family would be awarded tickets
to the State of the State address but because the speech will be virtual this year, the
governor says instead they will receive a Cherry Republic gift box.
The contest theme is Why do you believe in Michigan? and students can use any art
medium of their choosing. The deadline to submit an entry is midnight this Sunday.

Michigan health leaders are predicting that the current surge in COVID-19 cases and
hospitalizations will likely not subside until late January or early February. Officials are
imploring residents to get vaccinated, get a booster shot if eligible, wear a well-fitting
mask in public and avoid large gatherings. They are also urging people to upgrade to
an N95 mask or wear two masks that fit well.

The Grand Traverse County Health Department is opening a new COVID-19 testing
site. The health department has partnered with Traverse City Cherry Capital Airport
and the Michigan National Guard to offer rapid COVID-19 testing at 1320 Airport
Access Road beginning TODAY. Testing will be available for the immediate future at
this new location. As this new testing location opens, the health department said Cherry
Capital Airport will no longer be offering general COVID-19 testing to community
members inside. A boarding pass will be required to get tested inside the airport. All
ages are welcome and appointments and masks are required for the drive-through. The
tests are free and no doctor order is needed. Please bring your ID as the test results
will be provided onsite while you wait in your car.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has been awarded nearly
$45 million in federal funding for costs related to the state's response to the COVID-19
pandemic. The money will reimburse the department for eligible reimbursable costs
related to providing COVID-19 testing and reporting statewide from July 2021 through
September 2021. Approximately $8.1 million of the grant covered COVID-19 testing
and reporting for residents at long-term care facilities.

Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor is banning visitors from its adult hospitals and inpatient
units. Hospital officials said this is due to the high prevalence of Omicron within the
community. The restrictions are in place starting today and until further notice. The
health system said it will re-evaluate its visitor policy at a later date. The Children's
Hospital is not affected by this change.

The leader of the Flint-area Republican Party has been placed on probation and
ordered to write an essay about the effects of bullying. Matthew Smith admits making a
harassing phone call to a Democratic official in the Upper Peninsula who was being
challenged by his friend in the 2020 election. But Smith denied that he threatened to
poison Jennifer Kelly's dogs. Kelly is the elected clerk in Houghton County. Besides
leading Genesee County Republicans, Smith is a school board member in Davison.
The controversy has led to a recall effort against him. Smith must perform 240 hours of
community service and pay $650. His record eventually will be scrubbed clean if he
stays out of trouble.

Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard has tested positive for COVID-19. He is
quarantining and experiencing headaches, congestion, exhaustion, and other assorted
aches. He says he is fully vaccinated and boosted. His office says he will work remotely
while he's quarantining. The Sheriffs Office has been hit hard by the virus, with more
than 170 of its 14-HUNDRED employees currently off work because they either have
Covid-19 or were exposed to it. Early in the pandemic, Bouchard ordered regular
testing for employees -- regardless of vaccination status.

The U.S. Coast Guard began Operation Coal Shovel on Monday. Operation Coal
Shovel is the domestic ice-breaking operation with an area of responsibility spanning
from southern Lake Huron, to Lake St. Clair, to the St. Clair / Detroit River system and
into Lake Erie and Lake Ontario including the St. Lawrence
Seaway. U.S. and Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers work together in these
waterways as conditions worsen throughout the winter to ensure the ability to conduct search-and
rescue, community service, and to help navigation to meet the reasonable demands of
commerce. In addition, other emergency operations include opening channels to
icebound communities or breaking ice for ferries that serve them in order to ensure
critical supplies of food, heating oil or access to medical assistance.

The Kent and Ottawa County administrative health officers have reconciled the public
health order of August 6, 2021 to reflect the latest COVID-19 guidance issued by the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health
and Human Services. This order applies to the K-12 setting and includes pre-schools
and daycares as well as all higher education institutions. The Kent County Health
Department and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health strongly recommend
that schools implement policies that follow the CDC guidance which can be found here


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