COVID-19

Olympic athletes, team staff and journalists who comes to the Beijing 2022 Winter Games next February will be required to be vaccinated — or face a three-week "hard quarantine" period that lasts longer than the Games themselves. That's according to new guidelines from the International Olympic Committee.

A hard quarantine requires a participant to remain in a tightly controlled area, such as a hotel room. To avoid that requirement, anyone visiting China for the Olympics will need to be vaccinated at least 14 days prior to arrival.

Ecology Center
The Ecology Center / ecocenter.org

Founded in 1970 after the very first Earth Day, Ann Arbor's Ecology Center has focused on making many improvements to the environment.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with the Ecology Center's executive director, Michael Garfield, about the many environmental improvements that have been made during that time period and the many others they are still working to address.


Kimberly Grice needed a walker during her final month of pregnancy just to get down the hall of her home near Myrtle Beach, S.C., to a freshly painted, lavender nursery.

The 36-year-old struggled to hang up tiny clothes or organize a changing table. She'd been hospitalized this summer with COVID-19 and on a ventilator.

She did not get the vaccine fearing it might hurt the baby. Doctors now want pregnant women to know it is safe.

Pfizer and its partner BioNTech say their data supports authorization of their COVID-19 vaccine in kids 5 to 11.

The Food and Drug Administration released the companies' briefing document Friday morning in a prelude to a meeting of expert advisers to the agency scheduled for Tuesday.

Ann Arbor District Library / aadl.org

A number of Ann Arbor's top jazz musicians are playing Friday night, October 22nd at The Blue LLama Jazz Club to raise funds and awareness for the National Kidney Foundation. Among those performing is club owner Don Hicks, who talks to WEMU's Lisa Barry about who and what to expect.


Does a meme a day keep the doctor away? Not quite, but it looks like it might help, according to one recent study.

On a recent morning, Jerrad Dinsmore and Kevin LeCaptain of Waldoboro EMS drove their ambulance to a secluded house near the ocean, to measure the clotting levels of a woman in her nineties.

They told the woman, bundled under blankets to keep warm, that they'll contact her doctor with the result.

"Is there anything else we can do?" Dinsmore asked.

"No," she said, "I'm all set."

The White House said on Wednesday that it is ready to quickly roll out COVID-19 vaccines for kids ages 5 to 11, if the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for that age group is authorized by the Food and Drug Administration and recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The administration has bought enough doses for all 28 million children in that age group and will provide it in smaller packages with essential supplies like smaller needles to make it easier to get to physicians, pediatricians and community health centers, Biden administration officials said.

Nearly two years into the coronavirus pandemic, there's some truth in a joke circulating among frustrated ICU nurses: They ask their hospitals to appropriately pay them for the hazards they've endured. And the nurses are rewarded with a pizza party instead.

Alan Brown
Alan Brown

A leading expert on cultural audience behavior, Alan Brown returns to "creative:impact" after his first appearance in April 2020 just weeks after COVID-19 shut down cultural venues. He announced then that he was launching the Audience Monitor Outlook, a study of COVID’s impact on audiences and when they would comfortably return to cultural venues. He gives an update on his findings to "creative:impact" host Deb Polich of Creative Washtenaw.


Head football coach Nick Rolovich was fired by Washington State University for refusing to get a COVID-19 vaccine as required by a mandate for state employees.

Four of Rolovich's assistant coaches — Ricky Logo, John Richardson, Craig Stutzmann and Mark Weber — were also terminated by the university for failure to get fully vaccinated by Monday.

New Yorker Charlie Freyre's sinuses had been bothering him for weeks last winter, during a COVID-19 surge in the city. It was before vaccines became widely available.

"I was just trying to stay in my apartment as much as possible," Freyre says, so checking in with his doctor via an online appointment "just seemed like a more convenient option. And you know, it was very straightforward and very easy."

Updated October 18, 2021 at 3:32 PM ET

When President Biden met with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta last week, he said the United States would donate millions of COVID-19 doses to the African Union, part of an effort to close the vaccination gap between rich and poor nations.

The Resourced Therapist / theresourcedtherapist.com

The need for mental health care in the Ann Arbor area and across the country continues to increase due to the many challenges in our world today. WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Ann Arbor psychologist Dr. Sharon Gold-Steinberg about "The Resourced Therapist," a collaboration with Carryn Lund providing an online platform that helps therapists and other helping professionals feel more effective, supported, and nourished in their work especially during these challenging times. 

In the end it was the delta variant that drove Rose Mitchell, 89, down the winding mountain road in Smilax, Ky., to the Full Gospel Church of Jesus Christ to get the shot. Her pastor, Billy Joe Lewis, had told his congregation that, No, ma'am, a COVID-19 vaccine would not leave the "mark of the beast" nor rewrite their genetic codes.

Mitchell, who has known the deaths of eight of her 13 children over the years, was done taking chances with the virus stealing up the valleys along Cutshin Creek.

Following confusion earlier this month on how the country should safely celebrate the holidays, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released its updated guidance around gatherings and traveling amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the new guidance issued Friday, the CDC says the best way to safely celebrate the holiday season is by being vaccinated (if eligible) against the coronavirus.

A panel of experts voted unanimously to recommend that the Food and Drug Administration authorize a booster dose of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.

In a 19-0 vote, the panel recommended that the booster dose come at least two months after initial immunization with one shot of the J&J vaccine. It applies to people 18 years and older.

During the meeting, J&J presented data that showed the protection of the single shot remained largely stable over time but that a second dose pushed protection to a higher level.

Public Domain Pictures / publicdomainpictures.net

As cases of the COVID-19 virus decline around the country, Michigan remains one of a handful of states continuing to see a surge in the number of cases.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Michigan Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Payal Patel to get an update on how the pandemic continues to impact the Ann Arbor medical system and whether or not much has changed as to how we move through the world as the global health crisis drags on.


A panel of advisers to the Food and Drug Administration on Thursday unanimously recommended that the agency authorize a booster dose of the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at least six months after completion of the initial two-dose regimen.

The recommendation applies to people 65 years and older, those 18 to 64 who are at high risk of severe COVID-19 and those people in the same age group whose work or institutional exposure puts them at high COVID-19 risk.

The recommendation mirrors the authorization that the FDA gave to Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 booster doses in September.

Last month, Chelsea Titus, a 40-year-old mother of one in Boise, Idaho, needed surgery to relieve severe pain from endometriosis. But hospitals there are so full of unvaccinated COVID-19 patients that doctors told her she'd have to wait.

The World Health Organization has announced the establishment of a scientific advisory group aimed at identifying the origin of COVID-19 and to better prepare for future outbreaks of other deadly pathogens.

Updated Oct. 14, 12:45 p.m. ET

If you got the Johnson & Johnson vaccine as your first COVID-19 shot, a booster dose of either the Moderna or Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine apparently could produce a stronger immune response than a second dose of J&J's vaccine. That's the finding of a highly anticipated study released Wednesday.

Updated October 13, 2021 at 8:42 AM ET

Here's another unexpected example of how supply chains have been upended by the pandemic: Glass bottles used for everything from vinegar to pasta sauces are getting tied up in their own bottlenecks. That's driving prices higher, when you can get the bottles at all.

A federal judge in Texas ordered United Airlines to temporarily halt its plan to put unvaccinated employees on unpaid leave if they have requested an exemption from the company's COVID-19 vaccine mandate.

United Airlines announced Aug. 6 that the Chicago-based airline was requiring all 67,000 of its U.S.-based employees to be vaccinated. At the time, the airline said about 90% of pilots and 80% of flight attendants had already been vaccinated.

Brooklyn Nets All-Star guard Kyrie Irving won't be allowed to play in practices or games, general manager Sean Marks said Tuesday, strongly suggesting that he continues to run afoul of New York City's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for professional athletes.

Although the team is barred by law from revealing a player's vaccination status, Irving has been listed as "ineligible to play" in a preseason game scheduled for Thursday against the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The U.K.'s initial response to the coronavirus pandemic ranks among the worst public health failures in the country's history, causing "many thousands" of avoidable deaths, a new report says.

In the first weeks, as the virus began spreading in the U.K., the government chose not to restrict mass gatherings — a radical departure from the lockdowns that China quickly put in place. It was slower to impose widespread lockdowns than the U.S. and many other countries.

The Food and Drug Administration released briefing documents Tuesday on booster shots for the Moderna and Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccines ahead of a two-day public meeting of advisers to the agency that starts Thursday.

Moderna's COVID-19 vaccine booster is half the dose of the initial shots used in its two-shot vaccination — 50 micrograms of mRNA versus 100 micrograms.

It's time to get those costumes and bowls of candy ready — Halloween is just around the corner.

And unlike last year, trick-or-treating can go ahead this season — that's according to the nation's top infectious disease expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci.

"I think that, particularly if you're vaccinated, you can get out there and enjoy it," Fauci told CNN's State of the Union this weekend.

Americans have fallen way behind.

The rent's overdue and evictions are looming. Two-thirds of parents say their kids have fallen behind in school. And one in five households say someone in the home has been unable to get medical care for a serious condition.

These are some of the main takeaways from a new national poll by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi nearly crossed paths with thousands of people protesting vaccine mandates in Italy this weekend.

Pelosi, who was in Rome for a meeting with foreign leaders, was attending Mass in the city at St. Patrick's Church. Outside the church, chaos was erupting as thousands of Italians took to the streets over Italy's new requirement for workers to show proof of a COVID-19 vaccine in the form of a "green pass."

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