COVID-19

Ann Arbor
Ann Arbor Public Schools / a2schools.org

The plan is to open the doors to all Ann Arbor Public School district students later this month, August 30th. WEMU'S Lisa Barry talks with Ann Arbor school superintendent Dr. Jeanice Swift about the current plans for reopening in a pandemic that include universal masking and "redesigned" before and after-school care for students.


Deana Fisher
St. Louis Center / stlouiscenter.org

For over 60 years, the St. Louis Center in Chelsea has housed those with developmental disabilities and helped them find employment and work toward independence. Yet, like many nonprofit organizations, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected the center financially and emotionally. The center's chief operations officer, Deana Fisher, joins WEMU's David Fair to discuss how her establishment and its residents have adapted to the pandemic.


U.S. Education Secretary Miguel Cardona has a message for schools across the country ahead of the new school year: Students need to be in classrooms.

"That's where students learn best," Cardona told NPR's A Martínez. "Schools are more than just places where students learn how to read and write — they're communities. They're like second families to our students."

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Mask up, America. Now, that could have been a catchy slogan. Instead, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered confusing guidance this past week. Vaccinated Americans in some parts of the country should mask up indoors again.

Records have been set nearly every day lately in Tokyo, but not all of them have been by athletes competing in the Olympics.

Japan's capital has exceeded 4,000 coronavirus infections for the first time — 4,058 cases, to be exact. That's a record high and nearly four times as many cases were reported just a week ago.

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Copyright 2021 KQED. To see more, visit KQED.

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This weekend, 80,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccines will expire in Arkansas. There simply weren't enough people in the state willing to get their jab — even though cases and deaths from the delta variant are rising there at an alarming rate.

"Prior to the vaccine, I was heartsick because people died and we couldn't help them. Now, they don't get the vaccine and we can't help them," says Tammy Kellebrew, a pharmacist who travels to rural hospitals across the state. "And so after every death, I go back to the pharmacy and I cry, and then I go back to work."

When revising its mask guidance this week to urge even vaccinated people to wear masks indoors in much of the country, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was criticized for not citing data in making that move.

Now it has — and the data is sobering.

University of Michigan
University of Michigan / umich.edu

All students, faculty, and staff on all three campuses of the University of Michigan are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and submit their vaccination information before the start of the fall term.  

The university-wide vaccine requirement also applies to Michigan Medicine.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with U-M Assistant Vice President for Public Affairs Rick Fitzgerald to learn more about the decision.


For a while there, it seemed like things were finally heading back to normal. Now, not so much.

In the span of just a week, plans for a September return to the office have been pushed back. Mask mandates have made a comeback. And a growing number of employers, including the federal government, are laying down the line on vaccines.

Japan extended a state of emergency to areas around the capital, Tokyo, and to its second largest city, Osaka, on Friday, following a record-setting surge in COVID-19 cases.

More than a year and a half after the coronavirus was first detected in China — followed by the world's first big wave of COVID-19 — the country is again battling to stem the spread of new cases attributed to the more infectious delta variant of the virus.

Australian soldiers are joining local police in New South Wales to enforce a coronavirus lockdown in and around Sydney as authorities try to tamp down the latest outbreak of cases linked to the more infectious delta variant.

Even as new coronavirus cases surge in Tokyo to rates not seen since the pandemic began, Japan's prime minister says the Olympics are not causing the spike.

Officials on Thursday confirmed 3,865 new cases in Japan's capital, the highest daily tally reported, just as the Tokyo Olympics near their halfway point.

All guests two years and older at Disney theme parks in the U.S. will once again be required to don face masks along with their optional mouse ears while indoors — a precaution against the spread of the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus.

Updated August 2, 2021 at 11:36 AM ET

With the delta variant taking off around the U.S., the federal government updated its masking guidelines for fully vaccinated people last week.

Masks are again required for members of the House side of the U.S. Capitol amid a nationwide rise in coronavirus cases.

Under the reimplemented mandate, members, both vaccinated and unvaccinated, must wear a "well-fitted, medical grade, filtration face mask" in House office buildings, during meetings and while in the House chamber.

Under the order from Dr. Brian Monahan, Congress' attending physician, the new rule doesn't affect members of the Senate.

The return of masks in the House comes a month after the requirement was first lifted for vaccinated members.

Doug Coombe / Concentrate Media

Though many of Ypsilanti's hair businesses suffered financially during the COVID-19 pandemic, the loyalty of their long-term customers has helped many of them bounce back. Lisa Barry and Sarah Rigg talk to Claire Broderick, one of several local stylists interviewed for this week's story about Ypsilanti's vibrant "hair artist" scene.


Dr. Leana Wen advises that you should think of your COVID-19 vaccine like a very good raincoat: If it's drizzling or you're in a rainstorm? You're well-protected. "But if you're going in and out of thunderstorms every single day and now there's a hurricane — at some point you're going to get wet," she says.

Susan Cerniglia
Linkedin / linkedin.com

The new Delta variant of the coronavirus has severely impacted several states, primarily due to low vaccination rates and an end to most mask mandates. WEMU's David Fair got the latest in his conversation with Washtenaw County Health Department spokesperson Susan Ringler-Cerniglia about how these recent developments may affect Washtenaw County residents.

In some people, COVID-19 symptoms can linger for months after they've recovered from the worst of the illness, even after they've tested negative for the coronavirus. The National Institutes of Health refer to these long-term symptoms as post-acute sequelae of SARS-CoV-2, or PASC.

COVID-19
MGN

Although they are seeing fewer hospitalizations at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor, the positivity rate for the virus is increasing, and vaccinations are still seen as the solution to stop the COVID-19 virus in its tracks.

WEMU's Lisa Barry talks with Michigan Medicine infectious disease specialist Dr. Payal Patel, who shares the latest information about the virus variant and how we can stay safe and healthy as the pandemic continues.


Paullette Healy isn't sure yet where her 13-year-old son, Lucas, will go to school this fall.

She lives in Brooklyn, New York, and says New York City school buildings are in "disarray," with overcrowded classrooms and windows that barely open. She worries about classroom ventilation and social distancing.

PARIS — France's parliament approved a law early Monday requiring special virus passes for all restaurants and domestic travel and mandating vaccinations for all health workers.

Both measures have prompted protests and political tensions. President Emmanuel Macron and his government say they are needed to protect vulnerable populations and hospitals as infections rebound and to avoid new lockdowns.

Carlos Franklin
United Way of Washtenaw County / uwwashtenaw.org

The Black Stone Bookstore and Cultural Center in Ypsilanti has a mission: To unite all people, regardless of race, religion, or politics, and to highlight the works of authors of color. Bookstore co-owner Carlos Franklin joined WEMU's David Fair to discuss his love of literature and his journey as a Black, small business owner during social unrest and a pandemic. 


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