New health-safety messages are on TV, billboards, social media and other sites as Michigan rolls out four ads timed for an expected second Covid wave.
"We knew we were going to face challenges in the fall," state Health Director Robert Gordon tells Crain's Detroit Business.
The state is spending $5 million in federal funds on the "Spread Hope, Not Covid" campaign emphasizing the need for continued mask wearing in public, social distancing, testing and quarantining to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
The ads, including a half-minute commercial below, launched Monday amid fresh signs of coronavirus spread in college areas.
Caseloads have been rising in several Michigan counties that are home to state universities and private colleges, while declining in other population centers.
While most universities and colleges have moved the majority of their courses to an online format, none have closed campuses entirely. And off-campus student housing has quickly become a hotspot for spread of the virus in college towns, particularly at parties, public health agencies have said.
The business weekly cites case increases in East Lansing (MSU), Mount Pleasant (CMU), Lenawee County (Sienna Heights, Adrian), Big Rapids (Ferris State) and even Houghton County in the Upper Peninsula (Michigan Tech, Finlandia). There's also this in Western Michigan:
In Ottawa County, home to Grand Valley State University in Allendale and Hope College in Holland, there have been 841 new positive cases of the coronavirus over the past four weeks, more than double the number of new cases recorded in the previous four weeks during the height of the tourism season.
On its website, GVSU is reporting 462 active cases of COVID-19 among a campus community of 28,000, with the number of new cases averaging 45 per day over the previous week.