Covid in Michigan: Oakland U. stays virtual, Detroit cafe shuts, driver shortage curbs bus service

January 11, 2022, 11:15 AM

Oakland University adds two weeks to its remote-learning start of 2022, which was supposed to end next Monday. 

"Due to the rapid spread of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, OU will continue to deliver most Winter 2022 courses, including hybrid and in-person classes, in a remote and online format through Monday, Jan. 31," the Rochester university announces Monday.

"We are hopeful that by waiting until Feb. 1, we will be able to mitigate the spread of Covid-19 and return to face-to-face classes."

A student, Steve Hetrick, reacts on OU's Facebook page: "I'm sick of this I cannot learn online. I’m paying way too much for a subpar learning experience. I am most likely dropping my classes this semester."

In Ypsilanti, Eastern Michigan University's president Tuesday extended its online-only instruction by another week to run through Jan. 23 because of "the dramatic increase in cases of Covid-19 occurring across the nation, the state and our region." Michigan State and Wayne State are remote until Jan. 31. University of Michigan students are attending classes in person.

Staff fears shut Midtown cafe

Great Lakes Coffee Roasting in Midtown Detroit is closed indefinitely because of coronavirus cases among its 15 staff members, the Free Press reports, citing a weekend email to employees from founder Greg Miracle.

"In response to fears expressed by staff members and due to the close working spaces unique to its very busy Midtown location, the company has decided to close this cafe temporarily to assure employee safety," he adds in a statement to the paper. 

SMART slows its roll

Covid-caused driver shortages crimp the SMART regional transportation service, with up to a quarter of bus runs canceled or delayed each day, the agency says. The line is short about 80 bus operators.

"What we are experiencing right now is drivers either testing positive for or quarantining isolating per our SMART policy and so not available to drive," deputy general manager Robert Cramer tells Fox 2.

"Bundle up and check to make sure your bus is on its way before standing out in the cold," SMART posts on social media. Arrival times can be checked by text message

District court downtown limits entry

Don't visit 36th District Court on Madison Street in Detroit to pay tickets, fines, penalty costs or file forms. As of Tuesday, entry is restricted to those with scheduled hearings or bond payments "due to the rapid and dramatic increase in the City of Detroit’s Covid-19 positivity rate."

A statement adds: "These steps are taken to protect the people who work and conduct business at the court, and to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus." 

State change: Faster return to school

The state health department adopts revised federal isolation and quarantine guidance for students, teachers and staff who test positive for coronavirus. 

They can come back to school in five days (rather than 10 under earlier policies) "if symptoms have improved or you continue to have no symptoms," an announcement says Monday. If you have a fever, stay home until you are fever-free for a period of 24 hours without the use of fever-reducing medications." 

Those who've had close contact with a pandemic case "do not need to quarantine at home if they had confirmed Covid-19 within the last 90 days and/or are up to date on all recommended Covid-19 vaccines for which they are eligible. These contacts should still monitor their symptoms and [wear a mask] for 10 days from the date of last exposure."

FEMA sends $45 million to Lansing

Michigan's health department is getting nearly $45 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to help offset Covid response costs last July through September. More than $8 million covers virus testing and reporting at long-term care facilities and almost $37 million covers testing and reporting for inmates, staff and visitors at state prisons.

"It has cost the state millions of dollars as we work to ensure everyone’s health and safety," the governor says. "This federal assistance is a big step toward helping our state agencies recoup some of those costs."

Compiled from direct sources and media coverage.


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