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Sunday, Sept. 6: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo logo MLive - GrandRapids/Muskegon/Kalamazoo 9/6/2020 By Cole Waterman, mlive.com
a group of people walking down the street: Holland students return to Jefferson Elementary School on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020. © Cory Morse | cmorse1@mlive.com/Cory Morse | MLive.com/mlive.com/TNS Holland students return to Jefferson Elementary School on Wednesday, Aug. 26, 2020.

Michigan reported 838 new cases of coronavirus Saturday, Sept. 5, down from 982 the previous day.

Statewide, there have now been 106,215 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 6,534 resulting in death. Saturday marked eight new deaths, three of which were identified during a Vital Records review.

In other coronavirus news, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Saturday signed two executive orders that will continue the protection of frontline workers including grocery, pharmacy and long-term care facility employees.

Here’s the latest on the coronavirus pandemic in Michigan going into Sunday, Sept. 6.

Whitmer extends executive order continuing protection of frontline workers during coronavirus pandemic

Executive Order 2020-179 requires stores to provide two hours a week of reserved shopping time for vulnerable populations, and it will require health and safety precautions such as testing, cleaning and disinfecting, PPE and social distancing.

“Michigan has worked hard to fight COVID-19, but the fight is not over yet,” Whitmer said. “We can’t let our guard down and must continue to step up to do our part to slow the spread of the virus and save lives. Frontline workers in our hospitals, grocery stores, nursing homes, and more have put their own lives on the line to protect our families. By extending these orders, we can protect our frontline heroes and most vulnerable populations from this virus and ensure they are able to work and live in a safe environment.”

Order 179 will continue through Sept. 30, according to a news release from the governor’s office, and will protect residents from eviction and employees from retaliatory action for staying home while exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19.

Executive Order 2020-178 will also last through Sept. 30 and extends the health and safety rules to include the following:

1/4 u00b7 Grocery stores and pharmacies must allocate at least two hours per week of shopping time for vulnerable populations.

1/4 u00b7 If an employee tests positive for COVID-19, the business must notify other employees without infringing on private health information.

1/4 u00b7 Grocery stores and pharmacies must offer accommodations to vulnerable employees, such as low-risk assignments or a leave of absence.

This is how Michigan colleges are carrying out classes for the fall semester

Many colleges in Michigan have begun the fall semester, and all have varying approaches to try to keep students safe from COVID-19. A few have chosen to move all of their classes online, but many are offering a mix of online, in-person and hybrid classes to limit interactions on campus.

Schools like Central Michigan University and Adrian College have already had outbreaks of COVID-19 on campus after students returned, and because of that, schools such as Kalamazoo College and Eastern Michigan University have chosen to move their classes online or delay the in-person fall semester by a few weeks.

Michigan auto sales perking up, but blow to industry could last through 2022

While Michigan’s auto industry is recovering more quickly than predicted, it suffered an economic blow due to the coronavirus that will likely linger for years.

Total new vehicle sales are down 25% this year, total annual production estimates have shrunk by about 4 million vehicles and there are fewer automotive jobs in Michigan than there have been in any year since 2009, Center for Automotive Research President and CEO Carla Bailo told the Michigan Legislature’s Joint Select Committee on the COVID-19 Pandemic Wednesday.

“We expect (a full recovery) is going to take about another two years,” Bailo said. “That’s predicated on a continued recovery throughout this year. Should we have another hit in the fall, we’ll have to adjust those numbers.”

Frankenmuth water park attractions to close, citing executive orders

Parts of an iconic water park have closed after a new executive order out of Lansing, the business announced on Saturday.

Zehnder’s Splash Village, a hotel and water park at 1365 S Main St., Frankenmuth, has “temporarily” closed off its Drop Slide, Family Raft Ride, and Tube Slides, the company announced on social media Friday afternoon. Swimming pools will remain open.

The decision is in response to Whitmer’s “most recent Executive Orders,” the post reads.

But the latest executive orders extended the statewide state of emergency and loosen some restrictions on gyms, and do not mention water parks. In fact, an explicit closure of water parks was announced in late July - during which time Splash Village remained open.

And while water parks are not mentioned in Thursday’s executive order pertaining to gyms, other amusement parks are, and are allowed to remain open, with safety precautions.

COVID-19 PREVENTION TIPS

In addition to washing hands regularly and not touching your face, officials recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone may be carrying the virus.

Health officials say you should be staying at least 6 feet away from others and working from home, if possible.

Use disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray cleaners on frequently-touched surfaces in your home (door handles, faucets, countertops) and carry hand sanitizer with you when you go into places like stores.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also issued executive orders requiring people to wear face coverings over their mouth and nose while in public indoor and crowded outdoor spaces. See an explanation of what that means here.

Additional information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

For more data on COVID-19 in Michigan, click here.

Read more on MLive:

Gov. Whitmer hints at news on high school sports ‘in the coming days’

Coronavirus in local schools is inevitable, Kalamazoo County health director says

Decision on reopening of gyms, ice rinks, theaters coming ‘very soon,’ Whitmer says

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©2020 MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

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