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Coronavirus

Residents optimistic after receiving first-dose vaccinations

ALPENA — In the gymnasium of Alpena Community College on Saturday, area residents wove through lines of yellow caution tape, wending their way toward the vaccination many feel is a real shot in the arm on the road to recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. About 1,000 first-dose vaccinations ...

Bars, restaurants can open Feb. 1 with restrictions

LANSING— Michigan restaurants and bars can reopen for indoor dining at 25% capacity and with a 10 p.m. curfew starting Feb. 1, and concessions can resume at casinos, movie theaters and stadiums, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday. The state health department’s coronavirus restrictions were ...

Many school employees in Northeast Michigan turn out for COVID-19 vaccines

ALPENA -- Many school employees in Northeast Michigan have already received their first dose of the COVID-19 vaccination, just two weeks after the state health department made vaccines available to them. The state on Jan. 11 expanded the number of people eligible to receive the vaccine, ...

Infections, deaths still climb, but other stats brighter

ALPENA -- Three more Northeast Michiganders have died after being infected with the coronavirus and 19 more are infected, but regional hospitalization rates are improving and hundreds of vaccines are being administered per day, data released today shows. The sixth death reported this week ...

1 new death reported as vaccinations ramp up

ALPENA -- Local public health officials couldn’t say today whether recently spoiled coronavirus vaccine shipments would affect upcoming vaccination clinics. State health officials said on Tuesday that 21 shipments of the Moderna vaccine were spoiled en route to Michigan after the shipment ...

Communication, state allotments an issue in vaccine rollout

ALPENA — District Health Department No. 4 Health Officer Denise Bryan told her board on Tuesday she has advocated strongly on behalf of Northeast Michiganders so the region can receive its share of the COVID-19 vaccine. Bryan told the county commissioners from Alpena, Montmorency, Presque ...

Whitmer proposes $5.6B plan to combat, recover from virus

LANSING (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday unveiled a $5.6 billion plan to combat and recover from the coronavirus pandemic, proposing the use of billions in federal relief and $575 million in surplus state funds. The request will go to Michigan’s Republican-led Legislature on ...

Health Department to stop tracking recoveries

ALPENA -- District Health Department No. 4 officials said they will no longer report the number of people who have recovered from COVID-19 on the Health Department’s website after Presque Isle County commissioners questioned the accuracy of the data. During the department’s board meeting ...

Residents flock to COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Alpena Mall

ALPENA — A crowd formed early at a Monday vaccination clinic at the Alpena Mall, where about 300 people had received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination by noon, according to health officials. The vaccine requires two doses to be fully effective. It is currently open to health care ...

PI county may back businesses who buck state

ROGERS CITY — If Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extends her administration’s ban on indoor dining and bar services beyond Feb.1, officials in Presque Isle County may take action to support businesses that reopen, anyway. Since November, restaurants and bars have been closed to indoor service. ...

Confusion, tech glitch agitates residents hungry for vaccine

ALPENA -- The excitement surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout quickly turned into frustration this week as thousands of Northeast Michiganders vied for an appointment to receive the vaccination. On Monday, the state made the vaccine available to thousands of Northeast Michiganders who are ...

Some say virus renter aid may actually harm renters

ALPENA — If rent doesn’t get paid, renters could be the ones who suffer. Since March, eviction moratoriums at the state and national level have protected Michiganders from losing their homes because of unpaid rent as the coronavirus pandemic stole jobs and wrecked bank accounts. The ...

Alpena schools chief recommends stopping coronavirus sick leave

ALPENA — Alpena Public Schools administrators recommend the district’s Board of Education stop emergency COVID-19-related sick leave to the district’s employees. Federal coronavirus relief measures initially mandated employers to provide paid sick leave for absences related to the ...

Data collection change explains low recovery counts, official says

ALPENA -- A change in paperwork means local public health departments are not tracking those who recover from COVID-19 the way they used to, which could explain why the number of Northeast Michiganders reported recovered from infection seems low in publicly released data. The option to enter ...

Stamas: No Whitmer nominations until reopening

ALPENA — A state senator representing Northeast Michigan is calling on his colleagues to block Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s appointments until her administration allows restaurants to reopen. Restaurants have been barred to indoor dining since November as Whitmer pushed to slow the spread of ...

Restaurants may reopen Feb. 1

LANSING -- Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said today she hopes to let restaurants reopen for indoor dining on Feb. 1, as her health department extended a two-month ban by an additional two weeks while letting non-contact sports resume this weekend. The plan is to allow dining with mitigation measures, ...

Four new deaths as officials say, ‘Don’t call’

ALPENA -- Four more Northeast Michigan residents died after being infected with COVID-19, including two Alpena County residents, one Montmorency County resident, and one Alcona County resident, local health officials reported today. MidMichigan Health, the company that owns MidMichigan Medical ...

Health Departments inundated with calls for COVID-19 vaccine

ALPENA -- Public health officials today asked the public to be patient while employees handle hundreds of calls from residents trying to schedule appointments to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Meanwhile, health officials announced today that at least three more Northeast Michiganders have died ...

Data: All ages infected, elderly most at risk

ALPENA — Alpena County residents in their 20s are just as likely to be infected by the coronavirus as older adults, data shows. As of Thursday, 1,065 Alpena County residents had been infected with the coronavirus. Fifteen of those were children younger than 10 and about 50 were teenagers, ...