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Tuesday, Oct. 13, coronavirus data by Michigan county: Southwest and south-central Michigan almost solid orange

Coronavirus transmission rates are heading into worrisome territory in large swaths of Michigan, including most of the state’s urban counties outside of metro Detroit/Ann Arbor.

That includes metro Grand Rapids and Lansing, as well as the Flint, Kalamazoo, Battle Creek, Jackson and Benton Harbor/St. Joseph areas. Twenty-two counties in the Lower Peninsula are now coded orange, based on a metric developed by the Harvard Global Health Initiative to assess coronavirus risk levels. That compares to 10 counties in the Lower Peninsula two weeks ago.

Orange signifies heightened concern, according to the Harvard Institute, which looks at the seven-day average of new cases per 100,000 residents. The newest assessment is based on data for Oct. 6-12.

Four counties went from yellow to orange as a result of Monday’s numbers. Those counties: Allegan, Van Buren, Lenawee and Clinton.

Already in the orange zone: Kent, Ottawa, Genesee, Ingham, Kalamazoo, Calhoun, Jackson, Eaton, Ionia, Berrien, Isabella, Clare, Barry, Mecosta, Newaygo, Gratiot, Cass and St. Joseph.

Meanwhile, coronavirus continues to rage in the Upper Peninsula, where 14 of the 15 counties in the Upper Peninsula are red or orange

The code red counties — with dangerously high level of the virus — are Iron, Houghton, Delta, Dickinson, Menominee, Mackinac and Keweenaw. The orange counties are Marquette, Gogebic, Ontonagon, Schoolcraft, Luce, Alger and Baraga.

The only U.P. county not on those lists are Chippewa, which includes Sault Ste. Marie.

At the other of the spectrum, two Michigan counties — Alcona and Wexford — are in the green zone as of Tuesday morning, based on the Harvard Institute metric. Those counties have minimal transmission of coronavirus right now.

The map below is shaded by the average number of new cases per day per 100,000 residents. The arrows indicate whether the total number of cases between Oct. 6-12 has gone up or down compared to the previous seven days (Sept. 29-Oct 5).

Readers can put their cursor over a county to see the underlying data. If you can’t see the map, click here.

Latest on coronavirus testing

Thirteen Michigan counties have a positive rate of at least 5% in coronavirus tests reported in the last seven days ending Oct. 11. The state is averaging almost 35,000 tests a day, and the state’s seven-day average positivity rate is 3.7%.

Dickinson County had the highest seven-day average at 19.2%, followed by Mackinac (12.8%), Luce (9.9%), Houghton (9%), Isabella (7.5%), Kalamazoo (7.4%), Delta (7.3%), Barry (6.6%), Genesee (5.9%), Macomb (5.6%), Iosco (5.4%), Calhoun (5.4%) and Mecosta (5.2%).

Note: The number of positive tests does not match confirmed cases because a single patient may be tested multiple times.

The federal Centers for Disease Control says schools are safe to open if fewer than 5% of coronavirus tests over the past week are positive.

The map below shows the seven-day average testing rate by county. Once again, readers can put their cursor over a county to see the underlying data. If you can’t see the map, click here.

Below are online databases that

Second-largest meth bust reported along southwest border

U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said Sunday that it seized more than 3,000 pounds of methamphetamine in its second-biggest meth bust on the southern border.

The agency said the seizure included methamphetamine, fentanyl and heroin. The drugs were found Friday morning at the Otay Mesa Port of Entry inside a truck, the agency said.

CBP said the drugs, including 3,014 pounds of methamphetamine, 64 pounds of heroin, 39 pounds of powdered fentanyl and about 37 pounds of fentanyl pills, were concealed among medical supplies. The total value of the drugs was estimated at $7.2 million.

“Smugglers will try every way possible to try and get their product across the border and because of the partnership between CBP, Homeland Security investigations and DEA [Drug Enforcement Administration] this significant seizure occurred and we stopped them,” Anne Maricich, acting CBP director of field operations in San Diego, said in a statement.

“This massive seizure is testament of what law enforcement agencies can do when we combine forces — prevent over $7 million worth of deadly drugs from entering our country, thus saving countless lives from addiction and overdose deaths,” DEA Special Agent in Charge John W. Callery said.

The agency said it arrested the truck driver, a 47-year-old Mexican citizen, and turned him over to a joint investigative team of the Department of Homeland Security, DEA and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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Southwest Airlines Collaborating with Stanford University School of Medicine for Guidance Regarding the Southwest Promise

DALLAS, Oct. 12, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) is working with the Stanford University School of Medicine to review the carrier’s multi-layered approach to supporting the well-being of Customers and Employees during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The Southwest Promise encompasses the changes the airline has made to its around-the-clock operations, cleaning procedures, and physical-distancing measures, and representatives from Stanford Medicine will now offer medical advice and protocol recommendations to guide the airline’s ongoing and future efforts during the pandemic.

As part of the collaboration, Southwest will have access to an advisory council comprised of Stanford Medicine’s physician-scientists with knowledge and expertise in infectious diseases, prevention and testing protocols, and the latest medical research about COVID-19. This advisory council will provide insights to support Southwest’s commitment to keeping Safety as an uncompromising priority.

“We look forward to working with Stanford Medicine as we continue utilizing a science-based approach to develop and bolster our operational policies and practices during the ongoing pandemic,” said Gary Kelly, Southwest’s Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. “This collaboration adds to our advisory partners and brings a team of physician-scientists into our ongoing discussions and will infuse the latest medical research and public health recommendations into our mission of supporting the well-being of our Customers and Employees.”

Stanford Medicine is advising organizations and companies like Southwest as they evaluate their practices during the ongoing pandemic,” said Lloyd Minor, MD, Dean of the Stanford School of Medicine. “We look forward to providing our insights to the airline.”

The Southwest Promise: A Multi-Layered Approach to Cleaning and Comfort

Stanford Medicine will serve as a trusted advisor, in addition to Southwest’s current relationship with UT Southwestern Medical Center, to review elements of The Southwest Promise, which are implemented to create a comfortable travel experience and support the well-being of Employees and Customers. The commitment to cleaning and distancing measures encompasses the following elements:

Prior to Travel:

Face Coverings Required: All Southwest Customers and Employees over the age of two are required to wear a covering over their mouth and nose throughout the travel journey. If a Customer does not have a face covering, Southwest will have face masks available at the airport and onboard its aircraft.

Customer Health Declaration: Customers are required to acknowledge an awareness of the carrier’s face covering policy and confirm they do not have symptoms of COVID-19 and have not been diagnosed with, or exposed to, COVID-19 in the 14 days prior to travel. They also are required to confirm they do not have a fever when they travel. The declaration appears during the online check-in process via the Southwest app, Southwest.com, the carrier’s mobile website, SWABIZ.com, and airport kiosks.

At the Airports:

Airport Cleaning: Southwest is cleaning ticket counters, gates, kiosks, and baggage claim areas multiple times a day. Additionally, the airline is utilizing electrostatic sprayers to apply a disinfectant to airport areas at least once per week. 

Physical Distancing in Airports: Southwest is boarding