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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

Planet Fitness Celebrating Columbia Grand Opening, Oct. 16-22

TIMONIUM, Md. (Oct. 12, 2020) – Planet Fitness – one of the nation’s largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers with more members than any other fitness brand – will hold a weeklong grand opening celebration at of its Columbia fitness center.

As Planet Fitness’ first club in Howard County and 41st club in Maryland, the 16,776-square-foot Columbia club is located in Dobbin Center at 6475-101 H East Dobbin Rd., Columbia, MD 21045.

Planet Fitness Columbia features state-of-the-art cardio machines and strength equipment, a 30-Minute Express Circuit, fully equipped locker rooms with day lockers and showers, numerous flat screen televisions, Hydro-Massage beds, massage chairs, tanning beds, a Total Body Enhancement booth and more – in a hassle-free, non-intimidating environment.

From Oct. 16-22, new members can join for Classic membership at $0 down, $10 a month with no commitment and get one month free! Members can bring guests for free, and those who refer a friend or upgrade to Black Card® membership before Oct. 22 can get the rest of the year free.

Throughout the grand opening, Classic members can enjoy Black Card® amenities for free (including access to massage beds and chairs and tanning, among other benefits). Everyone who visits can enter to win prizes, including a 55′ Smart TV, Amazon Echo Show, Apple Watch and Maryland Terrapins memorabilia. A ribbon cutting ceremony with state Sen. Guy Guzzone (District 13, Howard County) and the Howard County Chamber of Commerce will take place Oct. 22, from noon to 1 p.m., and will include a $500 check presentation to the Laurel Boys and Girls Club.

In addition to the festivities, the grand opening will serve as an opportunity to see enhanced protocols in place to get members back to the Judgement Free Zone® in the safest way possible. Planet Fitness has implemented such measures as: required facemasks, increased sanitation, employee temperature checks, touchless check-in featuring COVID-19 wellness questions for all members and guests, signage promoting Social Fitnessing™ throughout the facility, and Crowd Meter on Planet Fitness’ mobile app that allows members to check club capacity before coming into the gym.

“Planet Fitness believes fitness is essential to the physical and mental health of Maryland residents who are eager to get out of the house and resume their active lifestyles. Fitness also plays a critical role in building a stronger immune system, helping protect against severe COVID-19,” said Victor Brick, co-owner of PF Growth Partners, a franchise division of Planet Fitness. “Planet Fitness Columbia aims to do its part in combatting this ongoing pandemic by providing access for people to exercise and stay healthy.”

The pandemic has taken a physical and mental toll on the nation. State lockdowns led to a 32 percent reduction in physical activity among individuals who were physically active. Maryland already suffers from high obesity rates, with 32.3 percent being considered overweight. This makes access to exercise now even more vital as physical activity provides numerous health benefits including the ability

Latest coronavirus news for Oct. 11, 2020: Live updates

The Latest

Illinois’ positivity rate creeps back up to 4% with latest 2,905 coronavirus infections

Ashlee Rezin Garcia/Sun-Times

Illinois’ average coronavirus testing positivity rate rose to 4% for the first time in a month on Saturday as public health officials announced 2,905 more people have contracted the virus statewide.

The Illinois Department of Public Health also reported 31 more deaths were attributed to COVID-19, raising the state’s death toll to 8,975.

Illinois has recorded some of its highest daily case totals of the entire seven-month pandemic over the last week, due mostly to the fact that more people are being tested per day.

The latest cases were confirmed among 66,256 tests, while on average more than 55,000 tests have been administered daily statewide over the last month — almost triple the testing rate during the worst days of the pandemic in May.

Read the full story here.


7:42 a.m. Trump’s doctor says the president is no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s doctor said Saturday the president is no longer at risk of transmitting the coronavirus.

In a memo, Navy Cmdr. Dr. Sean Conley says Trump meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria for safely discontinuing isolation and that by “currently recognized standards” he is no longer considered a transmission risk.

Read the full story here.

7 a.m. Belmont Snack Shop’s future uncertain after coronavirus, devastating fire

The future of the Belmont Snack Shop is up in the air after a fierce fire engulfed the late-night diner and left behind only charred remnants of the Avondale staple.

Restaurant manager Nelson Rodriguez and his wife, who live in an apartment above the diner near Belmont and Kimball, were cooking dinner Thursday night around 7:50 p.m. when they spotted smoke rising outside their window.

Rodriguez bolted downstairs to try to put out the grease fire, but he was too late.

After evacuating the restaurant, Rodriguez stood beside his wife watching the blaze and smoke destroy the diner that has been in his family for two generations.

Read the full story by Madeline Kenney here.

New cases

  • Downstate Rep. Mike Bost, an Illinois Trump campaign chair, tests positive for COVID-19
  • Public health officials reported 3,059 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 across Illinois on Thursday, the state’s biggest caseload since the initial peak of the pandemic nearly five months ago.
  • The state last topped 3,000 daily coronavirus cases on May 14, when 3,239 people were infected.
  • The Illinois Department for Public Health reported more than 5,300 cases on Sept. 4, but that bloated figure was the result of a three-day data processing backlog.

Analysis & Commentary

7:26 a.m. Take it from the best of American medicine: Donald Trump must go

It is rare for scientists at the highest levels to take an overt stand on the politics of the day, knowing their professional credibility depends on remaining above the fray.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, most famously, is a case in point. Fauci, the federal government’s top

Sunday, Oct. 11: Latest developments on coronavirus in Michigan

Over 104,000 Michiganders have recovered from the novel coronavirus since the start of the pandemic, state health officials say.

The state releases new data on recoveries every Saturday. Last weekend, the recoveries were at 99,521.

Michigan reported 1,522 new coronavirus cases Oct. 10, bringing the statewide total to 134,656, according to Saturday’s update from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

Health officials also reported 15 new deaths of people with the virus, bringing the state’s running death toll to 6,891. The state’s case fatality rate is 5.3%.

Meanwhile, Michigan’s top Senate Republican lawmaker says he is in favor of rolling back many of the measures put in place by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration to limit COVID-19 spread and believes “an element of herd immunity” needs to happen in the state.

Here are the latest developments on the COVID-19 pandemic for Monday, Oct. 5.

Michigan needs ‘an element of herd immunity’ to recover from coronavirus, Senate leader says

Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, R-Clark Lake, said he feels Michigan residents understand that COVID-19 is real, contagious and requires precautions.

But he also believes the state doesn’t need to continue with the “oppressive mandates” issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, he told MLive following a rally protesting strict COVID-19 restrictions.

“Nobody should be misled here or of the opinion that you can keep it from spreading – it’s going to spread, so we just do the best we can,” he continued.

“I’m also a big believer that there’s an element of herd immunity that needs to take place.”

But MDHHS spokesperson Lynn Sutfin told MLive last month the department favors reaching higher immunity levels through widespread vaccination as opposed to letting COVID-19 run through the population and is urging Michigan residents to minimize transmission until a vaccine is universally available.

“Since we do not know whether immunity is long-lasting, nor do we know the long-term effects of COVID-19, Michigan does not support allowing 80% of Michiganders being infected with this novel virus,” Sutfin said at the time.

Michigan’s health department is switching gears after a game-changing Supreme Court decision

A new state department is taking the reins when it comes to the rules people in Michigan have to follow during the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Until this past week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) had taken a back seat when it came to issuing orders aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19.

Instead, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration relied heavily on two state statutes that gave the governor broad power to issue executive orders under the looming threat of the emergency that is a global pandemic. The 1976 Emergency Management Act and/or the 1945 Emergency Powers of the Governor Act were the basis for a wide swath of orders issued by Whitmer, including requiring masks in public spaces, limits on crowd sizes, and requiring various establishments like movie theaters and gyms to stay closed for months.

“She had the broadest authority, and had authorities that we did not

Some DC indoor pools and fitness centers reopening Oct. 13 with restrictions

Public indoor pools and fitness centers in D.C. are reopening next week. Learn how to book a time slot for your workout or your swim.

If you want to get some exercise in D.C. when indoor facilities open up next week, you’ll have to first exercise your fingers and computer mouse.

Visit the District’s Department of Recreation reservation website to book a time. For swimming and gym time, you’re limited to 45-minute blocks. You need to be sure to bring your photo I.D. to your reservation after booking.

For fitness centers, you can make one reservation per day, with a maximum of four per week. Lots of slots are already booked for the first week, but there are still some available.

Indoor pools are open Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to noon and again from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Seven locations are currently available for booking. Saturdays, the pools are open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They are closed Sundays.

The fitness centers have similar rules, as they are closed in the middle of the day. During the week, the 13 fitness centers are open from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. They’re closed on Sunday and open Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

While the pools and fitness centers may be open, the locker rooms and changing areas are not. So, you have to show up in your activity clothes and wear a mask at all times, unless you’re swimming.

Reservations are available seven days in advance.

If you have questions about the District’s plan to reopen gyms and pools, there are two virtual info sessions coming up on Oct. 15. One is from noon to 1:30 p.m. and the other is from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sign up in advance in order to get an invitation to the web meeting.


More Coronavirus news

Looking for more information? D.C., Maryland and Virginia are each releasing more data every day. Visit their official sites here: Virginia | Maryland | D.C.

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Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Oct. 7 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

Officials reported 58,820 new tests in the last 24 hours, as the state surpasses 6 million total COVID-19 tests. The seven-day statewide positivity rate is 3.5%.

The new statewide numbers come as Gov. J.B. Pritzker said Wednesday that the gains that most regions in Illinois had been making in bringing down COVID-19 positivity rates in recent weeks have “cooled off a bit.” The governor noted specifically that the northeastern region that includes Lake and McHenry counties has seen a reversal after a period of decline.

“That progress has cooled off a bit, across Illinois,” Pritzker said. “We are seeing changes in positivity averages around the state level off, with three regions that were decreasing last week now sitting at a stable level.”

Here’s what’s happening Wednesday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

7:15 p.m.: CPS says clerks must report to work in person, despite labor ruling that questions COVID-19 protections in schools. CTU says the action ‘threatens jobs.’

Despite an arbitrator’s ruling that certain Chicago Public Schools employees should be allowed to work from home when feasible during remote learning, the district is continuing to require them to work in person.

An email from Chief Talent Officer Matt Lyons sent late Tuesday told clerks, clerk assistants and technology coordinators that the expectations have not changed.

“As critical members of our school community, you are integral in our collective work communicating and supporting families, staff, and students,” the email states. “This means you will continue to be expected to report to work in person, unless you have an approved or pending request for a leave of absence or accommodation.

“You may have received conflicting information recently on this reporting requirement,” the email continued, “but we are writing today to confirm CPS’ expectation and directive to report to work onsite.”

Without a leave of absence or accommodation request approved or pending, employees are not allowed to work from home, according to the email, which states that if employees don’t show up in person, “CPS will consider your absence unauthorized and proceed accordingly.”

The Chicago Teachers Union is interpreting the email as a threat of discipline and an attempt “to strongarm workers into schools in defiance of the ruling.” The union also claims CPS is stalling on bargaining over remedies.

6:55 p.m.: The Purple Pig employees hold protest over concerns of coronavirus safety negligence

After spending much of Tuesday night calling colleagues at The Purple Pig, Ryan Love felt upbeat about the five people who committed to picketing the Chicago restaurant Wednesday morning.

The protest, which ended up being four people greeting passersby with signs saying, “211K Americans dead. Tapas anyone?” and “No transparency, no accountability,” was inspired by frustration over the perceived actions of restaurant chef and owner Jimmy Bannos Jr. and other members of management. Love contends they did not take appropriate steps to keep employees and guests safe after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19 on Sept. 24.

Love, a lead server and bartender, said a full

Coronavirus in Illinois updates: Here’s what happened Oct. 5 with COVID-19 in the Chicago area

Meanwhile, President Trump staged a dramatic return to the White House Monday night after leaving the military hospital where he has been receiving an unprecedented level of care for COVID-19. He immediately ignited a new controversy by declaring that despite his illness the nation should not fear the virus that has killed more than 210,000 Americans — and then he entered the White House without a protective mask

Also on Monday, the CDC said that the coronavirus can spread more than 6 feet through the air, especially in poorly ventilated and enclosed spaces. But agency officials maintained that such spread is uncommon and current social distancing guidelines still make sense.

Here’s what’s happening Monday with COVID-19 in the Chicago area and Illinois:

5:05 p.m.: Nearly one-third of COVID patients in Chicago-area study had an altered mental state

Nearly a third of hospitalized COVID-19 patients experienced some type of altered mental function — ranging from confusion to delirium to unresponsiveness — in the largest study to date of neurological symptoms among coronavirus patients in a U.S. hospital system.

And patients with altered mental function had significantly worse medical outcomes, according to the study, published Monday in Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology. The study looked at the records of the first 509 coronavirus patients hospitalized, from March 5 to April 6, at 10 hospitals in the Northwestern Medicine health system in the Chicago area.

These patients stayed three times as long in the hospital as patients without altered mental function.

After they were discharged, only 32% of the patients with altered mental function were able to handle routine daily activities like cooking and paying bills, said Dr. Igor Koralnik, senior author of the study and chief of neuro-infectious disease and global neurology at Northwestern Medicine. In contrast, 89% of patients without altered mental function were able to manage such activities without assistance.

Patients with altered mental function — the medical term is encephalopathy — were also nearly seven times as likely to die as those who did not have that type of problem.

4:40 p.m.: St. Viator Catholic school moves to all-remote after ‘several’ positive COVID-19 cases over weekend

St. Viator High School in Arlington Heights is shifting from all-onsite learning to all-remote following an uptick in positive novel coronavirus cases in recent days, school officials said Monday.

School officials told Pioneer Press Monday that the decision was made after several positive COVID-19 test results “among those in the school” Saturday and Sunday.

Officials declined to say whether those testing positive were students or staff, or to provide additional information.

“While we had experienced only a few isolated instances since returning to school on August 24, in the past few days the number of reports exceeded what we feel allows us to provide a safe environment for our faculty, staff and students,” school President Brian Liedlich said in a statement.

4:15 p.m.: CDC now says coronavirus can spread more than 6 feet through the air in updated guidance

The top U.S.

Benchmark Fitness’ Outdoor Trivia Workout Oct. 3 to support nonprofits

After the success of their grand opening, Benchmark Fitness, Crystal Lake’s newest fitness center, is welcoming the community to an outdoor trivia workout event to support nonprofits at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 3.

Benchmark Fitness’ Outdoor Trivia Workout invites attendees to form a team of two to four people for a socially-distanced group fitness class. Along with a fun, challenging session that combines elements of HIIT and strength training, teams will battle it out through fitness-related trivia questions for a chance to win!



The top two teams will receive free T-shirts and one of the following: one month of group training for each participant; two personal training sessions per person; or three small-group fitness classes (in-person or virtual).

Each participant has the opportunity to submit the name of a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization they’d like to support. At the end of the workout, one of the submitted charities will be drawn at random to receive 100% of the profits from the event.

“We wanted to do this event as a way to engage people in fun, health-centered activities that also support local nonprofit organizations,” says Benchmark Fitness co-owner Danny Miller. “We feel that as a local business, it’s always important to give back to the community.”

Join the fun on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 10:30 a.m. at Benchmark Fitness, 975 Nimco Drive, Unit G in Crystal Lake.

This event is open to all ages and fitness levels, and membership at Benchmark Fitness is not required. The cost to participate is $25 and guests can pay at the event with cash or a check.



To sign up, email your team name and the names of your team members to [email protected]

Benchmark Fitness will be supplying an outdoor rubber mat and a set of dumbbells for every participant to use, though you are encouraged to bring extra dumbbells if you’d like a challenge!

Benchmark Fitness is located at 975 Nimco Drive, Unit G, Crystal Lake, IL 60014, near the corner of Route 31 and Rakow Road. The team is focused on providing a safe, comfortable space for newbies and experienced gym-goers alike. Offering group fitness classes and personal training seven days a week, there’s an opportunity for every schedule. To learn more, sign up for this event, or start your membership, visit, email [email protected], or call (779) 994-7148.


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