Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
State Amends Quarantine Guidance to 10 Days in Some Cases Based on New CDC Findings
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has updated guidance on COVID-19 quarantine periods based on scientific findings released by the CDC.
The existing 14-day quarantine recommendation for individuals with known exposure to a confirmed COVID-19 case was based on earlier data that estimated the COVID-19 incubation period. New CDC data indicates that 99 percent of all infections will develop within 10 days of exposure.
While the standard 14-day quarantine period remains, MDHHS is updating guidance to allow modifications to the quarantine period for Michigan residents in specific situations, including:
- The individual does not develop any symptoms or clinical evidence of COVID-19 infection during daily symptom monitoring for the 10 days after the last exposure.
- Daily symptom monitoring continues through day 14 after the last exposure.
“We are basing this recommendation on scientific data from CDC and offering the opportunity to reduce the quarantine period to 10 days in certain circumstances,” says Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive. “Public health officials can still require the 14-day period as this option most greatly mitigates the possibility of transmission. We strongly urge the continued use of masks, social distancing, and hand washing to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
With consideration for existing and potential limitations on the availability of testing resources and concerns of increased turnaround time for lab results, MDHHS is currently reviewing options for further reduction of quarantine periods based on diagnostic testing results. MDHHS guidance may be updated at a later date based on that review.
MEDC Encourages Michiganders to ‘Support Local’ this Holiday Season
The Michigan Economic Development Corp. is urging Michiganders to shop, eat, and travel safely in their own neighborhoods and downtowns through a new “Support Local” campaign.
As efforts continue to combat the ongoing spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign reminds Michiganders of the importance of supporting local businesses during the upcoming holidays and throughout the winter season.
“As we continue to listen to health experts and encourage safety precautions to slow the spread of COVID-19, we want to remind Michiganders that this winter, retail and hospitality businesses are open and ready to help you shop, eat, and stay safely in Michigan,” says Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Now more than ever, small businesses in Pure Michigan need your support. By staying local, you can help Michigan workers, businesses, and communities thrive this season while enjoying the holidays and finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list.”
As part of the Support Local campaign, the michigan.org website offers resources that help residents shop and eat local, including links to downtowns that are filled with local shops specializing in décor, fashion, pet toys, hardware, and more. For the craft beverage lover, Michigan’s beer, wine and spirits can be found throughout the state at brick-and-mortar shops and local grocery stores. Around Michigan, independent bookstores overflow with page-turning stories and gifts. To refuel, shoppers can visit one of Michigan’s coffee shops and get a bag of beans to brew at home.
For Michigan-inspired gifts, Pure Michigan merchandise is available here.
The in-state campaign, which begins Nov. 30 and runs through March 31, will include integrated media including digital, social, billboards, as well as traditional media relations initiatives.
MEDC also recently released a new COVID-19 Winter Strategies resource guide designed to help Michigan’s downtowns and business districts develop innovative solutions that address the challenges of snow and cold while enhancing opportunities for safe outdoor winter activity. The Winter Strategies resource guide focuses on a number of principles of winter planning, including improving winter transportation for pedestrians, cyclists and public transit users; designing for winter safety and comfort; making winter a positive asset to attract business, tourism and new residents; snow management and more.
MEDC is collaborating with a number of small business associations and organizations around the state to launch this program, including the Small Business Association of Michigan, Small Business Development Center, Michigan Retailers Association, Michigan Downtown Association, and the Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association.
Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital Unveils New Webber Cancer Center
The Webber Cancer Center at Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Warren Campus recently reopened following a $3.5-million upgrade that offers a new and improved patient experience.
The investment provides new, expanded, and modern space for outpatient medical oncology, gynecologic oncology, infusion, and laboratory services with a dedicated entrance on the south side of the hospital.
“We recognize that our communities expect exceptional, high-quality cancer care and it is our goal to be able to offer that and more in a healing and welcoming environment,” says Dr. Richard Berri, medical director of the Ascension Michigan Oncology Service Line and chief of surgical oncology at Ascension St. John Hospital. “The Webber Cancer Center will offer easily accessible early detection services and state-of-the-art cancer treatment technology close to home for those most at risk and in need.
“Combining all oncology services under one roof will enhance the patient experience, the provider and associate experience, and strengthen our compassionate, personalized care services in the Warren community and beyond.”
Webber Cancer Center originally opened in 2003. One of several dedicated Ascension cancer centers throughout Michigan, the center provides advanced technologies and innovative treatment methods through a wide range of surgical and medical treatment options in many specialty areas. Our care teams provide more than 6,000 radiation therapy treatments and more than 10,000 infusion treatments annually.
Builder Century Communities Opens Island Lakes at Midtown in Taylor
National homebuilder Century Communities Inc. has opened Island Lakes at Midtown, a new home community in Taylor, three miles south of I-94 and one mile west of I-75.
New homes at the community offer a selection of two-story single-family floor plans with basements and brick exteriors. Island Lakes at Midtown also includes features, like stainless-steel appliances and granite countertops.
Other highlights include:
- Four to five bedrooms, two and a half to three baths, two-bay garages, up to 2,217 square feet.
- Quick access to Heritage Park, Lakes of Taylor Golf Club and Lake House Grille, Taylor Sportsplex and more.
For more information, visit here.
Instacart Announces National Online Shopping Partnership with Meijer
San Francisco-based Instacart today announced a new national partnership with Grand Rapids’ Meijer to offer same-day delivery in as fast as an hour from nearly all Meijer stores.
Together, Instacart and Meijer are delivering thousands of items including groceries and household essentials, as well as a broad selection of general merchandise across a number of categories including home decor, toys and crafts, garden, sports and outdoor, office, electronics, and more.
“Instacart’s mission is to give customers access to the food they love and more time to enjoy it together,” says Nilam Ganenthiran, president of Instacart. “In 2020, this commitment has taken on an entirely new meaning as we continue to serve as an essential, same-day delivery service for millions of people across North America.
“Customers rely on Instacart to get the groceries and goods they need from the retailers they love, and today we’re proud to welcome Meijer to our marketplace so they can further connect with their customers online.”
Meijer customers across Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, and Wisconsin, can begin shopping for same-day delivery in as fast as an hour via Instacart today here.
Michigan Organizations Receive $650K in Suicide Prevention Funding
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and several partners have distributed $650,000 in funding to be allocated to nine Michigan organizations committed to suicide prevention programming in their communities.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan joined forces with the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan Foundation, the Michigan Health Endowment Fund, the Children’s Foundation, and the Ethel and James Flinn Foundation to establish the Suicide Prevention Support for Health Care Clinics Working with Michigan’s Health-Disparate Populations initiative.
The program offers grants to develop evidence-based and sustainable programming that will decrease the rate of suicide attempts and deaths by identifying children or adults who may be at risk; as well as addressing their needs for appropriate medical, social and behavioral services.
More than 7,000 Michiganders died due to suicide from 2014 to 2018. Evidence-based preventative programs are needed to stop individuals from committing suicide and those who have suicidal ideations. Work that focused on populations experiencing health disparities due to income, age, gender identity and ethnic and racial characteristics were encouraged to apply for grant funding.
“Suicide is a complex problem that requires innovative, evidence-based solutions,” says Lynda Rossi, executive vice president of government, strategy and public affairs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan. “The organizations receiving funding are well-positioned to take on this important work in their respective communities. We’re confident these efforts will help save lives throughout the state of Michigan and will create sustainable changes to support improved behavioral health care for some of our most vulnerable populations.”
Organizations receiving grant funding include:
- Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services (ACCESS), Dearborn.
- Black Family Development Inc., Detroit.
- Child and Family Charities, Lansing.
- Corktown, Detroit.
- Institute for Population Health, Detroit.
- Integrated Services of Kalamazoo, Kalamazoo.
- Mid-Michigan Health Foundation, Gladwin, Clare, Ogemaw, and Gratiot counties.
- Southwest Counseling Solutions, Detroit.
- Upper Great Lakes Family Health Center, Calumet.
CMS Grants Transitional Pass-through Payment for Stryker’s SpineJack System
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services announced that Kalamazoo-based Striker’s SpineJack implantable fracture reduction system has qualified for the Transitional Pass-Through (TPT) payment as part of the 2021 Medicare Hospital Outpatient Prospective Payment System.
The SpineJack System now becomes one of only 11 medical devices to receive TPT status since 2016.
The TPT payment provides additional payments for new medical devices that demonstrate a substantial clinical improvement over existing technologies. The TPT payment will be effective on Jan. 1, 2021. The TPT payment will provide outpatient facilities with incremental Medicare payment for the SpineJack System for up to three years.
This announcement comes just over two months after CMS awarded the SpineJack System the New Technology Add-on Payment (NTAP), which provides additional payment in the hospital inpatient setting.
“The CMS Transitional Pass-Through payment determination is a monumental step in providing a superior device technology in the treatment of osteoporotic vertebral compression fractures,” says Greg Siller, vice president and general manager of Stryker’s interventional spine business. “Due to the SpineJack System receiving both NTAP and TPT payment, physicians and administrators no longer have to make a decision between care and cost. We remain committed to offering innovative Interventional Spine solutions and working with our customers to improve patients’ lives.”
More than 700,000 patients in the U.S. suffer from osteoporotic compression fractures each year. Changing the course of treatment for vertebral compression fractures (VCF), the SpineJack System addresses reduction, fixation, and restoration of these fractures. Vertebral augmentation procedures — such as balloon kyphoplasty (BKP) — have been shown to reduce mortality by up to 55 percent compared to non-surgical management.
Salvation Army and Bank of America Partner to Provide Holiday Assistance to Families
For the eighth consecutive year, Bank of America is partnering with The Salvation Army of Metro Detroit’s Bountiful Boxes program to provide holiday assistance to local families in need.
The organizations estimate about 6,100 boxes will be distributed to families in need of assistance this year.
“The Bountiful Boxes program and partnership with Bank of America is crucial to The Salvation Army’s commitment to helping metro Detroiters in need every Christmas season,” says Major Timothy Meyer, general secretary, metro Detroit area commander, and COO of The Salvation Army Eastern Michigan Division. “Bountiful Boxes helps provide relief to keep food on the table, and we wouldn’t be able to do that without the advocacy from incredible supporters like Bank of America.”
In the previous seven years, the partnership has provided approximately 56,000 boxes to neighbors in need throughout metro Detroit. Applications for assistance are currently being processed. Families in need of assistance should visit here or call the Eastern Michigan Division headquarters at 248-443-5500.
“Bank of America is humbled to work with The Salvation Army as it strives to meet the growing needs of its communities,” says Matt Elliot, Michigan market president for Bank of America. “We are dedicated to supporting institutions such as the Salvation Army that are committed to building strong neighborhoods and communities by providing basic necessities to families during these trying times.”
Marvel, Southfield’s Doner Agency Team Up to Celebrate Nurses in Pennsylvania
Marvel Comics, the Doner advertising agency in Southfield, and the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh have collaborated to celebrate real-life health care heroes through a brand-new comic book.
The True Nurse Stories is a new Marvel comic book about real-life nurses and their heroism. Each character and story stems from the experiences of real people who provide health care throughout AHN’s 13 hospital facilities in western Pennsylvania, serving as amalgams of the dozens of nurses who shared their stories.
“In our work with AHN, Doner has had a true insider’s view into the world of first responders,” says David DeMuth, CEO of Doner. “We’ve been continually inspired by the heroism and selflessness of the nurses we’ve met. Through this collaboration with Marvel, we’ve found a powerful and accurate way to bring to life the stories of these real-life heroes.”
These comic books will be distributed throughout AHN hospitals and at recruiting events, with an e-reader available for digital distribution on Marvel.com. Additional campaign components include online video, social media, and cinemagraphs.
“At Marvel, we tell stories about heroes every day,” says Dan Buckley, president of Marvel Entertainment. “But this story is special. It tells a story about our everyday heroes – the nurses and health care professionals working tirelessly and courageously to save lives. Along with AHN, we are honored to help tell these stories, which we dedicate to the real heroes who are saving the world.”