Gov. Whitmer reacts to vaccine announcement
MARQUETTE — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday released a statement after Pfizer announced that an early analysis showed its COVID-19 vaccine is 90% effective.
The announcement also followed President-Elect Joe Biden announcing his COVID-19 Response Team, which is composed of health experts from across the United States.
“This is great news for our families, our frontline workers and our small business owners,” Whitmer said. “Michigan has always been on the forefront of innovation, and I am proud to see that Pfizer, a Michigan business and one of the largest pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities in the world, will produce the vaccine in our great state.”
However, Whitmer cautioned that when the vaccine is ready, it will take time to distribute, and everyone must continue doing their part to protect each other from COVID-19.
“That’s why it’s so important that President-Elect Biden has announced a team of medical experts to lead our country’s COVID-19 response,” she said. “It is crucial that leaders across the country listen to science and the recommendations of health experts, and President-Elect Biden has made it clear that he shares that commitment. I look forward to working closely with him and medical experts everywhere to fight this virus and save lives.”
According to an Associated Press article, Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine puts the company on track to apply later this month for emergency-use approval from the Food and Drug Administration.
MDHHS releases hunting recommendations
With the Michigan firearm whitetail deer firearm season beginning on Sunday, the MDHHS has issued recommendations on hunting during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recommendations include those given throughout the pandemic, including socially distancing from other people, wearing masks when indoors with people out of their households and wearing masks within 6 feet of other people outdoors.
Hunting camp supplies, unlike previous years, should include 60% alcohol-based hand sanitizer, masks, soap, thermometers and tissues.
Recommendations also include washing hands, cleaning surfaces and disinfecting while at hunting camp. People with symptoms, even mild ones, are urged to stay home.
Some recommendations might be less obvious, such as keeping voices down since shouting spreads viruses more than speaking softly.
Other pieces of advice include:
≤ Trying to lodge in your own room, tent or trailer and limit the number of households using shared spaces;
≤ Avoid buffet-style meals and sharing cooking utensils;
≤ If hunting with a guide or lodging service, call ahead and learn about possible safety protocols;
≤ Pack your own meals since many restaurants and stores have reduced hours;
≤ Have a plan for hunters who become sick during or after hunting camp;
≤ Follow safety protocols at Michigan Department of Natural Resources deer check stations; and
≤ Limit the number of people traveling in a single vehicle to and from hunting sites.
Latest NMU numbers released
The most recent cumulative numbers on Northern Michigan University’s Safe on Campus dashboard, found at https://nmu.edu/safe-on-campus/, show that between July 27 and Monday afternoon, there have been 187 cumulative COVID-19 positive cases for a 2.48% positivity rate. These include 71 on-campus students, 100 off-campus students and 16 employees.
There are 70 active positive cases — 33 on-campus students, 34 off-campus students and three employees.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the Gales of November fundraiser for the Lake Superior Marine Museum Association will hold a free week-long celebration.
The fundraiser will start at 8 p.m. today and run through Saturday, with the LSMMA hosting presentations about maritime history and stories.
People can access the event at www.lsmma.com/ to view the presentations.
The anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald will be noted at 5:30 today through the lighting of the Split Rock Lighthouse beacon, which will be livestreamed on the lighthouse’s Facebook page. At 7 p.m. today, Peter Brunk, a U.S. Coast Guard retiree, will talk about “Finding the Fitz & Commanding a Lightship.”
Hayes Scriven, lighthouse site manager, will give “A Modern Keeper’s Tale” at 8 p.m. Wednesday. “Going Wherever the Evidence Hides” will feature a live presentation on diving for evidence, with the speaker being Dave Mascarenas, who is retired from the Los Angeles Police Department.
Fred Stonehouse, a Marquette city commissioner and author of the Haunted Lakes series, will talk about “Things That Go Splash in the Night” at 8 p.m. Friday.
Saturday presentations include “On the Trail of the Pere Marquette 18” by Great Lakes shipwreck hunters Jerry Eliason and Ken Merryman at 3 p.m. and “150 Years of Maritime Transits” by Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center ranger Scott Bjorklund at 8 p.m.
A traditional conference is planned for Nov. 12-13, 2021.
Winter guide created
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced 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.
“Michigan’s small businesses and traditional downtowns are a vital part of the state’s economy, and we remain focused on ways to support them on the path to economic recovery during this critical time,” said Michele Wildman, MEDC senior vice president of community development, in a statement. “This guidebook provides creative ideas and resources for communities that will help them make the most of winter outdoor activity opportunities, making it more fun and safe to be outside and bolstering the community’s ability to retain and attract new businesses and residents.”
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.
The guide also provides strategies for business owners to help increase sales, including expanded curbside pickup options, virtual live shopping events, winter-themed marketing and special dining events.
A number of resources are also included, as well as examples of winter activities currently taking place in communities in Michigan and elsewhere with similar cold and snowy conditions.
Winter festivals and markets, snow and ice sculptures, festive lighting, skating rinks and winter patios are just a few of the innovative ways communities can encourage safe outdoor activity and celebrate winter, the MEDC said.
“The pandemic resulted in a surge of interest in being outdoors for socializing, family recreation, biking, camping, hiking, fishing and other outdoor pursuits, and the need for people to get outdoors will be more important than ever in the winter months,” Wildman said. “Through careful planning and creative thinking, our communities can engage residents and businesses and drive economic growth throughout winter and year-round.”
The guide features the Marquette Commons, which it called a “town square” designed for all-season use. The Commons is used for the Downtown Marquette Farmers Market in the spring, summer and fall, and has been used as an ice skating rink in the winter.
The guide can be accessed at miplace.org.
Nurse Practitioner Week proclaimed
Whitmer has proclaimed Nov. 8-14 as Nurse Practitioner Week in Michigan.
“Our nurse practitioners have worked tirelessly to diagnose and treat patients with COVID-19 and to combat community spread nationwide,” Whitmer said in a statement. “We owe it to them and to all of our health care heroes on the front lines to continue to do our part of fight COVID-19. That means wearing a mask, practicing safe physical distancing, and washing hands frequently.”
NPs focus on health promotion, disease prevention and health education and counseling, as well as guiding patients to make smarter health and lifestyle choices. More than 290,000 licensed NPs in the United States, and 8,449 in Michigan, provide primary, acute and specialty care to patients.