The state health department on Friday reported a relatively low number of new deaths attributed to COVID-19.

The 26 deaths reported Friday bring the cumulative count in Michigan to 5,158.

The state reported 403 new confirmed cases of the coronavirus on Friday, bringing Michigan's cumulative total to 53,913.

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health reported Friday that the county has 737 confirmed cases, up by 32 from Thursday, and 31 deaths. The lone death in the county since Tuesday's report was a woman in her 70s.

Muskegon County has 561 cases (up from 552 on Thursday) and 26 deaths, according to Friday's state health department report.

With the Memorial Day weekend here, Ottawa County health department spokeswoman Kristina Wieghmink sent a reminder that the Stay Home order still restricts gatherings to 10 people or less.

What you need to know today about the virus outbreak


From The Associated Press

The coronavirus pandemic is accelerating across Latin America, Russia, India and Pakistan, while the number of cases are flattening and businesses start to reopen in much of Europe, Asia and the United States.

India saw its biggest single-day spike since the pandemic began, and Pakistan and Russia recorded their highest death tolls. Even so, many governments say they need to shift their focus to saving jobs.

In the United States and China, the world's two largest economies, the unemployment numbers are staggering. The Federal Reserve chairman has estimated that 25 percent of Americans could be jobless by June, while in China analysts estimate about a third of the urban workforce is unemployed.

New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio released new guidelines to help determine when to loosen restrictions imposed during the coronavirus pandemic. However, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said it will be up to the state to make those decisions.

British researchers testing an experimental vaccine against COVID-19 are advancing to the next phase and hope to immunize more than 10,000 people. The announcement comes as Chinese scientists report encouraging signs from first-step safety tests of a similar possible vaccine.

A new World Health Organization report says the coronavirus pandemic is interrupting immunization against diseases that could put the lives of nearly 80 million infants at risk. Health officials say more than half of 129 countries where immunization data were available reported suspensions of vaccinations against measles, polio and cholera, among others.

The coronavirus is certain to put a damper on one of the biggest Muslim holidays of the year set to begin this weekend. People usually celebrate the three-day Eid al-Fitr by traveling, visiting family and gathering for lavish meals — all of which will be largely prohibited as authorities try to prevent new outbreaks. The holiday marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan.

The leader of Tanzania says his country has defeated the coronavirus through prayer. Meanwhile, the international community openly worries that President John Magufuli is hiding the pandemic's true scale.

An Associated Press report shows that more than 4,300 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York's already vulnerable nursing homes under a controversial state directive that was ultimately scrapped. The March 25 order requiring nursing homes to take recovering COVID-19 patients from hospitals has become a thorny political issue for Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who abruptly reversed the policy May 10. New York leads the nation in nursing home deaths with about 5,700.

Many bars, restaurants reopen in northern Michigan

TRAVERSE CITY (AP) — Beer flowed in the wee hours Friday and pancakes were back on the griddle as bars and restaurants in northern Michigan were allowed to reopen at 12:01 a.m. after a two-month shutdown because of coronavirus restrictions.

"It's crazy. Why would you miss it?" Jon Mangrum told WPBN-TV as he waited to get into a bar in Traverse City. "This is like a historical moment almost when everyone first goes back out when things are allowed to be open."

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted some restrictions for the Upper Peninsula and the northern Lower Peninsula, although only a certain number of customers are allowed inside to drink or dine. The region hasn't been hit as hard with cornonavirus and COVID-19 as other areas of Michigan.

The owner of Brady's Bar in Traverse City had a message for people who are thinking of making a road trip: Stay away from her business.

"We deserve to feel safe and I would like to keep my staff and customers as safe as I can, and I'm asking that people from downstate don't come in until they're quarantined or their areas are also opened up," said Nolen Sleder.

Whitmer announced more changes Thursday, clearing the way for medical procedures that had been postponed and allowing groups of up to 10 people to gather. Retailers can reopen by appointment only, starting Tuesday.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.