Virus Update

Ottawa County now has 13,700 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 148 deaths attributed to the virus.

The county has seen 23 deaths in the past week due to the coronavirus. One was a 56-year-old male, and another was a 57-year-old female. That number includes four people in their 60s, six people in their 70s, five people in their 80s and six people in their 90s.

The county’s hospitalization rate stands at 2.9 percent, and 5,914 people are listed as having recovered from the virus.

The State of Michigan on Monday reported an additional 8,080 cases of COVID-19, and 103 deaths. That brings the state’s total to 350,021 confirmed cases and 9,036 deaths.

A total of 165,269 Michigan residents have recovered from the coronavirus, according to the state health department.

Michigan governor proposes $100 million COVID-19 relief plan

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wants state legislators to approve a $100 million COVID-19 relief plan when they return to session during December.

The Democratic governor sent a letter to leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature asking for the state-based stimulus program that she said "will provide direct financial support to the families and small businesses that have been hit hardest by the pandemic."

Whitmer's request comes as legislators are scheduled for a return to session on Tuesday until Dec. 17 and Congress has been deadlocked in negotiations over potentially billions of dollars in emergency COVID-19 assistance.

"Michigan families are hurting, and while we must continue to advocate for meaningful support from the federal government, we simply cannot afford to wait," Witmer wrote in Wednesday's letter.

Whitmer acknowledged that development of the program will be complicated by tax revenue losses that have state government facing a potential $1 billion shortfall next year.

Whitmer also asked lawmakers to permanently extend longer-lasting unemployment benefits. Legislators approved bills in October to lengthen state unemployment benefits to 26 weeks, from 20 weeks, but those expire at the end of the year.

The states Republican Senate majority leader, Mike Shirkey, shares some policy interests with Whitmer and wants the December session to "be focused on an agenda of needs, not wants," spokeswoman Amber McCann said.

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