PODCAST: Michigan Sees Big Coronavirus Spike; Gig-Economy Unemployment Benefits Start Next Week

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Well, so much for a possible reprieve in the coronavirus spread in Michigan. The state on Friday reported 205 deaths in the last 24 hours, an increase of 43%. There were 1,279 new confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Meanwhile, good news for the Uber drivers, freelancers and other independent contractors of the world: You’ll be able to file for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance starting Monday at michigan.gov/UIA. That brings an extra $600 a week on top of the maximum $362 in state unemployment benefits.

Meanwhile, Mayor Mike Duggan says the city is working with the Wayne State School of Medicine to increase drive-through testing at the State Fairgrounds site to more than 1,000 per day. The city is also offering hazard pay to first responders, public employees and others whose jobs put them at risk of infection.

Also on today’s show:

  • We talk about the “war zone” conditions being reported out of Sinai-Grace hospital in Detroit, according to The Detroit News
  • Speaking of the Detroit Medical Center, which operates Sinai-Grace, they won’t tell us how many confirmed coronavirus inpatients they’re treating, or how many staffers have been infected. Nor will Ascension Health, which operates St. John Hospital on Detroit’s east side, or McLaren Health Care, which operates hospitals in Pontiac and Mount Clemens. That’s despite a state order to do so. And Beaumont and Henry Ford are reporting their numbers daily.
  • The TCF Center is now a field hospital and was set to accept its first patients Friday. This weekend, workers will start converting the Suburban Showplace Collection in Novi to the same.
  • A major Detroit waste hauler is indefinitely suspending the pickup of all yard waste because people stuck at home are throwing away so much solid waste.
  • And Hamtrack Stadium, former home to Negro League teams, won a half-million-dollar grant for renovations.

Stay safe out there, friends, and take care of one another.

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