Daily Briefs

12 COVID-19 cases tied to Michigan strip club

DETROIT (AP) — At least a dozen COVID-19 cases have been tied to a strip club near the Detroit airport, public health officials said Sunday as they encouraged anyone recently at the venue to contact them.

The announcement came as state public health officials reported no new deaths from the virus for the first time since the pandemic began, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The state on Sunday did report 343 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total number of confirmed cases to 65,876 since the outbreak, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

In all, there have been nearly 6,000 COVID-19 deaths in Michigan.

Twelve of the cases linked to the strip club were either patrons or employees of the Playhouse Club in Romulus, according to a news release from the Wayne County Public Health Division.

One case involved a worker at a nearby restaurant, called Checkers, the county office said. It wasn't clear how, if at all, that case was connected to the others.

Those who visited or worked at the Playhouse Club between June 17 and July 1 were asked to call the health division whether they are feeling ill or not. Carriers of the novel coronavirus sometimes do not show symptoms, which can include fever, a cough and shortness of breath.

"It is imperative all people who visited these two establishments during the exposure window call and cooperate with our communicable disease team so that we can understand the extent of the outbreak," Wayne County Public Health Officer Carol Austerberry was quoted as saying in the release.

On Saturday, health officials in central Michigan said at least three people who were at Riverfront Animal Hospital in Lansing tested positive for COVID-19.

Ingham County Health Officer Linda S. Vail said anyone who entered the facility from June 23 to July 2 should monitor themselves daily for possible symptoms.


Group to start veto-proof drive to repeal Whitmer's powers

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Organizers said Monday they will begin collecting voter signatures within days for a veto-proof measure that would repeal a law that has given Gov. Gretchen Whitmer broad emergency powers during the pandemic.

The ballot committee Unlock Michigan announced its plan after the state elections board approved a summary of the petition. It would rescind a 1945 law that the Democratic governor has cited to close businesses, limit gathering sizes and restrict other activities to curb the coronavirus.

The group, which has ties to Republicans, needs about 340,000 valid signatures. If enough are gathered within a 180-day period, the repeal legislation could be enacted by the GOP-controlled Legislature and not be vetoed.

The committee's website features a video of Karl Manke, the Owosso barber who reopened early in defiance of Whitmer's stay-at-home order. She later let barbershops open as part of a gradual restart of the state's economy.

Unlock Michigan spokesman Fred Wszolek said the governor should not be able to continually stretch her state of emergency declaration — the underpinning for her restrictions. In May, Whitmer prevailed in court when a judge ruled she could use the 1945 law to extend the emergency despite not getting legislative approval under a 1976 law.


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