Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m. EDT
LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A record 384,000 people filed initial claims for unemployment in Michigan last week amid continued punishing economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. More than 800,000 sought jobless benefits over the past three weeks, according to figures released Thursday. The state’s 3.6% unemployment rate could top 15% when the April employment report is released in early May. The state has been overwhelmed by a flood of applications, and some of those out of work have had trouble applying online or by phone. The Unemployment Insurance Agency is adding staff and expanding call center hours.
DETROIT (AP) — The mayor of Detroit said the coronavirus is “starting to weaken” in Michigan’s largest city. But Mike Duggan also pleaded with residents to keep the momentum going by wearing masks and avoiding large groups. Meanwhile, health officials reported Wednesday that Michigan has had nearly 20,400 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 959 total deaths from the disease caused by the virus. There were fewer new Michigan cases and deaths reported Wednesday than on Tuesday. Meanwhile, a local leader in northern Michigan has asked the governor to bar people from traveling back and forth to their second homes, saying it puts year-round residents of vacation communities at greater risk.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge is seeking state and federal permits to build an oil pipeline beneath the waterway linking Lakes Huron and Michigan. The Canadian company filed a permit application Wednesday with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Approval from both is needed for the project to go forward. Enbridge wants to drill a tunnel in bedrock beneath the Straits of Mackinac to replace an underwater segment of its Line 5 pipe. It carries 23 million gallons of oil daily between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario.
CEDAR SPRINGS, Mich. (AP) — A nursing home resident in western Michigan who died from COVID-19 complications repeatedly asked her Amazon Echo for help with pain. LouAnn Dagen died Saturday after arriving at Mercy Health St. Mary’s hospital in Grand Rapids. Her sister, Penny Dagen, discovered recordings and shared them with WOOD-TV. LouAnn Dagen was 66 years old and lived at Metron of Cedar Springs. Penny Dagen said her sister was getting medicine to help with pain. She said LouAnn was taken to the hospital when her oxygen and blood pressure dropped. The nursing home said last week that 31 residents and five staff members had tested positive for the coronavirus.