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Over the weekend, many weary Americans took to restaurants and public spaces to enjoy a small taste of normalcy for the first time since the pandemic began. Several states began easing shelter-in-place restrictions while keeping social distancing mandates in place. Michigan, however, has been dealing with a different kind of weary American: angry protestors in opposition of shelter-in-place orders aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19.

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer talked about recent protests in her state in an interview this weekend and what she described as “some of the worst racism’ she’s seen.

“There were swastikas and nooses and Confederate flags and people with assault rifles,” she said, adding that the protesters represented only a small part of the population.

“The behavior you’ve seen in all of the clips is not representative of who we are in Michigan,” Whitmer said.

There have been almost 44,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the state of Michigan. Almost 4,100 people have died.

OUR COMMUNITY

Calvin Munerlyn, a father of eight, was shot and killed on Friday while working at a Family Dollar in Flint, Michigan. Authorities are still investigating but are responding to reports on social media that said the fight started over face masks. To stop the spread of coronavirus in the state, the governor has required residents entering enclosed public spaces to wear masks.

THE PANDEMIC

During a virtual town hall this weekend, Trump warned that the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus pandemic could reach 100,000. This is an increase of his previous 60,000 to 70,000 death estimates. On April 21, internal administration documents show that the federal government ordered more than 100,000 body bags.

Three hundred seventy-three employees at Triumph Foods in Buchanan County, Missouri, have tested positive for coronavirus. All of them were asymptomatic. The pork processing plant is providing hand sanitizer and face masks to infected workers, and continues to deep clean, sanitize and disinfect the building.

In a 2019 effort by the Trump administration to reduce regulations for nursing home providers and suppliers, the federal government is considering rolling back infection control requirements. Opponents argue that the rules changes could leave nursing home residents vulnerable to infections like the coronavirus.

The change by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would modify the amount of time an infection preventionist must spend at a facility from at least part-time to “sufficient time,” allowing the facility to decide how much time should be spent. The rule would also reduce facility assessments from once a year to every other year and allow certain nursing homes to house more than two residents per room.

Last week, the CMS defended its proposal, saying it aims to “reduce regulatory burden and strengthen infection control.”

STATES

The Miami Beach Police Department was forced to close a park after nearly 8,000 people broke face covering and social distancing rules. Miami Beach reopened parks and other public spaces last week. Over the weekend, the police department issued over 7,300 warnings to residents for failure to wear a face covering. In other parts of Florida, shops and restaurants were given the green light to reopen at 25% capacity on Monday. Businesses in hard-hit Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties remain closed.

BUSINESS & ECONOMY

Specialty retailer J. Crew has filed for bankruptcy, becoming the first major retail casualty of the coronavirus. During the pandemic, many retail stores have been closed and hundreds of thousands of employees have been furloughed. Other retailers like JCPenney and Neiman Marcus are also at risk of bankruptcy.

Kroger announced on Sunday it would begin providing free COVID-19 testing for frontline employees. Testing will be available based on symptoms and medical need. Since the start of the pandemic, grocery and essential workers have called for protective measures inside the stores and access to testing to slow the spread of the virus.

Costco has become the latest retailer to enforce purchasing limits on fresh meat because of the closing of processing plants during the pandemic. Sam’s Club and Kroger have also implemented a similar rule.