The 6 News Now “Daily Digital Debrief” COVID-19 update, contagious strain, term limits

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The 6 News Now “Daily Digital Debrief” is here for you live weekdays at 12:30 P.M. from the 6 News Digital Studio based out of Lansing, Michigan.

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Today on the 6 News Now “Daily Digital Debrief”, we’re covering top stories here in Michigan, across the United States, and around the world.

COVID-19 UPDATE

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— This morning Governor Gretchen Whitmer and state Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun held a press conference, to provide an update on the fight against COVID-19 in our state.

Today the governor announced the state’s next epidemic order, that will take effect Monday, February 1, officially allowing indoor dining at restaurants with certain requirements; concessions at casinos, movie theaters and stadiums; personal services requiring mask removal; and non-residential gatherings of up to 10 people from two households. 

The new order will last three weeks, until Sunday, Feb. 21.   

Restaurants and bars will be allowed to reopen at 25% capacity with up to 100 people. Tables must be six feet apart with no more than six people per table. Outdoor tents with four sides are permitted under these same rules. Bars and restaurants must close by 10 p.m. Additionally, contact information must be collected from diners for contact tracing purposes.

The epidemic order continues to temporarily pause indoor contact sports and other venues and activities where participants have close physical contacts and are not consistently masked, like water parks. However, as of Jan. 22, stadiums can allow up to 500 people at venues that seat over 10,000 people and stadiums that seat less than 10,000 are allowed to be at 20% capacity, up to 250 people.

NEW COVID STRAIN

LANSING, Mich. (WOOD) — Two more cases of the new variant of COVID-19, B.1.1.7, have been found in Michigan, state health officials announced Thursday night.

Both cases have been identified as adult women living in Washtenaw County. They both are considered close contacts of the first case in Michigan, which was announced Saturday.

All three cases of B.1.1.7 are associated with the University of Michigan, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The first person who tested positive for the new variant recently traveled to the United Kingdom where the virus was first detected, MDHHS says.

Term Limits

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – A federal court sided with the offices of Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson and Attorney General Dana Nessel when it dismissed a lawsuit Wednesday that challenged the current status of Michigan’s term limits under a constitutional amendment passed by voters nearly 30 years ago. 

The challenge to the 1992 amendment was filed by 10 former Democratic and Republican state legislators in Kowall et al v Benson, 19-985 (WD Mich).

But Judge Janet T. Neff, of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, dismissed the case, in part because the plaintiffs’ constitutional claims were barred in light of a previous court decision – or were otherwise without merit.  

Neff also found plaintiffs’ state constitutional challenges to the petition and ballot language in the 1992 amendment meritless. 

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