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Michigan COVID-19 update: 705 new cases, 12 deaths

Michigan

Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — State health officials reported 705 new cases and12 deaths due to COVID-19 in Michigan today.

The state total is now 118,615 cases with 6692 deaths due to COVID-19.

On Tuesday, the Ingham County health department confirmed more than 1,200 cases of COVID-19 are directly related to the Michigan State University community.

6 News Brittany Flowers spoke with a health department official to learn more about the outbreak on campus.

“MSU related is an MSU student, an MSU faculty, an MSU staff,” Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail said during a weekly health briefing Tuesday.

More than 600 of those cases were confirmed the during week of Sept. 14 alone.

“I’m kind of feeling like I’m running out of tools in my toolbox,” Vail said.

After urging local all MSU students to self-isolate and issuing a mandatory quarantine on dozens of large houses in East Lansing, Vail said there’s a new challenge.

“I do see testing starting to drop off in the MSU community in general,” she said.

That could be a result of fewer people getting ill, but she added, there have been reports of students under mandatory quarantine simply not getting tested. While those reports can’t be traced back to any particular person, Vail said she has heard comments that a mandatory quarantine is discouraging those students from choosing to get tested. While some students view the order as a punishment, Vail said that isn’t the intent.

Late-stage study of first single-shot vaccine begins in US

Johnson & Johnson is beginning a huge final study to try to prove if a single-dose COVID-19 vaccine can protect against the virus.

The study starting Wednesday will be one of the world’s largest coronavirus vaccine studies so far, testing the shot in 60,000 volunteers in the U.S., South Africa, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico and Peru.

A handful of other vaccines in the U.S. — including shots made by Moderna Inc. and Pfizer Inc. — and others in other countries are already in final-stage testing. Hopes are high that answers about at least one candidate being tested in the U.S. could come by year’s end, maybe sooner.

U.S. health officials insist the race for a vaccine isn’t cutting corners.

“We want to do everything we can without sacrificing safety or efficacy — we’re not going to do that — to make sure that we end up with vaccines that are going to save lives,” Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health, told reporters.

But many vaccine specialists question whether the Food and Drug Administration will stick to that goal under intense pressure from the Trump administration. President Donald Trump has consistently presented a faster timeline for a new vaccine than experts say is adequate to fully test the candidates.

Meanwhile, testing of still another experimental vaccine, made by AstraZeneca, remains on hold in the U.S. as officials examine a safety question, even though studies have resumed in other countries.

Earlier this week, Vice President Mike Pence urged state governors to “do your part to build public confidence that it will be a safe and effective vaccine.”

And Dr. Anthony Fauci, the top U.S. infectious disease expert, added in the call to governors that he is confident in “a tried and true process” that has checks and balances built in, including an independent board evaluating the progress of each vaccine trial, as well as “the integrity of the FDA.”

A recording of the call was provided to The Associated Press.

Senators were scheduled to question FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn, Fauci and other administration officials later Wednesday about the pandemic response.

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