COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic set for Sunday

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic set for Sunday

COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic set for Sunday at United Food and Commercial Workers 876 in Madison Heights

Pontiac, Michigan – About 1,250 Oakland County residents and or people who work in the county are scheduled to receive COVID-19 vaccinations Sunday in Madison Heights as the Oakland County Health Division extends the geographic reach of its vaccination clinics.

The Health Division is vaccinating eligible residents and workers from health care, long-term care; law enforcement, fire and EMS; education staff, and individuals 65 years and older who live or work in Oakland County. Sunday’s clinic is set for United Food and Commercial Workers 876, 876 Horace Brown Drive in Madison Heights and will run from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. by appointment-only. There is no walk-up availability.

“The Health Division continues to work as quickly and efficiently as possible to get the vaccinations in the arms of our residents, with 90 percent of the first doses administered within a week of receiving the vaccine,” County Executive Dave Coulter said. “While demand far outweighs supply, our weekly allocation of vaccine is increasing from 1,950 to about 7,000 doses and we are hopeful that number will increase. I’m grateful United Food and Commercial Workers has allowed us to use its facility to immunize and protect our residents.”

The county has received a total of about 16,000 doses of the vaccine and administered more than 13,000. More than 2,800 vaccinations were given Saturday at the Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi and another 700 doses will be administered there today by invitation/appointment-only.

A new drive-through site at the West Bloomfield Fire Station opens Friday by appointment-only to accommodate 640 people. The county also has held either drive-through or walk-in clinics in Holly, Lyon Township, Novi, Rochester, Southfield and Waterford.

The total number of county residents inoculated from all sources including hospitals is approximately 110,600, according to the state health department.

Should there be unused vaccine at the end of a clinic, the Health Division will contact individuals registered on the “Save Your Spot” list. To register, click on and fill out the information, which indicates your interest in receiving the COVID-19 vaccine.

The county will contact those registered when they are eligible to receive a vaccine based on state and federal guidelines and the availability of vaccine doses. To date, more than 310,000 people have signed up for Save Your Spot. For anyone unable to complete the form, call the upgraded health hotline at 800-848-5533.

To receive updates on COVID-19, register your email address at or text OAKGOV to 28748. The Health Division phone lines are very busy and sometimes Nurse on Call receives over 20,000 calls per day. Nurse on Call is available at 800-848-5533 to answer health-related questions, make COVID-19 testing appointments, and assist those unable to complete the ‘Save Your Spot’ link.

Vaccine information can be found at:

Why is MDOT naming snowplows?

Why is MDOT naming snowplows?
Thank the Scots

Have you heard the names:

For Your Ice Only?
Gangsta Granny Gritter?
Gritty Gritty Bang Bang?
Ice Buster?

These are not the names of films or rock bands. These are monikers for Gritters, which is what our friends in Scotland call snowplows.

On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation, recorded Jan. 26, Iain McDonald joins the conversation from Perth, Scotland. McDonald works with ice 24/7/365, at Transport Scotland by day and, when off duty, as a producer of gin at The Perth Distillery Co.

Listen now:

Why MDOT is naming snowplows

Transport Scotland’s initiative to name the snow fleet generated worldwide attention, especially on Twitter.

McDonald explains that the idea to name the vehicles came from frequent questions about when there would be a snowstorm and people would say, “We never see a gritter on the road.” So, the “Trunk Road Gritter Tracker” was born. Naming the plows makes it easy for people to follow their location and progress and make decisions about what roads are clear and salted before embarking on a journey.

McDonald talks about how his team prepares for snow events, especially the all-hands-on-deck Beast from the East.

TrafficScotland Gritter Tracker

The popularity of labeling the plows in Scotland inspired others, including the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

In the second segment, MDOT’s Nick Schirripa and Courtney Bates join the podcast to talk about the launch here. Bates tells us that as of late January members of the public have submitted nearly 12,000 ideas for plow names. As a website administrator working to keep the Mi Drive site up to date, she sees the naming initiative as a way to highlight all the features, including tracking the plows but also viewing real-time information about crashes, road work or other slowdowns, as well as camera images.

Schirripa tells Fox 2 in Detroit that Plowy McPlowface and Sir Saltsalot were among the top nominations here. He also emphasizes there are not only educational and safety benefits from the project, but this also pays tribute to the people who brave the storms and clear the roads day and night.

Name MI Snowplow

First screenshot of Traffic Scotland Trunk Road Gritter Tracker site.
Second screenshot of MDOT’s Mi Drive site.

Listen now at

Stay connected by subscribing to Talking Michigan Transportation e-mail updates.

Protect Michigan Commission hosts first meeting

Protect Michigan Commission hosts first meeting

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic


January 29, 2021

Contact: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112


Protect Michigan Commission hosts first meeting, highlights state’s vaccine strategy 

Bipartisan commission focused on equitable distribution of safe, effective vaccine to save lives, strengthen economy


LANSING, Mich. – The Protect Michigan Commission, comprised of a diverse group of leaders from across the state charged with helping raise awareness about the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine, hosted its first meeting today and unveiled Michigan’s COVID-19 Vaccination Strategy.


Established by Executive Order 2020-193, the commission serves as an advisory group to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.


“The work of the bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission will help Michigan reach its goal of 50,000 shots in arms per day and help ensure all Michiganders have a plan to get their vaccine once it is their turn,” said Governor Whitmer. “The safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine is our way forward out of this pandemic and will allow us to return to a sense of normalcy and a strong Michigan economy.”


“As we work to ensure that every Michigander who wants a vaccine will get one, the Protect Michigan Commission will play a vital role in reaching out to Michiganders in every part of our state,” Lt. Governor Gilchrist said. “The best thing we can do right now is to work together to ensure that Michiganders, especially those with questions and those hardest hit during the pandemic, have a plan to get vaccinated. Our clearest path to healthy communities, a growing economy, and day-to-day activities free from fear is through the COVID-19 vaccine.”


The governor has selected Kerry Ebersole Singh to lead the Protect Michigan Commission and assist in mobilizing the ongoing efforts of the commission.


“Today marked the start of the commission’s mission to protect the health and safety of Michiganders by ensuring all residents who want a COVID-19 vaccine are able to get one,” said Ebersole Singh. “The expertise of all involved in the commission will help eradicate the spread of the virus in our state.”


During today’s meeting, the commission unveiled the state’s strategy to get 70% of Michiganders age 16 and older vaccinated as quickly as possible. The strategy is being guided by the following guiding principles:

  • All Michiganders have equitable access to vaccines.
  • Vaccine planning and distribution is inclusive and actively engages state and local government, public and private partners; and draws upon the experience and expertise of leaders from historically marginalized populations.
  • Communications are transparent, accurate, and frequent public communications to build public trust.
  • Data is used to promote equity, track progress and guide decision making.
  • Resource stewardship, efficiency, and continuous quality improvement drive strategic implementation.


“I am proud to co-chair the Protect Michigan Commission as we work collaboratively to get 70% of Michiganders ages 16 and older vaccinated with the safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine as quickly as possible,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “The strategy announced today clarifies our state’s goals and strategies and prioritizes equity, efficiency, and transparency. I am proud of the work of our partners across the state in helping us reach our goal. Everyone has a role to play in ending this pandemic.”


The Protect Michigan Commission will work to protect the health and safety of Michigan residents by educating communities about the effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine to eradicate the spread of the coronavirus.


To achieve this, the bi-partisan commission will develop an outreach strategy to identify and work with communities around the state where there is hesitancy to the vaccine. The commission will complete its work and submit a report to Governor Whitmer by Dec. 31, 2021.


Last month, Congress appropriated $90 million in additional resources for vaccine distribution in Michigan through the Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act. Governor Whitmer’s MI COVID Recovery plan will use this federal funding to ramp up vaccine distribution in Michigan and bring us closer to our goal of 50,000 shots in arms per day. This funding will help provide financial support to local health departments for vaccine administration costs, including staff augmentation, as well as provide equipment and supplies. Michigan will also receive $575 million to expand COVID testing, tracing, and lab capacity in Michigan.


More information about the commission, including a list of members, is available at MDHHS – Protect Michigan Commission.


Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit

Michigan expands its COVID-19 Response

Michigan expands its COVID-19 Response

Contact: Penny Carroll, 586-842-8424

The Michigan National Guard (MING) is expanding its COVID-19 response force for vaccination and testing efforts across the state. Almost 300 additional guard members are being deployed to support this mission.

Beginning Jan. 24, 2021, the MING is scheduled to deploy three additional task forces in order to further assist the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services and local health departments.  The surge of Soldiers and Airmen will be assigned directly to specific regions of the state including northern Michigan, mid-Michigan, western Michigan and southeast Michigan. The MING is augmenting local health departments, as requested, in administering the vaccination in clinics in their area.

“The availability of a COVID-19 vaccine is exciting as this allows us to go on the offensive against this ruthless disease,” said U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Paul Rogers, adjutant general and director of the Michigan Department of Military and Veterans Affairs. “This will help reduce the risk and safeguard Michiganders during this pandemic.”

Throughout 2020, the men and women of the Michigan National Guard stepped up as trusted professionals time and time again to support their neighbors when called upon.

“As 2021 begins, we are doubling down on our commitment to the safety of Michigan communities by doing everything we can to make this vaccine as accessible as possible,” said Rogers.

The additional fifty COVID-19 Vaccination and Testing Teams (CVTT) will create three additional task forces known as Task Force North, Bronco, and Red Lion.  A CVTT is comprised of one medic and two supporting administrative personnel. They will join Task Force Spartan to ensure Michigan health care agencies have the personnel required to deliver the vaccine in their communities.  CVTTs will be supporting individual teams in some locations and setting up entire mass vaccination clinics where requested.

“We are here to help the state where asked,” said Rogers.  “From the city of Detroit to the far reaches of the Upper Peninsula, the Michigan National Guard will continue to assist our communities in this very important mission.”

Michigan has started Phase 1B of their vaccination plan, which includes those over age 65. As more of the population is eligible for vaccines, the need for additional support administering the doses has increased.  As of Jan. 23, 2021 the Michigan National Guard has administered almost 32,000 vaccines to Michiganders.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and To learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit

EGLE approves permits for proposed Mackinac Straits tunnel

EGLE approves permits for proposed Mackinac Straits tunnel

EGLE Main GovD banner
Jan. 29, 2021
EGLE Media Office, [email protected], 517-284-9278

EGLE approves permits for proposed Mackinac Straits tunnel

Tunnel plans meet regulatory, statutory requirements; review affirms DNR conclusion that existing pipeline poses unacceptable risk to Great Lakes

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) announced today that it has approved Enbridge Energy’s application for certain permits required to build a utility tunnel under the Straits of Mackinac.

If constructed, the tunnel would house a proposed replacement for the 68-year-old Line 5 dual petroleum products pipelines currently lying on lakebed. EGLE’s review of the permit applications concluded that the proposed construction of a tunnel beneath the lakebed can be done in compliance with the state environmental laws that EGLE administers.

EGLE acknowledged public concerns about the existing oil pipeline and affirmed the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ conclusion that the current pipeline violates the Public Trust Doctrine and poses an unacceptable risk to the Great Lakes.

The permit approvals follow a nine-month review period and cover Enbridge’s National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Wastewater Permit (NPDES), bottomlands, and wetlands permit applications. EGLE’s permit review confirmed that the proposed tunneling project would have minimal impact on water quality in the Great Lakes and would not affect protected public uses of Michigan’s water resources.

“EGLE is obligated to review permit applications with the goal of protecting the environment and public health, but within the confines of Michigan law,” said Teresa Seidel, director of EGLE’s Water Resources Division. “During our review of this proposed project, our top priority has been protecting the Straits of Mackinac and the surrounding wetlands, aquatic life, and other natural and cultural resources from adverse environmental impacts.”

EGLE’s review determined that the proposed project would result in minimal impact to wetlands, estimating wetlands affected to be 0.13 acres – an area roughly one-tenth the size of a football field. Enbridge will be required to protect 1.3 acres of existing Great Lakes coastal wetlands and purchase wetlands credits from a state wetlands mitigation bank to address this impact.

Prior to making its permitting decision, EGLE held four public information sessions, four public hearings and four tribal consultations. EGLE’s decision making also included input from the State Historic Preservation Office and a report from an independent civil engineering firm specializing in complex tunneling projects. EGLE also reviewed more than 2,600 comments from the public on the permit applications and devoted more than 2,000 staff-hours to its consideration.

“Although this proposed tunnel project has illuminated numerous related policy issues, the basis for our decision is required to be limited to compliance with the relevant environmental statutes created by our legislature,” said EGLE director Liesl Clark. “Our review showed construction of the proposed tunnel could comply with state environmental laws. We have issued permits designed to ensure that if a tunnel is constructed, it will be in strict compliance with relevant statutes and adhere to stringent protections against impacts to the Great Lakes.”

To keep the public informed, EGLE has partnered with the Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) and the Michigan Department of Transportation’s (MDOT) Mackinac Straits Corridor Authority on the state’s Line 5 in Michigan website. Information on this project, permit documents and other supporting materials are available there.


Mask Spread Hope
For details on EGLE’s work during the pandemic, visit our COVID-19 response webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at