MDHHS banner with logo no names

Press Release


CONTACT: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112,

Case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis suspected in Barry County resident

Aerial treatment planned to begin Wednesday night in 10 counties
to protect Michiganders from mosquito-borne diseases

LANSING, Mich. – A Barry County resident is suspected of having Eastern Equine Encephalitis (EEE), the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Barry-Eaton District Health Department announced today.

Preliminary test results indicate the patient has EEE and confirmatory testing is expected to be completed by the end of the week at the MDHHS Bureau of Laboratories. No additional information will be provided on this individual. This human case is in addition to 22 confirmed cases in horses from 10 counties. Michiganders are strongly urged to protect themselves from mosquito bites following the suspected EEE case along with nine confirmed cases of West Nile Virus.

“This suspected EEE case in a Michigan resident shows this is an ongoing threat to the health and safety of Michiganders and calls for continued actions to prevent exposure, including aerial treatment,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “MDHHS continues to encourage local officials in the affected counties to consider postponing, rescheduling or cancelling outdoor activities occurring at or after dusk, particularly those involving children to reduce the potential for people to be bitten by mosquitoes.”

EEE is one of the most dangerous mosquito-borne diseases in the United States, with a 33 percent fatality rate in people who become ill and a 90 percent fatality rate in horses that become ill. People can be infected with EEE and other mosquito-borne diseases from the bite of a mosquito carrying the viruses.

Signs of EEE infection include the sudden onset of fever, chills, body and joint aches which can progress to a severe encephalitis, resulting in headache, disorientation, tremors, seizures and paralysis. Anyone who thinks they may be experiencing these symptoms should contact a medical provider. Permanent brain damage, coma and death may also occur in some cases.

In an effort to prevent spread of EEE, MDHHS announced plans Monday, Sept. 14 to conduct aerial mosquito control treatment in certain high-risk areas of Michigan. Treatment is scheduled to begin Wednesday, Sept. 16 in the 10 impacted counties: Barry, Clare, Ionia, Isabella, Jackson, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Newaygo and Oakland. Additional areas may be selected for treatment if new human or animal cases occur outside of the currently identified zones.

Aerial treatment will be conducted by Clarke from St. Charles, Ill., using specialized aircraft, beginning in the early evening and continuing up until the following dawn. Treatment will be conducted using Merus 3.0, the same product used in 2019 in Michigan to treat 557,000 acres. Merus 3.0 is registered with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan Department of Agricultural and Rural Development, and is labeled for public health use over residential areas.

Residents can stay healthy by following steps to avoid mosquito bites:

  • Apply insect repellents that contain the active ingredient DEET, or other U.S. Environmental Protection Agency-approved product to exposed skin or clothing, and always follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wear long-sleeved shirts and long pants when outdoors. Apply insect repellent to clothing to help prevent bites.
  • Maintain window and door screening to help keep mosquitoes outside.
  • Empty water from mosquito breeding sites around the home, such as buckets, unused kiddie pools, old tires or similar sites where mosquitoes may lay eggs.
  • Use nets and/or fans over outdoor eating areas.

For more information about EEE, visit

Michigan launches $10 million wastewater grant program

Michigan launches $10 million wastewater grant program

EGLE Main GovD banner
Sept. 16, 2020
EGLE Media Office,, 517-284-9278

Michigan launches $10 million COVID-19 in wastewater surveillance grant program

MDHHS logoThe Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) today announced a $10 million grant for a three-month pilot program to fund local public health department efforts to coordinate with counties, universities, and other institutions across the state on COVID-19 wastewater testing programs. These local efforts have the potential to be an early warning system for the spread of COVID-19 within a specific community or for coronavirus outbreaks on college campuses and at other densely populated facilities.

Funded from Michigan’s allocation of federal money under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), the $10 million grant program will target existing COVID-19 wastewater surveillance programs in the state to establish a standardized and coordinated network of monitoring systems operating by Oct. 1, 2020.

Testing wastewater for viruses, such as the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, can be an effective tool for monitoring transmission of COVID-19 within a local community or at individual facilities. The virus is shed in human waste, including people who are not ill or have not yet become ill. The virus can then be detected by testing samples taken from sewers and wastewater treatment plants, with results often being available earlier than human clinical samples. These results can then inform local public health actions to prevent further spread within that community.

“Since nearly 70 percent of Michigan residents rely on public wastewater systems, this COVID-19 surveillance program has the potential to provide critical, life-saving data on COVID-19 transmission within a large portion of Michigan’s population,” said EGLE Director Liesl Clark. “The ability to predict outbreaks on college campuses, at nursing homes, prisons, and other congregate care facilities could be game-changer in our mission to slow the spread of this virus.”

During the three-month pilot project, EGLE will coordinate sample collection, lab analysis, data reporting, and communication with the local monitoring teams across Michigan. MDHHS will provide project support to participating local health departments, including how to integrate local wastewater data with other types of COVID-19 surveillance and public health responses. The pilot project will also partner with the Michigan State University laboratory of Dr. Joan Rose, who will develop the laboratory testing methods for the local teams.

“Slowing the spread of COVID-19 is the shared priority of every agency within state and local government,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “This partnership could provide early indicators of COVID-19 in a community and allow public health to take quick actions to protect the health and safety of Michiganders.”

As part of the program, Michigan will leverage its existing network of laboratories involved in monitoring the state’s beaches for E. coli. These labs are equipped to test for viruses like the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 and are capable of supporting local wastewater testing efforts.

DNR: News Digest – Week of Sept. 14, 2020

DNR: News Digest – Week of Sept. 14, 2020


Share or view as webpage  |  Update preferences

News Digest – Week of Sept. 14, 2020

hartwick log cabin

Use cozy fall scenes like this for your next virtual meeting background.

Some of the items in this week’s news digest reflect the impact of COVID-19 and how the Michigan Department of Natural Resources is adapting to meet customers’ needs. Public health and safety are our biggest priorities, and we will continue to share news and information about the safest, and sometimes new, ways to enjoy our state’s natural and cultural resources.

Follow our COVID-19 response page for FAQs and updates on facilities and reopening dates. For the latest public health guidelines and news, visit and

Here’s a look at some of this week’s stories from the Department of Natural Resources:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used below, and additional ones, are available in this folder.

Get a jump on hunting with small game seasons

fox squirrelCooler weather, crisp color and abundant small game hunting opportunities – and all you need to get started is a DNR base hunting license!

Enjoy time in the woods while searching for gray and fox squirrels and maybe scouting out spots for deer hunting later this fall. Squirrel (fox and gray), rabbit, hare and ruffed grouse hunting all open today, Sept. 15.

Woodcock hunters can join the hunt when the season opens Sept. 19. In addition to a small game license, make sure you have your free woodcock stamp, which includes a federal migratory bird hunter HIP endorsement.

Get more information at under Small Game. Check the 2020 Hunting Digest, available at, for season dates, bag limits and other regulations.

Fall turkey hunting also starts today. Even if you didn’t enter the drawing for a limited-quota license, you still could snag a turkey tag from leftover licenses. Hunters can purchase one leftover license per day until all license quotas are met. Check leftover turkey license availability and get other season information at

If you’re looking for a place to hunt, check out, an interactive map that shows public lands open to hunting. Michigan’s grouse enhanced management sites are great places for grouse and other small game hunting. Learn about these premier bird hunting locations at

Still need to get your 2020 base license? Buy it online at or anywhere DNR licenses are sold.

Tips for target shooting on state forest lands

state forestWhether you’re sighting in your rifle in hopes of bagging a deer or just target shooting for fun, state forest lands provide a gorgeous backdrop. Before you go, just remember a few things to ensure you’re shooting safely and legally on these lands.

“Target shooting is allowed year-round on most state forest land,” said Matt Fry, the Land Use Program lead in the DNR’s Forest Resources Division. “It’s your responsibility to check for posted signage that may prohibit shooting in specific areas.”

If you use a target, make sure it’s made of paper, cardboard or clay, or designed and manufactured for the specific purpose of target shooting. Incendiary or explosive targets are never allowed. Be kind to trees, too; don’t use a tree as a target or to hold a target.

“Before heading out, familiarize yourself with your firearm, the ammunition you’re using and the distance rounds can travel,” said DNR shooting range specialist Lori Burford. “And always be aware of what’s around you, too, including roads, trails and homes.”

Burford offered additional guidance:

  • Pick a site with a backstop, like a hill, and be respectful of neighbors and other forest users.
  • Don’t shoot early in the morning or late in the evening.
  • Pick up all trash when you leave; that includes targets and spent shell casings.
  • Never shoot a firearm while under the influence of a controlled substance or alcohol.

In addition to target shooting opportunities on state forest land, the DNR operates seven staffed shooting ranges and several unstaffed ranges.

Questions? Ask Matt Fry about state forest lands and Lori Burford about shooting ranges.

Bringing the DNR to classrooms around Michigan

nature @ schoolCOVID-19 has created many new work, home and life scenarios, and that’s especially true with K-12 education. With many schools moving online, the DNR has launched Nature at School, an opportunity for educators to schedule free, virtual education sessions presented by DNR professionals. Teachers can book 11 different programs, each 30 minutes long, with additional time for questions.

“Nature at School has been a mammoth undertaking,” said DNR Education Services manager Kevin Frailey. “In a typical year, more than 50,000 school kids would visit our 10 statewide visitor centers, but COVID-19 has influenced that tremendously. Instead of waiting for the big yellow buses to return, we decided to take nature to them instead.”

Michigan educators who teach third through 12th grade can find more information about each program, review the learning outcomes and register for open time slots at

Each program comes with optional pre- and post-lesson activities and lets students participate in a fun “Kahoot” – a learning game that tests students’ knowledge of the topic – to monitor the program’s effectiveness.

“We have a fantastic team of park and hatchery interpreters who will bring their expertise to your students, whether they are participating from school or at home,” Frailey said. “One of the unique factors of this program is that Michigan’s most amazing places, like the Porcupine Mountains wilderness, Tahquamenon Falls, Hartwick Pines and many others, will be coming into your classroom.”

Students in Detroit, for example, can learn about biodiversity in the western Upper Peninsula – nearly 600 miles away – and compare it to nature in their own communities.

Pre-lesson materials also connect teachers to the Next Generation Science Standards, and all the programs have some STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) components.

Nature at School is a companion effort to Nature at Home, a comprehensive listing of videos, activities and learning resources launched last spring when COVID-19 sent students home and parents scurrying for ways to educate and entertain their children. Both programs focus on connecting people to nature and Michigan’s natural and cultural resources.

Questions? Contact Kevin Frailey at 517-284-6043.

Now available: virtual backgrounds let you step into fall

fall backgroundAspen trees in the orange and gold Pigeon River Country State Forest. A majestic white-tailed buck. A log lodge nestled at Hartwick Pines – next time you’re on a video call, consider these scenes to frame your conversation.

With video meetings becoming the new norm, the DNR recently launched a collection of virtual videoconferencing backgrounds. With these new additions, you can enjoy the beauty of fall while remaining cozy indoors – and give your friends, family and colleagues some autumn travel inspiration, too.

The gallery has a bit of everything – starry skies, rushing waterfalls, scenic landscapes and historic sites are yours to “visit.” Browse the gallery, available at in the Photos and Videos section.

In addition to their visual appeal, virtual backgrounds serve a practical purpose. When you’re meeting online with people outside your immediate contacts, security experts recommended using virtual backgrounds to obscure details of your home and surroundings. Steps to enable and upload backgrounds in a Zoom account are available on the Zoom virtual background support page. The high-resolution images should be compatible with other virtual meeting platforms, too, and can be used as computer backgrounds.

ICYMI: join the Michigan Trails Week Challenge

trails logoIn case you missed it, the DNR and the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance are inviting Michiganders to pay tribute to trails during Michigan Trails Week (Sept. 20-27) and collectively walk, run, ride, hike, bike or paddle 100,000 miles. More than 4,600 people already have registered; don’t miss out on the fun!

Report your mileage and earn badges at certain milestones. Read the full story, or visit for more information on Michigan Trails Week and to sign up for the challenge.


Whether you’re looking to hook a Chinook salmon or bag a brown trout, check out our weekly fishing report, compiled by creel clerks and DNR staff, for fishing conditions around the state.


Fall camping season is upon us! Reserve your site and make sure you have a Recreation Passport; it gives you vehicle entry into any state park, state forest campgrounds and more.


When you’re out at your favorite hunting or fishing spots, report any invasive species you see. Early detection is key to stopping the spread of these harmful species; learn more at

DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at

Census 2020 - Be Counted

Sammy Taormina: Top Five-Week One Games

Sammy Taormina: Top Five-Week One Games

Top Five-Week One Games.
Written by Sammy Taormina

Troy Athens at Bloomfield Hills: This could be the game that could decide the Blue. Both teams bring different styles to this matchup. Troy Athens has Waides Ashmon who is a workhorse at running back and wants to play the pound the rock scheme for Coach Billy Keenest. Bloomfield Hills comes from the Red and features Tanner Slazinski at quarterback in a spread attack for Coach Dan Loria. Both the Red Hawks and Blackhawks have struggled in the last few years so someone should be going home happy with a huge win.


Clarkston at Southfield Arts and Tech: These two teams played twice last season. Southfield Arts and Tech stunned Clarkston 28-14 at West Bloomfield in week one behind two touchdowns from RaeQuan Lee. The Wolves returned the favor in week six behind two touchdowns from then wide receiver Justin Buchmann and a really bad penalty late in overtime and an Ethan Clark two point conversion to stun the Warriors 22-21. The loss cost Coach Tim Conley’s team a trip to the postseason. Both teams appear to be healthy heading into this game and have firepower to burn. This game looks to be a shootout in the making.


Oxford at Lake Orion: This will be the debut for Oxford coach Zach Line going up against the rivals to the south in Lake Orion. The Wildcats have a ton of experience back led by quarterback Brady Carpenter and running back/linebacker Melvin Eckles. The Dragons have the balk of their offensive line back along with defensive back and wide receiver Kade Manzo. Lake Orion won 35-0 at Oxford last season but in 2018 it was the Wildcats that went into Lake Orion and stunned the Dragons 28-7. This rivalry game should be a very interesting matchup to say the least.


Stoney Creek at Seaholm: This is a rematch of last season’s 20-13 Seaholm victory over Stoney Creek. Both of these teams made the postseason a year ago with the Maples getting to the Division Two State Semifinals. This will be a very good coaching matchup between Jim DeWald and Nick Merlo and also a great quarterback duel between Caleb Kroner and Ryan Echout. The Cougars and Maples both have experience back which makes this game very interesting. This should be a good one on Friday night.


Ferndale at Avondale: These are two teams that missed the postseason last season after having high expectations. Ferndale won 42-28 last season at home ending a trend of the road team winning this game. This game cost Avondale a trip to the playoffs in 2019. The Eagles are heading back to what got them to the dance and ditching the Wing T according to their head coach Eric Royal. The Yellow Jackets have a ton of athletes including David Holloman at running back. This will be a huge game for Coach Corey Bell especially since Avondale didn’t make the playoffs last season and they have a senior heavy team.

Oakland County Michigan Works: Virtual Job Fair

Oakland County Michigan Works: Virtual Job Fair

Oakland County Michigan Works! Hosting Its First-Ever Virtual Job Fair With More Than 50 Employers

​Pontiac, Michigan – More than 50 area employers with hundreds of immediate job openings are participating in the first-ever virtual job fair hosted by Oakland County Michigan Works! on September 23.

Job seekers can participate in two sessions from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m. Advanced registration is required. Organizers strongly encourage individuals to sign up for both sessions since they will largely feature different employers.

“During this time of uncertainty, Oakland County Michigan Works! organized this virtual event, featuring job opportunities in a variety of industries that must be filled now as our economy continues to recover,” said Oakland County Executive David Coulter. “Most of these jobs are located in Oakland County.”

Employers that confirmed their participation in the virtual job fair include:

Morning Session (9 a.m. – noon)

A Raymond Tinnerman
Aluminum Blanking Company
Atlas Copco
Meijer – Royal Oak
Barron Industries
Oakland County
Belle Tire
Oakland County Michigan Works!
City of Southfield
Orchid Orthopedic Solutions
Comfort Keepers of Farmington
PACE Southeast MI
Contour Windows
Erickson Retirement Community (Fox Run)
Primetime Demolition
Friedman Real Estate
Trigo Global Quality Solutions
Gardner White
Group 10 Management
Welding Technology Corporation
Jimmy Johns
Ken Garff Automotive

Afternoon Session (1 – 4 p.m.)

AAA Insurance
Gardner White
Adduxi Inc.
All-Ways Logistics
J & B Medical
Loves Furniture
Atlas Copco
Becker Orthopedic
Black Rock – Novi
Martin Technologies
MEP Construction
Dakkota Integrated Systems
Modular Automotive Systems
erae Automotive
Oakland County
EJH Construction
Oakland County Michigan Works!
SFL Companies
Wenzel America
Zolman Restoration

The virtual job fair is made possible with the support of the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity’s Office of Employment and Training.

“We know many people are looking for new career opportunities this fall,” said Jennifer Llewellyn, director of Oakland County Michigan Works! “The good news is many employers are looking for job candidates with all levels of experience and are willing to train them. Our virtual job fair gives them the chance to meet with multiple companies online in just a few hours and find their next great job.”

Llewellyn said job seekers should prepare by updating their resumes, research employers that interest them, prepare a brief introduction to share with employers and making sure their internet connection, computer camera and microphone work. Register for the virtual job fair using the links below:

Morning Session:

Afternoon Session:

For more information, including additional tips on preparing for a virtual job fair, visit

Oakland County Michigan Works! operates service centers in Novi, Oak Park, Pontiac, Southfield, Troy and Waterford. Combined, they assist more than 105,000 job seekers annually. Services include career coaching, interviewing and job search workshops, placement assistance, training courses and job trend information.

The service centers also assist more than 3,000 employers seeking assistance with talent recruitment, apprenticeship programs, job fairs, candidate pre-screening, hiring and training support, layoff support and labor market data.

Service center staffs remain available by virtual appointment to work one-on-one with job seekers to build their resumes, prepare for job interviews and help address other needs. To schedule a virtual meeting, call 1-248-858-5520 and select the office nearest to you. The service centers are hosting several virtual workshops for job seekers. A schedule is found at