Covenant opens drive-thru coronavirus testing center near Fashion Square Mall in Saginaw

SAGINAW, MI – Covenant HealthCare announced on Tuesday, Dec. 1 that it recently opened up a new drive-thru center for COVID-19 testing to replace its Washington Avenue testing site for the winter season.

The drive-thru testing site is located at 4900 Fashion Square Mall in Saginaw Township at the former Sears Automotive building on the corner of Bay and Tittabawassee in the northwest corner of the mall parking lot. Covenant cited the automotive shop setup as being more practical to keep workers and patients warm in the winter weather.

Individuals are advised not to come to the center unless they have a doctor’s order for COVID-19 testing. As a safety precaution, people are asked to remain in their vehicles throughout the entire testing process.

The Covenant COVID-19 Testing Center is operational Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The center is closed on Sunday.

Currently, samples taken at the drive-thru center are being sent to outside laboratories and results are expected within two to four days, according to Covenant. Testing demand may impact the turnaround time of results.

According to the Saginaw County Health Department, there have been 8,425 total positive cases of coronavirus in the county as of Tuesday, Dec. 1, with 239 total deaths.

The Saginaw County Health Department issued the following guidelines and steps for residents to take if they test positive for COVID-19:

• As soon as you or a loved one tests positive, start isolation immediately for at least 10 days.

• Notify your close contacts and encourage them to start quarantine for a full 14 days and watch for symptoms.

• Go to www.saginawpublichealth.org and fill out the individual self-reporting form. This is required if you need a letter for your employer.

• Please follow all instructions to help curb the spread to others.

• If you have questions about isolation or quarantine, call the health department hotline at 989-758-3828

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Coronavirus case ‘explosion’ prompts Saginaw Health Department to ask for public’s help

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Is shopping in stores safe during the coronavirus pandemic?

Is shopping in stores safe during the pandemic? There are ways to reduce risk, but health experts advise avoiding it when possible.



Covid-19: Woman customer choosing clothes at the mall store


© Igor Alecsander / Getty Images
Covid-19: Woman customer choosing clothes at the mall store

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says holiday shopping in crowded stores is a “higher risk” activity and that people should limit any in-person shopping, including at supermarkets. Instead, the agency recommends shopping online, visiting outdoor markets or using curbside pickup, where workers bring orders to your car.

Retailers get creative to reinvent holiday shopping amid COVID-19 pandemic

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Off-peak hours

If you need to enter a store, go during off hours when there will likely be fewer people. Wear a mask and stay at least 6 feet away from others.



a group of people standing in front of a building: Small businesses struggle despite Black Frida... 01:52


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Small businesses struggle despite Black Frida… 01:52

Try to spend as little time inside the store as possible, said Dr. Isaac Weisfuse, a public health expert at Cornell University. “You just want to go in and out,” he said. “Get your shopping done and move on.”

Use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when you leave, and then wash your hands with soap and water when you get home.

Precautions don’t eliminate risk

Retailers have been doing all kinds of things to make shoppers feel safe, but they don’t eliminate the risk. Some check shoppers’ temperatures at the entrance, for example, but an infected person may not have a fever and can still spread the virus.

The plastic barriers between customers and cashiers also might not block all droplets from an infected person, Weisfuse said. If the air in a store feels stuffy, he said that’s a sign of poor ventilation, and you should leave.

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Coronavirus creates UPS, FedEx delivery van crunch as holiday shopping moves online

This holiday season is unlike any other in modern times. The coronavirus pandemic has left numerous restrictions in place that make it more difficult to plan a day shopping for gifts, and that’s led more people to turn to online retailers. And online retailers need someone to deliver their goods. It turns out, companies like UPS and FedEx are really starting to feel the crunch.



a car parked on the side of a road: More of these, please. Craig Cole/Roadshow


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More of these, please. Craig Cole/Roadshow

Bloomberg reported Wednesday that both of the parcel delivery companies are facing a serious delivery van shortage. In other words, both need more vans as soon as possible and its partners have started to either lease vans, or purchase used ones. Brendan Keegan, CEO of Merchants Fleet which provides vehicles to delivery companies, told the publication that any and every van that is for sale isn’t off limits. The company needs them now.

It’s been a perfect storm for a delivery van shortage. Every major automaker shut operations down earlier this year to slow the spread of COVID-19, and in the process, the automakers left a lot of supply off the table. At the same time, more people already started to lean on online retailers and home delivery for more goods as social distancing became the norm. Now, with holiday shopping in full swing, delivery companies don’t have many choices left.

It also means delivery charges are more expensive this year. According to the report, UPS implemented “peak surcharges” to help offset added delivery costs. UPS confirmed these surcharges with Roadshow and said, “While package volume and demand have created a tighter market for rental vehicles than in recent years, we are well-positioned to service the needs of our customers.” FedEx said in a statement, “FedEx has experienced a surge in package volumes due to the pandemic and now the holiday season. We have the ability to flex our network during periods of peak activity and have taken steps to secure our ability to deliver the best possible service this season.”



a van parked on the side of a road


© Craig Cole/Roadshow


Auto production is only now starting to return to pre-pandemic levels, but it might be a tad too late for companies that needed vehicles like the Ford Transit yesterday. If anything, the pandemic sped up the creation of a larger home-delivered goods economy, and it’s likely why startups and traditional automakers alike bank on electric commercial vehicles to boost EV adoption. Heck, Rivian and Amazon have a purpose-built electric delivery van coming in under two years.

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2021 wedding trends shift to accommodate coronavirus pandemic

When COVID-19 came and changed everyone’s lives in March, it took down engaged couples’ original wedding and honeymoons plans along with everything else, making many soon-to-be newlyweds postpone their nuptials to later in the year, or even into 2021.



a person that is standing in the grass: Getty Images


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Since the way we navigate life has changed due to the pandemic, it only makes sense that wedding trends fall in line too. Wedding planning website The Knot released its projected trends for 2021 weddings, dubbing it the “year of intentionality.” While past trends typically fall somewhere between color palettes and cakes, those forecasted for next year were born out of the pandemic.

Welcome boxes filled with hand sanitizer, masks, favors and other knick-knacks will likely replace the welcome bags of the past for some couples, according to The Knot. Sentimental table tops with custom linens, diverse vendors, brunch weddings and nanomoons — trips to a local destination or someplace within driving distance — are among some of next year’s trends as well.

Mismatched seating and living room decor also are projected to be elements in many weddings next year.

Tents are expected to be a top request from couples as outdoor weddings are more common during the pandemic.

Lori Stephenson, owner and principal of LOLA Event Productions in Chicago, says outdoor weddings are of the essence to her clients right now.

“The biggest thing for us is that if people are downsizing or planning for something in the more immediate future, that outdoor space is even more important than ever,” Stephenson said. “Any sort of option that we can have to provide some fresh air and circulation for an event is something that people feel a little bit more comfortable with.”



a tent in the room: Outdoor wedding reception in tent


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Outdoor wedding reception in tent

And just because couples have to scale back their wedding doesn’t necessarily mean they’re going to spend less; rather, they’re finding different places to put the funds and make specific elements of their celebrations more special and elaborate.

The Knot expects to see couples using florals in a more dramatic and sentimental way in 2021.

“Weddings I’ve done that we’ve paired back … we’ve really been doing really beautiful over-the-top flowers,” Stephenson said. “I’ve not only put flowers on tabletops, but we can put decor on a staircase, or a fireplace, or do really beautiful installations around a sweetheart table, really beefing that part of it up. … So they’re still kind of finding some splurges in other places. I think that gives clients — who were originally planning for something bigger — maybe this is the silver lining.”

One in three weddings happen on a weekday, according to the report from The Knot, and the brand projects an uptick in weekday weddings next year.

Many Saturdays in 2021 for Stephenson and her team are already booked due to postponements from this year, she said. She’s urging couples to take advantage of having their celebration on another day.

“I have gotten

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Ways Black Friday is different this year due to coronavirus pandemic


Black Friday
looked different this year, and some are theorizing that it will never look the same again.

The entire holiday shopping season was upended by the coronavirus pandemic, with sales that started earlier and were mostly online. Retail trade group the National Retail Federation said that nearly 69% of retailers that responded to a survey said they expected consumers to start their holiday shopping in October, and the sales have been going ever since.

The organization projected that overall holiday spending would be slightly down, at $997.79 per consumer, but 60% of shoppers in its survey said they planned to do at least some holiday shopping online, in a year when e-commerce has boomed. Analysts from eMarketer predicted that holiday spending this year would total about $1 trillion, with a slight decrease in in-store sales but a 35% jump in online sales.

Read more: Retailers are struggling to attract seasonal workers for what experts anticipate will be a ‘tough holiday season’

The analysts predicted that as shoppers avoid crowds and are drawn in with monthlong sales, e-commerce spending would make up about $190 billion of the $1 trillion in holiday spending. So far, stores look mostly empty, while it remains to be seen if the bulk of online orders will exceed the capacity of shipping companies and cause delays.

Here’s how Black Friday is different this year.

Black Friday is no longer just one day

Amazon prime day 2019

Amazon launched a separate page featuring celebrity-backed products during last year’s Prime Day.

Amazon


Black Friday’s remaining connection to its namesake day is tenuous, at best. Sales arguably started with Amazon’s Prime Day in October, which itself was spread across two days. Other stores like Walmart responded with similar sales, kicking off the holiday shopping bonanza in a year of huge e-commerce growth.

“I don’t even know if I’d call it Black Friday anymore,” Boston Consulting Group’s head of retail, Nate Shenck, told Business Insider. Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, traditionally three of the biggest Black Friday sellers, each opted to spread deals across the entire month of November, instead of concentrating them on the day after Thanksgiving.

A major change from previous years was spreading sales across the month instead of packing them into one day. Deals were be divided by type of product, so electronics shoppers wouldn’t have to fight with home-goods buyers and parents picking up last-minute toys.

No more lining up in the middle of the night 

black friday comparison



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Black Friday sales previously crept earlier and earlier, into Thanksgiving itself as some stores released the biggest sales before dinner was even over. This year, though, most retailers reversed that trend, and may have ended it for good.

Most stores did not open on Thanksgiving this year, even the ones that traditionally have like Walmart and Target. On Black Friday, they opened slightly earlier than normal, but midnight openings were rare. JC Penney, Kohl’s, Dick’s Sporting Goods, and other were among the earliest, opening at 5 a.m.

Though deals were spread

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Out on coronavirus release, ex-prisoner stole $3,200 worth of jewelry

Photo of Eduardo Medina

Robert White Jr., 54, was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, on burglary and larceny charges that accuse him of burglarizing a home in Colonie on Sept. 28, 2020, a period when police said he was free from prison after being let out to protect him from the spread of coronavirus cases in prison.

Robert White Jr., 54, was arrested Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020, on burglary and larceny charges that accuse him of burglarizing a home in Colonie on Sept. 28, 2020, a period when police said he was free from prison after being let out to protect him from the spread of coronavirus cases in prison.

Colonie Police Department

COLONIE — A man who was granted a coronavirus-related compassionate release in September is in custody after town police said they used a DNA match to link him to a jewelry theft he pulled off after he got out of prison.

Robert White Jr., 54, was arrested Wednesday after police said forensic evidence they found on the sill of an unlocked window White used in the Sept. 28 burglary on Darren’s Way matched his DNA. White is accused of stealing a purse and $3,200 worth of jewelry.

White was charged with second-degree burglary and third-degree grand larceny.

Though it took two months for police to get a match back on the DNA, White didn’t spend the last two months enjoying freedom.

Police said he was arrested for violating the terms of this coronavirus release for his role in a domestic violence case on Vly Road that took place the day after the break-in.

Police said the DNA data came back on Nov. 13 and officers arrested him at the Washington Correctional Facility in Comstock. He was taken into custody at the prison because he was scheduled to be released the next day, police said.

Police said the purse and jewelry have not been found.


White was arraigned in Colonie Town Court and taken to the Albany County Correctional Facility. He’s being held without bail and is due back in court on Monday.

Police say White has five previous felony convictions and served prison time for convictions for burglary and attempted burglary. He’s also served time for forgery and drug possession.

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Government Model Suggests U.S. COVID-19 Cases Could Be Approaching 100 Million : Coronavirus Updates : NPR

A healthcare worker processes people in line at a United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site on Nov. 19, in Houston. Texas is rushing thousands of additional medical staff to overworked hospitals as the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients increases.

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A healthcare worker processes people in line at a United Memorial Medical Center COVID-19 testing site on Nov. 19, in Houston. Texas is rushing thousands of additional medical staff to overworked hospitals as the number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients increases.

David J. Phillip/AP

The actual number of coronavirus infections in the U.S. reached nearly 53 million at the end of September and could be approaching 100 million now, according to a model developed by government researchers.

The model, created by scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, calculated that the true number of infections is about 8 times the reported number, which includes only the cases confirmed by a laboratory test.

Preliminary estimates using the model found that by the end of September, 52.9 million people had been infected, while the number of laboratory-confirmed infections was just 6.9 million, the team reported in the Nov. 25 issue of the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

“This indicates that approximately 84% of the U.S. population has not yet been infected and thus most of the country remains at risk,” the authors wrote.

Since then, the CDC’s tally of confirmed infections has increased to 12.5 million. So if the model’s ratio still holds, the estimated total would now be greater than 95 million, leaving about 71% of the population uninfected.

The model attempts to account for the fact that most cases of COVID-19 are mild or asymptomatic and go unreported.

Scientists used studies looking for people who have antibodies to the coronavirus in their blood – an indication that they were infected at some time — to estimate how many infections went undetected. Some of these antibody studies have suggested that only about one in 10 coronavirus infections is reported.

The goal in creating the model was to “better quantify the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the healthcare system and society,” the authors wrote.

The model also estimated that official counts do not include more than a third of the people hospitalized with COVID-19.

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Secret Hasidic wedding with hundreds of attendees fined $15,000 for breaking coronavirus rules

Now, city leaders say they’re taking action. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) said the event’s organizers will be fined $15,000 for violating pandemic restrictions, adding that more penalties could come.

“What we do know is unquestionably it was too many people,” De Blasio told reporters on Tuesday. “It appears that there was a very conscious effort to conceal what was going on. And that’s what makes it even more unacceptable.”

The wedding, organized by leaders of the Satmar sect, was the latest act of defiance against pandemic rules in Brooklyn’s Hasidic community, which health officials have cited for ignoring mask regulations and driving local spikes in the virus. Tensions boiled over in October, when hundreds of Orthodox Jews took to the streets to protest new restrictions on religious gatherings, clashing with the police and burning masks.

The conflicts come as coronavirus cases are on the rise in New York. The state reported 4,881 new cases and 45 new deaths on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post’s coronavirus tracker. In the past week, the percentage of new daily reported cases and deaths, as well as the percentage of covid-related hospitalizations have all risen in the state.

This was not the first time the Yetev Lev D’Satmar synagogue has come into conflict with officials over a wedding. In October, the state health commissioner personally intervened to shut down a planned wedding for the grandson of Zalman Leib Teitelbaum, the synagogue’s rabbi, that could have drawn 10,000 guests, the New York Times reported.

This month, for the wedding of the grandson of another rabbi, the sect’s leaders worked to keep the celebration a secret, according to Der Blatt, a Yiddish-language paper. The newspaper said it was aware of the wedding plans but remained quiet “so as not to attract an evil eye from the ravenous press and government officials,” reported the Times, which obtained a translated copy of the article.

But how did hundreds of attendees keep the secret?

“All notices about upcoming celebrations,” Der Blatt wrote, per the Times translation, “were passed along through word of mouth, with no notices in writing, no posters on the synagogue walls, no invitations sent through the mail, nor even a report in any publication, including this very newspaper.”

The wedding lasted more than four hours, the Times reported. Representatives of the Yetev Lev D’Satmar congregation did not respond to The Washington Post’s request for comment as of early Wednesday morning.

On Sunday, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) blasted the synagogue over the event, calling it a “blatant disregard of the law” that was “disrespectful to the people of New York.”

If the event’s organizers kept it “secret” due to the state health commissioner’s move to block October’s wedding at the synagogue, he said, that act of defiance would be “shocking.” The governor was also skeptical that local officials wouldn’t have been alerted to such a large gathering.

“If 7,000 people went to a wedding, you can figure that out right?” Cuomo

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Japan fights coronavirus in luxurious style with million-yen masks

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese trend-setters can now protect against the coronavirus in luxurious style with opulent masks adorned with diamonds and pearls for a cool million yen ($9,600) each.

Cox Co’s Mask.com chain began selling the hand-made masks last week, with the aim of cheering up people and spurring sales in a fashion industry depressed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The diamond masks are embellished with a 0.7 carat diamond and more than 300 pieces of Swarovski crystal, while the pearl masks contain some 330 Japanese Akoya pearls.

“Everyone is feeling down because of the coronavirus and it would be great if they could feel better by looking at one of these glittering masks,” Azusa Kajitaka, a mask concierge at the company’s store near Tokyo station, told Reuters on Wednesday.

“The jewellery and fabric industries have also been in a slump because of the coronavirus and so we did this as part of a project to help revitalise Japan,” she added.

Cox, part of retailing group Aeon Co, has opened Mask.com online and in six physical locations since September, offering more than 200 types of masks starting at 500 yen.

Some visitors to the store on Wednesday were concerned the million-yen masks might be out of their league.

“If I wear one of these face masks, I have to wear suitable fashion to match it. So I think it’s a bit embarrassing (to dress up),” said 66-year-old Mitsue Kaneko.

The Japanese masks are still far from the world’s most expensive. That honour belongs to a $1.5 million mask made with 250 grams of 18 karat gold designed by Israeli jeweller Yvel.

($1 = 104.4900 yen)

Reporting by Akira Tomoshige; Writing by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Christian Schmollinger

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Japan Fights Coronavirus in Luxurious Style With Million-Yen Masks | World News

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japanese trend-setters can now protect against the coronavirus in luxurious style with opulent masks adorned with diamonds and pearls for a cool million yen ($9,600) each.

Cox Co’s Mask.com chain began selling the hand-made masks last week, with the aim of cheering up people and spurring sales in a fashion industry depressed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The diamond masks are embellished with a 0.7 carat diamond and more than 300 pieces of Swarovski crystal, while the pearl masks contain some 330 Japanese Akoya pearls.

“Everyone is feeling down because of the coronavirus and it would be great if they could feel better by looking at one of these glittering masks,” Azusa Kajitaka, a mask concierge at the company’s store near Tokyo station, told Reuters on Wednesday.

“The jewellery and fabric industries have also been in a slump because of the coronavirus and so we did this as part of a project to help revitalise Japan,” she added.

Cox, part of retailing group Aeon Co, has opened Mask.com online and in six physical locations since September, offering more than 200 types of masks starting at 500 yen.

Some visitors to the store on Wednesday were concerned the million-yen masks might be out of their league.

“If I wear one of these face masks, I have to wear suitable fashion to match it. So I think it’s a bit embarrassing (to dress up),” said 66-year-old Mitsue Kaneko.

The Japanese masks are still far from the world’s most expensive. That honour belongs to a $1.5 million mask made with 250 grams of 18 karat gold designed by Israeli jeweller Yvel.

(Reporting by Akira Tomoshige; Writing by Chris Gallagher; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

Copyright 2020 Thomson Reuters.

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