Liz Hornyak: Today’s news will largely be updates on the COVID-19 pandemic. If you’re limiting your news consumption on the subject, stay tuned for an extra episode on the primary elections. That was produced by our editor Ronia-Isabel Cabansag and that’s dropping later today. Campus may be closed through March 31, but the Echo will continue to provide you the latest news as always.
As of Sunday evening, March 15, there are 53 reported cases of COVID-19 in the state of Michigan. This includes the first case to appear in Ottowa County. There are now a total of 7 cases in Washtenaw County, 13 in Wayne and 14 in Oakland. All public universities in the state have opted to move classes online.
Ypsilanti Mayor Beth Bashert declared a state of emergency for the city on Thursday, March 12. The mayor has the authority to request that the state send aid if the emergency situation escalates beyond the control of regular and emergency city forces. Bashert can also order disaster relief forces and request that city equipment and facilities can be used to help in the relief effort.
Whether it be food insecurity or a struggle to find housing, the current crisis leaves a lot of students in a tight spot. Eastern Michigan University and the surrounding community offer a number of resources to aid student through this uncertain time.
Students who are struggling financially are encouraged to apply for the Student Emergency Fund, where they can receive up to $750 in one-time aid. While Swoop’s Pantry is set to open up sometime this week, Ozone House at 102 N Hamilton St will continue to serve meals from 4:00 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. every weekday. U-Haul is offering one month of free storage at any facility across the country to students who can present a valid I.D. Finally, the Federal Communications Commission announced that phone and broadband providers have agreed to postpone termination of internet and phone services for 60 days. For a more comprehensive list of the aid resources available, be sure to check out the article on our website.
In politics, Joe Biden wins the Democratic primary in Michigan, sweeping every county in the state. He won Washtenaw County with 47.6% of the vote. Be sure to check out a full breakdown of the Super Tuesday results on our website. And tune in to the extra episode we’re dropping later today for some of the perspectives on the 2020 election from Washtenaw County. Primary elections will continue until June 6 and the 2020 Presidential Election will take place on Nov. 3, 2020.
In sports news, the EMU Department of Athletics has suspended all athletic activity. The decision to cancel spring sports competition affects seven EMU programs (that’s baseball, men's and women’s outdoor track and field, rowing, women's tennis, men's and women's golf), plus the soccer and volleyball teams which hold off-season competitions.
This decision comes with consultation with officials from the Mid-American Conference, public health and medical professionals and university administration. This decision is also in compliance with the NCAA and the MAC's decision to cancel its winter and spring championships for the 2020 season. Sports editor Charles Post had the chance to talk with Athletic Director Scott Wetherbee about his perspective on the situation.
All voluntary workouts and organized practice activities, including spring football and all in-person recruiting activities – both on and off campus - for all sports are suspended until further notice. The only recruiting will be through written and electronic communication.
As always, thanks for tuning in. The Echo will continue to report the news online and print will start up again as students return to campus. If you like the show, consider leaving us a review on Apple Podcast and be sure to subscribe to be notified about the latest episode. This has been the Eastern Echo Podcast. This is Liz Hornyak, signing off.
Producer: Lauren Smith
Host: Liz Hornyak
Writer: Jasmine Boyd & Ronia-Isabel Cabansag