The Rapidian

COVID-19 in Grand Rapids: Monday, April 27 updates

Gov. Whitmer signs executive orders establishing new consumer safety measures and extending validity of personal protection orders, The Rapid requires all medically-able riders wear face coverings, and Local Spins publishes West Michigan concert reschedules list.
The Amway Grand Plaza and JW Marriott using room lights to display a heart and "USA," respectively, in light of the pandemic.

The Amway Grand Plaza and JW Marriott using room lights to display a heart and "USA," respectively, in light of the pandemic. /Nate Brink

Kent County begins the week with 1,100 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 34 related deaths. Statewide, there are 38,210 confirmed cases and 3,407 related deaths. These numbers, reported by the State of Michigan, are as of Monday, April 27.

Shared in this April 27 update are continued responses relevant to local life from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, The Rapid, and Local Spins.


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signs executive orders establishing new safety measures in food-selling establishments and pharmacies, extending validity of personal protection orders during pandemic

Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order April 26 establishing new safety measures to protect Michigan customers and employees from COVID-19 exposure. The safety measures apply to food-selling establishments and pharmacies.

For customers, the order urges the wearing of face coverings when entering a food establishment. It also requires grocery stores and pharmacies to allocate at least two hours per week of shopping time for vulnerable populations.

For employees, their employers are required to notify them if a co-worker tests positive for COVID-19, without infringing on private personal-health related information of an employee. Additionally, checkout employees must wear face coverings, employees and customers must remain at least six feet apart to the maximum extent possible, daily screening programs must be designed and implemented, and more.

While Michiganders fight this virus, we must continue to take aggressive action to reduce exposure and prevent a second spike in cases,” said Whitmer. “This is not the time to slow our efforts; we must continue to be smart. By establishing these guidelines, we can protect Michigan families and our frontline workers. When we come together, we can slow the spread of this virus and save lives.”

Whitmer also signed an April 27 order extending the validity of personal protection orders during the pandemic. The extension is until July 21, 2020.

The order coincides with a Michigan Supreme Court administrative order extending the validity of personal protection orders until 90 days after Michigan’s emergency declaration is lifted. It’s effective immediately.

Michiganders who file for personal protection orders due to threats, stalking, and abuse should have peace of mind in their homes during the ongoing health crisis,” Whitmer said. “By extending the expiration of existing personal protection orders, we are helping secure the safety of vulnerable residents as we continue to flatten the curve and plan for Michigan’s resurgence.”

The full April 26 and 27 orders are available on the Executive Orders page on Whitmer’s Office’s website.


The Rapid requires all riders wear face coverings who are medically able to

In accordance with Whitmer’s April 24 executive order, The Rapid transit service is now requiring all riders to wear a covering over their nose and mouth when on its buses. Coverings may include homemade masks, scarves, bandanas, or handkerchiefs.

When asked in its April 27 Facebook post whether The Rapid will refuse admission to those without masks, The Rapid clarified, “those who are medically able will be required to wear a mask to ride.”

Whitmer’s April 24 order requires Michiganders to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces. It also extends the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through May 15.

More information about The Rapids’ COVID-19 mitigation efforts is available on its website’s COVID-19 Updates page.


Local Spins publishes list of West Michigan concert reschedules

With West Michigan’s music venues still shut down amid continued COVID-19 mitigation efforts, local music news source Local Spins published its “Big List Rescheduled” April 27, listing rescheduled dates for concerts that were planned for April and May.

The earliest listed reschedule is St. Cecilia Music Center’s “Eat, Drink, Be Merry” fundraiser, now scheduled for June 6. The latest listed reschedule is Shawn Colvin’s performance at St. Cecilia Music Center, now scheduled for January 22, 2021.

Acknowledging the constant rescheduling of shows still happening throughout West Michigan, Local Spins encouraged those still in the dark about a particular show to keep checking online.

Shows are being rescheduled constantly, so if you are looking for one [in the list] and it’s not listed, be sure to check venue websites and social media for the latest information,” Local Spins said in its Big List Rescheduled.

The Big Lig List Rescheduled is available on Local Spins' website.


Sharing your stories

The Rapidian will continue to report on all major local developments related to the spread of COVID-19 and the community's prevention and response methods. Local residents are encouraged at this time to share their own stories and perspectives related to the COVID-19 situation on The Rapidian's platform.

The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.