Covid-19 cases are still low but increasing quickly, with thirty-two new confirmed cases, three hospitalizations, and one death as of Tuesday morning. Most concerning is the rapid climb of the weekly positivity rate, which jumped to 2.6 percent last week. Washtenaw.org
U-M is requiring all students, faculty, and staff to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before the start of the fall term, president Mark Schlissel announced Friday. The requirement applies to Michigan Medicine and all three U-M campuses. The decision comes in response to a rise in cases across the country caused by the more contagious Delta variant. Michigan Daily
LynxDx started off with only four employees in February 2020, with the goal of developing a better test for prostate cancer. A pandemic pivot to Covid-19 testing drove the U-M spin-out company to more than 140 people. Now, with vaccination rates rising, LynxDx is back at work on a more accurate test that could spare patients painful and unnecessary biopsies. The Observer’s Ken Garber has our story.
AAPS responds to fierce backlash and a lawsuit from parents with an announcement that “COVID-safe, smaller cohort” before- and after-school care will be available five days a week at eight schools, and after school enrichment classes will be held at all elementary and K8 buildings. County commissioners discussed offering the AAPS some of the $71 million in American Recovery Act funds to attract more applicants with higher wages, and expand the extended-care program to all schools. AAPS is currently hiring for these programs.
First and Ashley will switch to two-way traffic next week. The adjacent streets—Ashley was originally Second St.—were converted to one-way in preparation for a proposed downtown bypass project in the late 1960s. Amid neighborhood opposition, voters turned down a levy for the project, but the paired south- and north-bound streets have sped traffic past congested Main St. ever since. The project also includes a protected bikeway on First from Kingsley to William, and via the William bikeway to the U-M Diag.
Advisory bike lanes are coming to S. First and W. William. Already in use on Granger, a single center lane for cars is flanked by bike lanes on either side. When drivers traveling in opposite directions meet, they’re supposed to move into the bike lanes to pass each other—after yielding to any bikes that are there. Joe Bollinger, co-owner of bike shop Sic Transit, is dubious. “The protective bike lanes on William and First are great,” he says, but “anything short of that is a waste of energy and potential. I don’t think it’s possible to put a protective bike lane everywhere but if you build enough arteries you can get to 90% of where you want to go.”
Grace Bible Church’s 34,000-square-foot expansion proposal will have a public hearing at planning commission this month. The church on S. Maple wants to add a 30,870-square-foot building with a gymnasium, youth classrooms, a common area, and a parking lot. The church will open the spaces up for community events such as blood drives, sporting programs, and recovery groups. MLive
The City of Ann Arbor introduces new Equitable Engagement Steering Committee. The thirty members are charged with “working to unite community members and representatives of local organizations who are committed to advancing equity.” After an orientation in August, the committee will invite community input. For a complete list of the members, click here.
The Taste of Ann Arbor food and music festival will return September 19 on Main and Liberty streets downtown, closing Main Street from Washington to William streets, and Liberty Street from Ashley Street to Fourth Avenue. The event could be canceled if Covid-19 cases spike sharply. MLive
Sonic Lunch returned today with free concerts every Thursday through September 2, from 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Liberty and Division.