Gov. Whitmer Daily Update 3/19/20

Below is an update on the 2019 Coronavirus outbreak as of 7:30 PM on 3/19/2020                        


“We are pleased to announce that we are now able to provide testing results from hospitals and other entities outside of our state laboratory,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We knew there were additional people in Michigan with COVID-19 that had not yet been tested. This emphasizes the need to continue to practice social distancing and other community mitigation practices to help slow the spread of this disease.” 

  • Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced that the U.S. Small Business Administration  has approved her request for a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan declaration, opening the opportunity to small businesses to access low-interest loans from the SBA.  The EIDL designation means that Michigan small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak will now have the ability to apply for low-interest loans as part of $1 billion in funding made available to the SBA by Congress earlier this month.  

“This designation unlocks critical financial resources for small businesses across the state impacted by the tough, but necessary steps we have taken to mitigate the spread of coronavirus here in Michigan,” Whitmer said. “While access to these loans is vital, we are continuing to look at every resource available to support our businesses, communities and entrepreneurs around the state impacted by coronavirus.” 

  • She also wrote a letter to President Trump requesting federal funding for the use of Michigan’s National Guard to be dedicated to COVID-19 response and support. Under the Governor’s command and control, the Michigan National Guard would be used to aid in the distribution of resources like food and supplies to families who have been impacted by the spread of COVID-19.    

“Despite the many challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has presented, Michiganders have risen to meet the challenge by helping their friends, families, and neighbors in taking proactive steps to mitigate the spread,” said Governor Whitmer in her letter. “My administration has also taken necessary actions to protect families, workers, and businesses against the spread of COVID-19. While I am confident in the unconquerable spirit of our citizens and their ability to persevere, COVID-19 is unlike anything we have encountered in our lifetime and we need the help of the federal government.”   

  • Khaldun, Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive spoke to Michiganders and business owners about their role in business related closings. 

  • Michigan State University and University of Michigan coaches teamed up with Governor Whitmer to release a public service announcement to encourage residents to take the pandemic seriously, adopt prevention measures to reduce their exposure, and mitigate the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) to other residents.

“As Michiganders, we take pride in our sport rivalries, but it’s so important for us to come together as one team during a time of crisis,” Whitmer said. “That’s why this message from Michigan State University and University of Michigan coaches is so critical. If we all take appropriate and responsible actions now, we can mitigate the spread of this virus and save lives.” 

  • Additionally the governor, MDHHS and the CDC are urging people to continue to take the following basic measures to prevent the spread of the virus: 
  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.



  • Yesterday, the Michigan Strategic Fund approvedthe Michigan Small Business Relief Program which authorizes the MEDC to provide up to $20 million in support for small businesses. The funding is divided between $10 million in small business grants and $10 million in small business loans to support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce. 

  • The Department of the Attorney General has surpassed 800 consumer complaints of price-gouging related to  COVID-19, as the office today received a complaint of a new COVID-19 scam making an appearance in Michigan. Meanwhile, the Attorney General’s office has sent another business a cease and desist letter for selling high-priced face masks.   
  • MDHHS continued to urge residents to practice social distancing to combat the spread of COVID-19. Yesterday, officials called on healthy residents to continue blood donations to help the state avoid a life-threatening blood shortage. 

“I was proud to take a few minutes this week and do my part to prevent disruptions in our blood supply, even as we combat the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer, who stopped by a local Red Cross office to show Michiganders how safe and easy it is to continue to blood donations and drives during the COVID-19 outbreak. “I urge healthy Michiganders to keep or make appointments to do the same, while following the proper precautions from state health experts that our Red Cross partners have put in place.” 






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