Gov. Whitmer Daily COVID-19 Update 3/22/20

Below is an update on the 2019 Coronavirus outbreak as of 2:00 PM on 3/22/2020                        

UPDATE 

  • Yesterday, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced 249 new cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19), bringing the total to 1,035. To view a full list of cases and their county click here 
  • After placing a temporary ban on certain places of public accommodationGovernor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-20 which makes clear that all facilities that provide non-essential personal care services must temporarily close. These services include hair, nail, tanning, massage, spa, tattoo, body art and piercing services, and similar services that require individuals to be within 6 feet of each other. This order does not apply to services necessary for medical treatment as determined by a licensed medical provider. 

“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented challenge to our way of life as Michiganders,” said Gov. Whitmer. “That’s why we are making decisions based on science and facts to protect public health and keep people safe. I know these changes will be hard, but they are temporary, and they are necessary to slow the spread of the virus and help save lives.” 

  • On Friday, Governor Whitmer temporarily suspended evictions, allowing tenants and mobile home owners to remain in their homes during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

“Families across the state are facing a number of uncertainties, from concerns about their health and well-being and that of their loved ones to when their next paycheck will arrive. Worrying about whether they’ll be evicted from their home, apartment or mobile home should not be on this list,” Governor Whitmer said. “This executive order will ease a burden on families struggling to make ends meet and allow them to focus on what’s most important — staying safe and healthy.” 

  • As of yesterday, it had been ten days since Governor Whitmer and Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) Director Anita Fox called on the Trump administration to allow for a special enrollment period (healthcare.gov) under the Affordable Care Act to allow more Americans to sign up for coverage and help mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

“During this crisis, we must do everything we can to ensure access to quality, affordable health care,” said Governor Whitmer. “That’s why we have called on the president to allow for a special enrollment period. It is more important than ever for Michiganders to know they have health insurance coverage that will pay for them to be tested and treated for COVID-19. 

“My number one priority remains to flatten the curve and protect the most people we can from the spread of coronavirus,” said Governor Whitmer. “Our health care workers are on the front lines every day protecting Michiganders during these extraordinary and difficult times. By postponing all non-essential medical and dental procedures, we expect to reduce the strain on the health care system and protect people. My administration will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread of the disease and ensure our children, families, and businesses have the support they need during these challenging times.”  

  • Governor Whitmer was joined by Governor Mike DeWine and Governor Eric Holcomb to call on President Trump and Congress to ensure the automotive industry and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports are able to weather the rapid economic deceleration brought on by the COVID-19 global pandemic. 

“As we work through this crisis as a nation, we must do what’s right to support our auto workers, who are the backbone of America’s middle class,” said Governor Whitmer. “We need swift action from the president and congress to confront these challenges and avoid devastating job losses. Our dedication to working families and businesses must transcend partisanship. That’s why we made this request together today.”  

  • On Friday, the governor gave an update at the State Emergency Operations Center on the work the state is doing in response to the COVID-19 crisis. She also spoke about the role of each Michigander and how collectively we will get through this crisis together. 

 https://twitter.com/GovWhitmer/status/1241391302647971840 

  • The governor joined both Governor Hogan and Governor Murphy to talk about the importance of social distancing, as well as other basic measures people can take to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 

https://twitter.com/GovWhitmer/status/1241771401289371650 

  • 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.    

 

HAPPENING ACROSS STATE GOVERNMENT 

  • As a result of COVID-19, the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity has seen a tremendous increase in demand for Michigan’s unemployment system. The latest data shows 108,710 unemployment claims were filed between last Monday and Friday, compared to a normal average of around 5,000 claims – an approximate 2,100% increase. States from around the country have experienced similar increases in unemployment claims as a result of COVID-19. Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) benefits are funded by a $4.6 billion trust fund which has been built up over the last 10 years.

“We understand that COVID-19 has caused economic harm to our workers as sacrifices are made to protect all of our residents. Extending and expanding unemployment benefits has provided emergency relief to many Michiganders,” said Jeff Donofrio, director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Even though we’ve seen an unprecedented need for emergency financial assistance, Michigan’s unemployment system, and its hardworking staff, continue to provide critical help online and over the phone. Michiganders impacted by the COVID-19 epidemic should continue to visit michigan.gov/UIA or call 866-500-0017 to apply for benefits.” 

  • Starting today, 131 Michigan Secretary of State branch offices will be modifying current operations, returning to regularly scheduled branch hours, 9-5 Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and 11-7 on Wednesdays. They will remain closed on Saturdays. During this time in-person transactions will continue to be available only for critical services and by appointment. 

“In our first week offering limited services by appointment only, branch staff have carried out critical transactions for first responders, grocery store drivers and medical personnel—people our society especially needs credentialed to work at this time,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “The best way to show appreciation for the service of our branch staff is to limit your in-person transactions to only those which absolutely must be done at a branch.” 

 

RESOURCES 

 

MEDIA COVERAGE  

 

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