Below is an update on the 2019 Coronavirus outbreak as of 10:00 PM on 3/29/2020
- Yesterday, Governor Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-29, which protects vulnerable populations in Michigan’s county jails, local lockups and juvenile detention centers during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Executive Order details risk-reduction protocols that have been adopted and implemented by the Michigan Department of Corrections (MDOC) and that county jails and local lockups are strongly encouraged to adopt.
“The health and safety of all Michiganders remains our top priority during this public health crisis and that includes those incarcerated in our jails and juvenile detention centers,” said Governor Whitmer. “It is challenging for inmates and employees to practice social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19, and this Executive Order will put commonsense protocols into place to protect our jail and juvenile detention center populations.”
- Governor Whitmer pushed all April 2020 state and city income tax filing deadlines in Michigan to July 2020 as a part of continued efforts to help Michiganders during the COVID-19 pandemic. Executive Order 2020-26 delays state of Michigan payments due on April 15 are now due on July 15, while cities with income taxes due on April 30 will now be due on July 31
“Michiganders shouldn’t have to worry about filing their income taxes in the midst of a global pandemic,” said Governor Whitmer. “This executive order provides immediate income tax assistance to people as they continue to stay home and stay safe during this crisis. I will continue working around the clock to help our families and businesses get through this time.”
- The governor also relaxed scope of practice laws to give hospitals and other health-care facilities the flexibility they need to successfully deploy qualified physician assistants, nurses and other health care providers to combat COVID-19. The order also reinforces an existing law that protects hospitals and health-care workers from liability for taking necessary steps to protect Michiganders during an emergency.
“Michigan’s dedicated health care professionals continue putting their lives on the line every day during this unprecedented crisis, and we must do everything we can to empower them to do their jobs,” Gov. Whitmer said. “This executive order temporarily sets aside some existing rules to allow qualified physician assistants, nurses and other health care providers to treat COVID-19 patients and help slow the spread of this virus in every corner of our state.”
- To avoid person to person contact, the governor encouraged all Michiganders to vote absentee by allowing the Department of State to assist local jurisdictions in mailing absentee ballot applications to every registered voter, and to provide absentee ballots directly to new registrants.
“While we work to slow the spread of COVID-19, we must do everything we can to encourage Michiganders to stay home and stay safe,” Governor Whitmer said. “The fewer people we have lining up at polling places the better, ensuring Michiganders safely practice social distancing while allowing them to safely exercise their right to vote in local elections.”
- Over the weekend, President Trump approved Governor Whitmer’s request for a Major Disaster declaration in Michigan. The declaration means that Michigan is now eligible for participation in the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) programming to provide relief for Michiganders impacted by the COVID-19 virus and measures to slow the spread of the virus.
“This is a good start, and it will help us protect Michiganders and slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer. “I’m hopeful that the president will review my request for individual assistance programs that would provide meals to families who need them and rental assistance and temporary housing for families. I look forward to the federal government’s continued partnership as we work to fight this virus.”
While the relief package approved by congress on Friday will provide relief in some of the requested areas of individual assistance, including Unemployment Insurance Assistance and Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Programming (D-SNAP) under the Stafford Act, FEMA can also provide aid in these areas where they do not overlap with existing programs. Michigan requested assistance for both Disaster Unemployment Assistance and D-SNAP that have not yet been approved.
- On Saturday, the governor took strong steps to ensure at-risk households have access to clean water for hand washing and sanitation through an executive order requiring the reconnection of service to residences that have had water service shut off. A $2-million Water Restart Grant Program will help communities comply with the order.
“This is a critical step both for the health of families living without a reliable water source, and for slowing the spread of the Coronavirus,” said Whitmer. “We continue to work to provide all Michiganders – regardless of their geography or income level – the tools they need to keep themselves and their communities protected.”
Executive Order 2020-28 requires public water suppliers to immediately identify residences in their service area that do not currently have water service, and to make best efforts to restore service to homes where the service has been disconnected due to non-payment or damaged infrastructure. The order also includes reporting and accountability requirements.
- Yesterday, Governor Whitmer sat down on Meet the Press and reminded everyone across the country that we are in this together and it is everyone versus COVID-19.
- In response to the tremendous strain on our health care system, Governor Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) launched michigan.gov/fightcovid19 calling on medical professionals and everyday Michiganders to volunteer their talents and time to save lives. Other state residents also can use the site to find out how they can help in their local communities, give blood, donate money or needed medical supplies, or assist public health officials in tracking infections.
“We’ve seen an incredible amount of strength and courage of Michiganders during this time of uncertainty, whether it’s from communities donating food, money, and resources to those that need it or from businesses using their technology to manufacture personal protective equipment,” said Gov. Whitmer. “To bend the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19 in our state, we must all work together as Michiganders. Whether you’re a medical professional looking to volunteer, or someone who can give blood or donate to your local food bank, everyone can help out. We will get through this together.”
- As of yesterday, MDHHS announced that Michigan has a total of 5,486 COVID-19 cases.
- The governor accepted the recommendation of the S. Army Corps of Engineers, Detroit District, for an alternate care facility conversion at the TCF Center in Detroit. The decision comes as Michigan continues its effort to address imminent capacity issues resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. FEMA will fund construction and supply the site which will have approximately 900 bed spaces.
“The State of Michigan is working around the clock and doing everything we can to slow the spread of the coronavirus,” said Governor Whitmer. “We are proud to partner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, FEMA, and the TCF Center to expand capacity in Detroit. By mobilizing quickly to construct a large alternate care facility in Detroit, we can help 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 are experiencing symptoms of 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
- Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun gave an update to explain the steps Michigan is taking to slow the spread of COVID-19. She talked about what Michiganders can do to make sure we don’t overwhelm our hospitals.
- MDHHS announced that approximately 350,000 Michigan families will have access to additional food assistance benefits as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak and about 27,000 individuals will be temporarily exempt from federal work requirements
“No Michigander should have to worry about putting food on the table for themselves and their families, especially during a global pandemic,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Now, tens of thousands of Michiganders will be able to access the food they need while we work to slow the spread of COVID-19. As this crisis continues, I will continue to work with all of my partners across state government to ensure support for Michigan families.”
- MEDC shared that Shaggy’s Copper Country Skis has begun making protective face shields for frontline health care workers fighting the COVID-19
- CDC Situation Updates
- Michigan Updates
- Map of country-specific travel health information
- About COVID-19
- COVID-19 Hotline 1-888-535-6136
- CNN: Whitmer: No energy to respond to Trump attacks
- The Washington Post: The media could learn from governors how to handle Trump
- NBC: Governors warn shortages will put their states in ‘dire straits’ as early as this week
- The Detroit News: Whitmer ‘relieved’ by new masks, but situation in Detroit is ‘dire’
- Detroit Free Press: Gov. Whitmer: Michigan grateful for federal help, but state needs much more
- Politico: Trump approves Michigan disaster declaration after war of words with governor
- The Detroit News: Whitmer orders that homes’ water service be restored amid COVID-19 pandemic
- MLIVE: Gov. Whitmer signs executive order requiring water reconnection during coronavirus
- Detroit Free Press: Mitch Albom: Hey, President Trump: Her name is Gretchen Whitmer
- The Washington Post: Why Joe Biden should pick ‘that governor’ to be his running mate
- Michigan Radio: Gov. Whitmer, MDHHS launch Covid-19 website for volunteers
- The Hill: Biden defends Michigan governor after Trump criticism
- PBS: Whitmer glad Trump invoked DPA over ventilators, says GM ready to start