Daily COVID-19 Update 4/5/20

Below is an update on the 2019 Coronavirus outbreak as of 9:30 PM on 4/5/2020                        

UPDATE 

  • FridayGovernor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-36, prohibiting all employers from discharging, disciplining, or otherwise retaliating against an employee for staying home from work if they or one of their close contacts tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of the disease. The order strengthens the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order by declaring that it is the public policy of the state that all Michiganders who test positive or show symptoms, or who live with someone who tests positive or shows symptoms, should not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary. 

“People who are prioritizing the health and safety of their families, neighbors, and loved ones during this crisis should not be punished by their workplace. Staying home and staying safe is one of the most important things we can do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, and this executive order will ensure more people can do so without facing discrimination from their workplace,” said Governor Whitmer. “We have taken aggressive measures to protect our communities, but it’s on all of us to work together to fight this virus.” 

 

  • Yesterday, Governor Whitmer relaxed therequirements for responding to FOIA requests made by mail or fax during the COVID-19 emergency. This action will protect workers who handle FOIA requests by allowing public bodies to defer portions of requests that would require workers to report to work in-person.  

“During a time of crisis, it’s crucial that Michiganders have access to the information they need to stay safe. My administration is committed to ensuring that while also protecting public health and encouraging social distancing,” Governor Whitmer said. “This Executive Order encourages public bodies to respond to Freedom of Information Act requests in a timely manner and in the safest way possible.” 

 

  • The governor renewed the restrictions on entry into care facilities and juvenile justice facilities that she issued on March 14, 2020 until May 3, 2020. Additionally, the order now requires facilities to use best efforts to facilitate remote visitations between individuals under their care and their loved ones, using phone or video conferencing software.

“We must continue to do everything we can to protect Michiganders,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is a hard time for families, and we will continue to put their health and safety first when making these decisions. I encourage everyone in Michigan to remain flexible and do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.” 

 

https://twitter.com/GovWhitmer/status/1246476646183505921 

 

  • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced 1,493 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This bringsthe total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 15,718. MDHHS continues to update and improve the data provided to the public, and now everyone has the ability to use the interactive map below to track cases by county and find more information under the “see cumulative data” button 

 

  • Governor Garlin Gilchrist II teamed up with former Lt. Governor Brian Calley to launch a new statewide website, MIpaycheckprotection.com, to provide businesses with key resources to assist with the PPP application and loan process and ensure the greatest amount of federal funding is able to be used by small businesses for economic relief efforts throughout the state. 

“All across Michigan, small businesses and families are doing their part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, but this unprecedented time has, understandably, created uncertainty for many employers,” Gilchrist said. “That’s why we are working to make it as easy as possible for even the smallest businesses to apply for additional funding with the launch of the Michigan Paycheck Protection Program website. The Paycheck Protection Program offers much-needed financial support for our small businesses and their workers to help them get through this tough time.” 

 

  • Last week, Governor Whitmer answered questions for The Atlantic magazine about the actions Michigan has taken to try to slow the spread of the vir She talked about the harsh reality the state is facing today and the importance of workingtogether to fight this pandemic. See the full interview below:  

https://twitter.com/GovWhitmer/status/1246498453875810310 

 

HAPPENING ACROSS STATE GOVERNMENT 

  • As of Friday, COVID-19 deaths will be reported by physicians and funeral homes more quickly under an emergency order issued by MDHHS Director Robert Gordon that will improve the state’s response to slowing the spread of the virusThe order, effective immediately, gets important death information to public health officials so they can better provide health services and enforce health laws. 

“MDHHS is committed to protecting the public health during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why I am issuing this emergency order,” Gordon said. “To inform sound decision-making and protect Michiganders, public health officials need accurate information about COVID-19 deaths as quickly as possible. I appreciate the work of our funeral home directors and physicians right now, and I am grateful to partner with them in taking quick action during this pandemic.” 

 

  • Michigan recently received additional federal dollars to help provide meals to older adults as the state responds to the COVID-19 pandemic. These programs, available to Michigan residents over age 60, provide meals through home delivery and pick up services during the current pandemic. 

The need for these services has increased as community measures to slow transmission of COVID-19 have closed meal sites and left many family caregivers unable to assist older loved ones. 

“COVID-19 is a threat to Michiganders, particularly older adults who are most vulnerable to complications related to the virus,” said Dr. Alexis Travis, senior deputy director of the Aging & Adult Services Agency at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS). “Nutrition services are a lifeline for the nearly 100,000 older adults we serve through these programs. We are pleased to have additional resources to ensure more older adults in need here in Michigan have access to meals during this time.” 

 

  • On Friday, the Michigan Strategic Fund approved modifications to the Business Accelerator Fund (BAF) to provide greater support to business accelerators in Michigan’s statewide SmartZone network that are serving startups and high-tech companies impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced today. 

“Around the world, Michigan is known for its innovation, work ethic and unwavering resilience. As we continue working to combat COVID-19 throughout the state, it is critical that we do everything in our power to provide greater support to our startup and entrepreneurial communities,” said Fred Molnar, Vice President of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at MEDC. “By expanding the use of these funds, we are empowering some of our state’s most creative minds to explore the types of ground-breaking innovations that will help us tackle this virus in communities across our state.” 

 

RESOURCES 

 

MEDIA COVERAGE 

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