Below is an update on the Coronavirus outbreak as of 11:00 PM on 5/14/2020
- Yesterday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer and plaintiffs in the Gary B. literacy case, initially filed against Governor Rick Snyder, signed a settlement agreement that resolves all of the plaintiffs’ claims against all of the defendants. This settlement marks a first step toward ensuring children in Detroit and all across Michigan – regardless of where they live – have the right to a quality education.
“I have always said that every student, no matter where they come from, has a birthright to a quality public education,” said Governor Whitmer. “Students in Detroit faced obstacles to their education that inhibited their ability to read – obstacles they never should have faced. In the future, I will remain committed to ensuring paths to literacy for children across Michigan. Today’s settlement is a good start, but there’s more work to do to create paths to opportunity for our children. I look forward to working with the legislature to provide funding for Detroit schools and districts across the state to help ensure educators and students have the resources they need for success.”
“Today, I’m overwhelmed with joy for the opportunities this settlement opens up for students in Detroit,” said Jamarria Hall, a 2017 graduate of Osborn High School and part of the class of plaintiffs in Gary B. v. Whitmer. “Starting this journey four years ago parents and students knew we wanted a better education, and now to really be heard for the first time means everything.”
- Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-83 and 2020-84, both of which were effective immediately and replace her previous orders 2020-51 and 2020-50, respectively.
“This virus has created unprecedented challenges for people across the state, and by expanding access to child care for our frontline workers, we can give them peace of mind while they work to fight the spread and protect our families,” Governor Whitmer said. “It is also necessary to continue to these important practices within long-term care facilities so we can continue to protect residents and staff from the spread of the virus. I am only extending this order for an additional week, and will continue to work with partners to further protect nursing home residents and staff beyond then. I look forward to hearing suggestions from the legislature to protect Michiganders from COVID-19 and am hopeful we can work on solutions together.”
Executive Order 2020-84 establishes procedures in long-term care facilities to protect the health and safety of both employees and residents. The order provides for standard safety protocols at nursing homes and other long-term care facilities to suppress the spread of COVID-19, keeping both residents and staff safe. It also establishes a network of “regional hubs” — nursing homes with separate units devoted exclusively to care of COVID-19-affected patients.
Executive Order 2020-83 ensures the availability of child care services for health care workers, first responders, and other workers during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Yesterday, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-86 and 2020-87.
Executive Order 2020-86 expands telehealth options for Michiganders by authorizing and encouraging health care providers to use these services when appropriate and after getting consent from patients. The order takes effect immediately and continues through June 10, 2020.
“Telehealth provides a way for patients to safely consult with their doctor and receive health care services while continuing to practice social distancing and limit potential exposure to COVID-19,” Governor Whitmer said. “This Executive Order ensures Michiganders who need health care during this ongoing pandemic can still receive care while staying safer at home.”
Executive Order 2020-87 provides an extended opportunity for individuals to dispute the assessed value of their property, extends certain equalization filing and meeting deadlines for local and county officials, and extends the deadline for filing petitions to appeal assessment determinations as to commercial and industrial property.
“With county offices closed due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic it’s important to ensure business owners have an opportunity to appeal their property tax assessment and get questions answered, and for local and county officials to have more time to file reports,” Governor Whitmer said. “This Executive Order extends several important deadlines ensuring we can continue to flatten the curve.”
- She also signed signed Executive Order 2020-85, which temporarily extends protections for tenants and mobile home owners from being evicted from their home during the continuing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It’s critical Michiganders can self-quarantine and continue staying safer at home without fear of being evicted,” Governor Whitmer said. “This Executive Order gives renters and mobile home owners some peace of mind as we continue to flatten the curve.”
- The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 1,191new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 49,582.
MDHHS also released a statement on yesterday’s case reporting as there was a significant increase over reports from previous days. Today’s report of 1,191 cases includes cases from commercial labs Garcia, a lab with significant presence in Michigan’s correctional facilities and corporate environment, Orchard Technology and P4. Results from these labs were being entered manually, which led to a backlog, and are now being reported electronically into MDSS.
- Businesses have continually stepped up to do their part to help fight COVID-19 and yesterday the governor highlighted the contributions of Coca Cola, Make it Labs, Makers Respond and the Boyd Corporation.
HAPPENING ACROSS STATE GOVERNMENT
- Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) issued a bulletin today strongly encouraging financial institutions to protect customers’ COVID-19 economic impact payments from overdrafts and fees.
“Michiganders have been greatly impacted by COVID-19, and we must do all we can to help those who are suffering financial losses due to this pandemic,” said Gov. Whitmer. “Our state’s financial institutions have been good partners in their communities, and we encourage them to continue to assist their customers with the financial challenges they face.”
Relief funds, distributed by the federal government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, are intended for necessities, such as food, medicine, and housing during this public health emergency and disaster. Guidance issued in today’s bulletin encourages Michigan financial institutions to treat those deposits in the spirit of the disaster relief legislation so Michiganders can use the funds on those important living expenses. Institutions are strongly urged not to access customers’ COVID-19 stimulus payments to satisfy overdrafts or for overdraft fees, ATM fees or late payment fees.
- MDHHS announced that Michigan families hit hard by the financial and health-related impacts of COVID-19 will benefit from a $450,000 Consumers Energy Foundation grant to eight community action agencies working to meet the emergency needs of low- and moderate-income residents in 43 counties.
“Michigan’s small businesses and their employees should know that our administration will do everything within our power to support them during these challenging times,” Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II said. “We are grateful for all of Michigan’s banks and credit unions who worked quickly to ensure that small businesses in our state have unprecedented access to the funding necessary to come back stronger than ever when it is safe to do so.”
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- Bridge: Whitmer announces settlement in historic Detroit ‘right to literacy’ suit
- Detroit Free Press: What Whitmer promised group of Detroit school students in literacy settlement
- WWMT: Michigan settles suit after landmark right to read ruling
- Detroit Free Press: Michigan coronavirus cases near 50,000; death toll now at 4,787
- MLIVE: Retail ‘probably’ included in next wave of reopenings in Michigan, Gov. Whitmer says