COVID-19 Daily Update 6-15-20

Below is an update on the 2019 Coronavirus outbreak as of 10:00 PM on 6/15/2020                      

UPDATE 

  • Governor Whitmer applauded the United States Supreme Court after they ruled in favor of the LGBTQ+ community to protect them against discrimination in the workplace. Michigan native Amiee Stevens was a key part of this fight and the governor noted that we honor her and her work as we celebrate this landmark decision.  

“Today, in a landmark ruling, the Supreme Court confirmed what we already know – that nobody deserves to lose their job because of who they are or how they identify,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is good news for the countless LGBTQ+ Michiganders who have been fighting for equality for decades, and would not have been possible if not for one of the plaintiffs, Aimee Stephens, a brave Michigander who fought for transgender rights until the day she died. There is still more work to do. We must continue fighting to expand the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act to protect members of the LGBTQ+ community and make Michigan a state where more people want to move to for opportunity. In honor of Aimee, take today to celebrate this victory, and tomorrow, let’s continue fighting to ensure equality for all Michiganders.” 

https://twitter.com/GovWhitmer/status/1272555304224468993 

  • Over the past few months, Michigan has faced a difficult time, but has come together as a state during times of need.Read below about how Governor Whitmer has worked tirelessly to keep Michiganders safe:  

The Rolling Stone: Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on How to Lead Through a Crisis (or Three) 

https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-features/michigan-governor-gretchen-whitmer-big-gretch-reaction-covid-1009754/amp/?__twitter_impression=true 

BY: TESSA STUART 

As the coronavirus hit Michigan hard, Whitmer experienced an especially fierce backlash to the measures she took to contain it. President Trump singled out Whitmer — “that woman in Michigan” — for criticism, saying “all she does is sit there and blame the federal government.” Demonstrators brandishing AR-15s showed up at the capitol to protest her stay-at-home order, and the Republican-controlled state legislature sued to overturn it. (They lost.) In May, just as the cases of COVID-19 were starting to decline, the state was hit with a massive, catastrophic flood. All of that was followed, in early June, by widespread protests against police brutality and a new round of threats from the president that he would send the military in to put down demonstrations 

Whitmer’s detractors are loud, but polls show Michiganders overwhelmingly approve of her handling of the coronavirus crisis — and one Detroiter, the rapper Gmac Cash, has written a song, “Big Gretch,” in which he imagines bestowing a pair of iconic Cartier sunglasses on the governor in appreciation of her emergency response. (A GoFundme to buy a pair of Buffs for Whitmer raised $3,000 but was donated to a community group that has been delivering essential supplies in Detroit.) 

When you look back on the last few months, what moments stick out to you as key points in the coronavirus crisis?  

We literally pivoted in a matter of hours from being in the middle of our Democratic primary for president to having our two first cases reported that same night. The feeling in my gut went from happiness to all of a sudden realizing everything was going to change. 

Another glaring moment was early on when we did not have enough masks. They had supplies for, like, a shift’s worth at our hospitals — doctors and nurses were wearing [the same] N-95 masks for days. The sobering moment was when the nation’s governors were informed on a call with the White House that it was going to be on us to procure all these things.   

You’ve been releasing a breakdown of the state’s COVID cases by race — something the federal government has not done — why was it important to you to release that data in Michigan? 

The spread that we were seeing in metropolitan Detroit, the fact that there was a racial component, meant that it was really important that we enlist the help of our ecumenical leaders and our black churches, that we reach out and have a campaign that is focused on educating communities of color because of the unique threat. Why the federal government hasn’t, and why not every state is doing this — I can’t tell you. 

  • As promised, the governor sent a letter to President Trump requesting a major disaster declaration in response to the catastrophic flooding and dam failures last month in Arenac, Gladwin, Iosco, Midland and Saginaw counties.

“Last month’s flooding and dam failures upended the lives of thousands of Michigan families and business owners at a time when we were just beginning to reopen our economy following weeks of working to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Governor Whitmer said. “This natural disaster, coupled with a global health pandemic, has created enormous stress and emotional trauma for these residents, and they need the federal government’s help to begin rebuilding their lives.” 

  • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 74 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 60,064.   

HAPPENING ACROSS STATE GOVERNMENT 

  • Yesterday, MDHHS announced that Director Robert Gordon issued an Order requiring regular testing and timely and accurate reporting of cases, deaths, personal protective equipment and staffing shortages, to help protect residents and staff at nursing facilities from COVID-19. 

“We took the time to make today’s report as accurate as possible,” Gordon said. “And now we’re doing everything in our power to protect nursing facility residents through mandatory testing, support for adequate staffing, and new efforts at infection control.”   

“As we continue working to protect Michigan families from the spread of COVID-19 and lower the chance of a second wave, we must do everything we can to protect our most vulnerable Michiganders and those frontline workers who care for them,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Continuous testing and proper staffing are crucial to that effort. As we continue to safely reopen sectors of our economy, Director Gordon and I will keep working with our partners in health care to ensure protections for our most vulnerable populations and for the brave men and women on the front lines fighting this virus.” 

The Order requires nursing facilities to conduct the following COVID-19 testing for residents and staff: 

  • Initial testing of all residents and staff.
  • Testing of all new or returning residents during intake unless tested within 72 hours of intake.
  • Testing of any resident or staff member with symptoms or suspected exposure.
  • Weekly testing of all previously negative residents and staff in facilities with any positive cases among residents or staff, until 14 days after the last new positive result.
  • Weekly testing of all staff in regions of medium or higher risk on the MI Safe Start Map.
  • Testing of all staff in Regions 1 through 5 and 7, at least once between the date of this order and July 3, 2020.

  

  • MEDC announced that twenty-two communities around Michigan were awarded a total of $993,984 in grants aimed at supporting the COVID-19 economic recovery efforts of small local businesses throughout the state. The grants were awarded through an expansion of MEDC’s Match on Main program. A total of 299 small businesses around Michigan are receiving assistance through the program.

“Michigan’s small businesses and traditional downtowns are the heart of our communities, and by providing communities with resources to engage in economic recovery efforts we can help ensure our downtowns not only recover, but thrive,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton. “The Match on Main grants will help Michigan’s downtown businesses recover from the loss of revenue as a result of the COVID-19 virus and support workers they employ in these communities.” 

RESOURCES  

MEDIA COVERAGE  

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