Michigan - COVID-19 Covered

Michigan

Total Cases: 182,344 (October 27)
Fatalities: 7,585 (October 27)
Testing:
  • To make it easier for Michiganders to access testing sites, the Michigan Department of the Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is partnering with community organizations to launch 12 Neighborhood Testing Sites by the end of the week and more than 20 across the state in the coming weeks. (September 2)  

ECONOMIC RESPONSE

Essential Service Designations:

  • A $25 million grant program for personal protective equipment (PPE) will allow medical facilities and other providers to keep their staff and patients safe, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced. (August 28)  
  • In accordance with Governor Whitmer’s order to close all non-essential businesses, the following sectors have been deemed essential: health care and public health, law enforcement, public safety, first responders, food and agriculture, energy, waste and wastewater, transportation and logistics, public works, communications and IT (including news media), community-based government operations, critical manufacturing, hazardous materials and chemicals, financial services, defense. (March 23)

Labor & Workforce Guidance, Standards and Regulations:

  • Governor Whitmer signed bills that will extend unemployment benefits for Michiganders who have lost work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic from 20 to 26 weeks until the end of the year. (October 20 
  • The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) has been awarded $17.8 million to help Michigan job seekers make the jump from education and training to employment by delivering short- and mid-term customized training solutions. (October 20)  
  • Governor Whitmer signed emergency rules to clarify workers’ compensation coverage for health care employees and first responders who have tested positive for COVID-19. (October 16)  
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed her concurrence of the need for a comprehensive set of Emergency Rules that will help protect Michigan workers, businesses, customers, and communities from the spread of COVID-19.  (October 14)  
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order that adds protections for workers and customers at food-selling establishments to the Workplace Safeguards order, including the requirement to maintain two hours of reserved shopping time per week for vulnerable populations. (September 29) 
  • Governor Whitmer, along with leaders in education, business, labor, and workforce development, launched the nation’s first program offering tuition-free college to an estimated 625,000 Michiganders who provided essential, frontline services during COVID-19 Stay Home, Stay Safe orders between April and June 2020. (September 10) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed a bill that appropriated $2.8 billion in supplemental funding from federal revenues awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency to cover a temporary $300 perweek enhanced federal payment for eligible Michiganders receiving unemployment benefits. (September 8) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed executive orders to continue to protect frontline workers in grocery stores, pharmacies, and long-term care facilities. (September 5) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order that prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who make the responsible choice to stay home when theyor their close contactsare sick. (August 27) 
  • Michigan Department of Health & Human Services Director Robert Gordon announced COVID-19 testing will now be required for all Michigan farm and food processing employees. (August 7) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order to reinstate protections for Michigan workers. (August 7) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed two executive orders to increase access to healthcare telehealth options and protect migrant agricultural workers who live in congregate housing. (June 29) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order which sets guidelines for the safe return of professional sports, without a live audience. (June 25) 
  • Michigan OSHA launched a new online COVID-19 Workplace Safety site that provides guidance and a toolkit of resources to keep workplaces safe as sectors of the state’s economy reopen. (June 10 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order to ensure protections for Michigan workers by requiring all businesses to adhere to strict safety guidelines. (May 18 
  • Michigan’s Association of Beauty Professionals released “Recommendations for a Safe Reopening” for personal care services. Details available here.  
  • Michigan’s Restaurant and Lodging Association released a “Roadmap to Reopening,” “a guidance document designed to help Michigan restaurants prepare to reopen their dining rooms amid new federal and state regulations, and with new expectations of safety by the general public.” Details available here.  

Economic Stimulus & Relief:

  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced that the state is investing more than $1 million and will contact more than 1 million Michiganders to help those who may have lost health insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic get covered. (October 19)  
  • The Federal Emergency Management Administration approved the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency’s application for an additional $300 per week for unemployed Michiganders. (August 24) 
  • The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services announced new grant funding for crisis counseling programs helping residents experiencing mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 19)
  • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services will continue to provide food assistance benefits to 350,000 Michigan families in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (August 7) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bill 690, appropriating nearly $880 million in federal funding to aid in various COVID-19 response actions throughout the state. (July 1) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bills 876-878, codifying previous executive orders extending the expiration of driver’s licenses, state ID cards, and vehicle registrations due to COVID-19 delays. (July 1) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an Executive Directive to create the Michigan COVID-19 Office of Accountability, which will “provide oversight of all spending to address this crisis, and must report regularly on its work to the governor and the state budget director.” (May 4 
  • Governor Whitmer announced a $130 million investment to “make childcare more affordable and accessible for Michigan families during the COVID-19 pandemic.” (April 29 
  • Governor Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance & Financial Services announced the creation of the MiMortgage Relief Partnership to partner with over 200 financial institutions to ensure that no one experiencing financial hardship due to COVID-19 will lose their home.” (April 23 
  • Governor Whitmer announced that Michigan self-employed workers, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors, and low-wage workers affected by COVID-19 can apply for federal Pandemic Unemployment Assistance. (April 10) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced a partnership with IMPART Alliance at Michigan State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine to develop infection control training for direct care workers. MDHHS has provided IMPART Alliance $50,000 in COVID Relief Funding to develop the training and make it widely available for direct care workers (DCW) providing home and community-based services. (October 22) 
  • Huntington Bancshares Inc. and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced a $5 billion, five-year lending, investment, and philanthropic commitment to help improve financial opportunities for Michigan businesses, consumers, and communities. (September 2 
  • Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-173, which extends her previous order allowing business to be conducted remotely by permitting expanded use of e-notaries and e-signatures.  (August 28)  
  • Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan announces $7.25 million in grants for local small businesses. (July 9) 
  • The Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) board approved small businesses to apply for grants under the states portion of federal funding from the CARES Act, as well as a separate $15 million allocation to fund COVID-19 safety measures in the agriculture industry. (July 7) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order extending existing safety measures to protect consumers and employees at grocery stores and pharmacies. (June 17 
  • Governor Whitmer announced that more than $3.3 million in financial relief will go to 657 bar and restaurant owners across the state. (May 4 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued an emergency order that updates and further expands requirements for residential care facilities, while also permitting indoor visitation in residential care facilities in certain circumstances. Indoor visitation is now allowed in areas where the current risk level is A, B, C, or D, so long as the facilities have had no new cases, including those involving residents or staff, originating within the prior 14 days. (October 21)
  • The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued guidance on how to travel and gather safely during the holidays. (October 21) 
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order that moves the Upper Peninsula region back to phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan. (October 2)  
  • Governor Whitmer is extending the State of Emergency until October 27, 2020 at 11:59 PM. (September 29 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order that extends the limited and temporary restrictions on the entry of individuals into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities. (September 29 
  • Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-176 reopening Michigan’s gyms and pools in those regions where they remain closed and allowing for organized sports practices and competitions to resume in those regions where they remain restricted, subject to strict protections meant to limit the spread of the virus. (September 3)  
  • Governor Whitmer announces MI Mask Aid, an initiative to provide 4 million face masks to vulnerable populations. (August 14) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order limiting indoor social gatherings to 10 people. It also ordered bars across the state to close for indoor service. (July 29) 
  • Governor Whitmer strengthened an executive order on masks, now requiring all Michiganders to wear masks in indoor public spaces and crowded outdoor spaces. (July 17) 
  • Governor Whitmer issued an executive order extending grocery store hours for vulnerable populations. (July 13) 
  • Governor Whitmer announced most bars in the state’s Lower Peninsula will be prohibited from serving alcohol indoors due to the spike in COVID-19 cases. (July 2) 
  • Michigan Department of Health & Human Services has signed two epidemic orders providing for expanded visitations at group facilities, such as nursing homes, while also requiring precautions that protect public health, such as requiring face mask. (July 1)  
  • Governor Whitmer’s Safer at Home order expired, allowing several businesses to open including restaurants and retail businesses with restrictions; day camps and poolsOutdoor fitness classes, athletic practices, training sessions and games are allowed; In-home services, such as house cleaning; any office workers whose jobs can’t be done remotely may return to the office. (June 8 

SCHOOL PLANNING

K-12:

  • Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-185, which requires all students in grades kindergarten and up in regions 1-5 and 7 to wear a face covering in classrooms. (September 25)  
  • Governor Gretchen Whitmer released Michigan Safe Schools Roadmap with guidance for reopening public schools with COVID-19 precautions. (June 30) 
  • Republicans in Michigan’s Legislature proposed a $1.3 billion plan to help K-12 schools reopen during the coronavirus pandemic and said districts should “have flexibility to start when they want and to offer remote instruction as an alternative if necessary.” (June 24 
  • Governor Whitmer announced that Michigan schools may resume in-person learning in Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start plan(June 17 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Michigan universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 
  • University of Michigan announced plans for reopening its campus for the fall semester. Students will be able to choose in-person, online, or hybrid classes. (July 21) 
  • Michigan State University is requiring faculty, staff and visitors to wear masks on campus otherwise they will be penalized. (June 26) 

Produced by Marathon Strategies, an independent PR firm that delivers intelligent communications and research solutions. For information, email Phil Singer at COVID-19@marathonstrategies.com