Michigan - COVID-19 Covered

Michigan

Total Cases: 596,746 (January 25)
Tests Administered: 9,086,109 (January 23)
Fatalities: 15,181 (January 25)
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:

  • 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 announced that eligible Michigan teachers and support staff who worked additional time and incurred additional costs during the 2019-2020 school year due to the COVID-19 pandemic can receive a grant through two new programs. (October 27)  
  • 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 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 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) 

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 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)
  • 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) 

Business Support & Resources:

  • Governor Whitmer signed a bipartisan relief bill that included $55 million to help small businesses impacted by COVID-19, $3.5 million for grants of up to $40,000 each for live music and entertainment venues, and $45 million in direct payments to workers who have been laid off or furloughed as a result of the virus. (December 29) 
  • 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) 

SOCIAL RESTRICTIONS

Reopening:

  • Governor Whitmer announced the Michigan COVID Recovery Plan to grow Michigan’s economy and help end the COVID-19 pandemic. (January 19) 
  • Michigan Department of Health & Human Services updated its epidemic order to allow indoor group exercise and non-contact sports, effective January 16 until January 31. (January 15) 
  • Governor Whitmer sent a letter to Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar requesting permission to directly purchase up to 100,000 doses of the COVID-19 vaccines for the State of Michigan. (January 11 
  • Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bill 1246, which would amend the Open Meetings Act to allow public bodies to meet electronically and remain in compliance and extends current remote attendance provisions to March 31. (December 22 
  • Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-193, creating the bipartisan Protect Michigan Commission within the Department of Health & Human Services to help raise awareness of the safety and effectiveness of an approved COVID-19 vaccine. (December 10) 
  • The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services issued an emergency order that updated and further expanded requirements for residential care facilities, while also permitting indoor visitation in residential care facilities in certain circumstances. Indoor visitation would be allowed in areas where the risk level was A, B, C, or D, so long as the facilities had no new cases, including those involving residents or staff, originating within the prior 14 days. (October 21) 
  • The Michigan Department of Health & Human Services issued guidance on how to travel and gather safely during the holidays. (October 21) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed emergency rules allowing the Michigan Employment Relations Commission and the Michigan Public Service Commission to conduct remote hearings to protect Michiganders and frontline workers. (October 16 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order that moved the Upper Peninsula region back to Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan. (October 2) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order that extended 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 an executive order that extended protections for prison and jail populations through enhanced cleaning protocols and implementation of testing protocols by Michigan Department of Corrections prisons and any jails that transfer inmates to MDOC prisons. (September 29) 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order that amended the MI Safe Start order to reopen movie theaters and performance venues. (September 25 
  • Governor Whitmer signed an executive order reopening Michigan’s gyms and pools in regions where they remained closed and allowing for organized sports practices and competitions to resume in regions where they remain restricted, subject to strict protections meant to limit spread of the virus. (September 3) 
  • Governor Whitmer announced MI Mask Aid, an initiative to provide 4 million face masks to vulnerable populations. (August 14) 

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) 

State Higher Education:

  • A list of Michigan universities and colleges planning to reopen in the fall can be found here. 

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