COVID-19 August Updates
POAM is sharing the latest COVID-19 August updates affecting our great state of Michigan. We will consistently update this post as additional updates come in.
This information is from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor’s email newsletter. Below is an update as of 10 p.m. on August 23, 2020.
Sunday, August 23, 2020 Update
Court of Appeals Rule
After the Court of Appeals ruled to uphold the governor’s emergency powers to protect Michiganders from the spread of COVID-19, Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s office sent the following statement from Press Secretary Tiffany Brown.
“Today the Court of Appeals handed the governor a complete and decisive win in her efforts to protect the people of Michigan from this once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic. This decision recognizes that the Governor’s actions to save lives are lawful and her orders remain in place. As the Court concluded: “[T]he Governor’s declaration of a statement of emergency, her extensions of the state of emergency, and her issuance of related EOs clearly fell within the scope of the Governor’s authority under the EPGA.” (p. 21). She will continue to do what she’s always done: take deliberate, measured actions to protect Michiganders from this unprecedented threat. This lawsuit is a dangerous and costly attempt to take away the governor’s power to respond to the COVID-19 emergency and save lives. We owe it to our frontline heroes who have been putting their lives on the line to pull together as a state and work as one team to stop the spread of this virus.”
Additional Funds for Unemployment
On Friday, Governor Whitmer announced that the United States Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) approved the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency’s application for funding that would provide an additional $300 per week payment to Michiganders receiving unemployment benefits. Roughly 910,000 Michiganders would receive the supplemental benefits.
“This is good news for the thousands of Michiganders who are still without work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, but it’s still a short term band aid that falls short of what’s needed,” said Governor Whitmer. “We need the president, Mitch McConnell, and Congress to put partisanship aside and pass a bipartisan recovery package that will help us save lives and get people back on their feet. Michigan families, frontline workers, and small business owners are counting on the federal government to do the right thing and work together on their behalf.”
The governor announced the appointments to the Electrical Administrative Board, Michigan Employment Relations Commission, and the Governor’s Educator Advisory Council.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 768 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 96,792.
Happening Across State Government
- To protect Michigan’s workforce and workplaces, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) has been working with businesses across the state on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Following several inspections, MIOSHA has issued the first round of COVID-19 “general duty” citations. MIOSHA cited six different businesses with serious violations for failing to uphold safe and healthy practices, potentially putting workers in harm’s way.
“We’re focused on education first so employers know what they must do to safely reopen. But a failure to follow guidelines puts everyone at risk. While these citations are necessary to prevent potential serious illness, they are not a reflection of the tremendous cooperation we have seen from employers and their workers across the state,” said Michigan COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan. “A vast majority of businesses are doing their part to keep our economy open by following the proper guidance.”
- Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson joined CNN to talk about the importance of voting by mail in all elections. She also talked about her concern and work to ensure voter security throughout Michigan.
This information is from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor’s email newsletter. Below is an update as of 10 p.m. on August 16, 2020.
Sunday, August 16, 2020 Update
MI Mask Aid Program
Governor Whitmer was joined by Lt. Governor Gilchrist, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS Director Robert Gordon, and CEO of Ford Motor Company Jim Hackett to announce the MI Mask Aid, which will provide 4 million free masks to low-income residents, seniors, schools and homeless shelters. The MI Mask Aid donation is a partnership involving the state, Ford Motor Company, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and is part of the Mask Up Michigan campaign.
“Michigan needs to continue to ‘mask up’ to protect us all from COVID-19,” Gov. Whitmer said. “Vulnerable populations may have difficulties buying masks and our schools need face coverings to keep students, staff and community members safe. I am thrilled that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), Ford and FEMA are working together to help control the spread of the coronavirus.”
“The irony of this pandemic that requires physical distancing is that it reveals how connected we truly are—how much we rely on one another every day,” Lt. Governor Gilchrist II said. “I’m thankful for our partners at Ford, FEMA and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for coming together in a big way to ensure that our communities, particularly those hardest hit, have what they need to get through these tough times. By delivering four million masks at no cost to Michiganders, we can provide a proven, lifesaving device to countless residents as they go back to work, school, and define new way of living during this pandemic.”
The free masks include 1.5 million from FEMA that the state has already sent to organizations that include local Community Action Agencies serving low-income residents, MDHHS offices, Area Agencies on Aging, homeless shelters and Native American tribes. Another 1 million face coverings from FEMA and 1.5 million from Ford will go to low-income schools, the City of Detroit, Federally Qualified Health Centers, some COVID-19 testing sites and to many of the organizations listed above to reach vulnerable populations – including minority residents who have been affected by the public health crisis as a result of racism.
Revised Executive Order
Governor Whitmer signed a revised executive order on jails and prisons that require the adoption of testing protocols for Michigan Department of Corrections facilities and requires that jails adopt comparable protocols in order to transfer prisons to state facilities.
“Testing is the at the very center of any strategy to keep prison and jail populations safe. By reducing the spread of COVID-19 in prisons and jails, we protect corrections officers and their families, incarcerated people, and the whole community,” said Governor Whitmer. “The Michigan Department of Corrections has been a leader for states across the country in COVID-19 response. We must continue that work to save lives, slow the spread of COVID-19, and ensure the protection of everyone who steps foot in prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers. By expanding protections for Michigan’s vulnerable populations, we can slow the spread of the virus and save lives.”
New Bipartisan Deal For School Year
The governor and the legislature reached a bipartisan deal ahead of the 2020-2021 school year. Governor Whitmer, Senator Mike Shirkey, Senator Jim Ananich, Representative Lee Chatfield, and Representative Christine Greig issued the follow joint statement on Saturday.
“Today, we reached a bipartisan deal that will give students, parents, educators, and support staff much needed support, flexibility, and certainty as we approach the new school year. They deserve peace of mind about what the next few months will hold in store, and this legislation will provide it.”
New Appointments to Boards
Governor Whitmer made appointments to both the Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards and the Michigan Tax Tribunal on Friday.
“By bringing more diverse voices together, we can enact important changes to police procedures and build a more equitable state,” said Governor Whitmer. “Having community leaders and the director of the Department of Civil Rights on this commission will help us ensure we’re enacting reforms to ensure everyone, no matter who they are, is treated fairly under the law. I look forward to working with this group and with everyone else who wants to build a more just, equitable Michigan.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 565 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 92,720.
Happening Across State Government
- August is National Immunization Awareness Month and MDHHS is urging all Michiganders to talk to their health care provider to ensure you and your family are up-to-date on all recommended vaccines. Maintaining routine vaccination is critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. On-time vaccinations protect individuals and communities from vaccine-preventable diseases and outbreaks and can help reduce the burden on the health care system. This allows Michigan to conserve medical resources in case they are needed to care for people with COVID-19.
“Vaccinating on time and following CDC’s recommended schedule is the best protection against serious diseases like measles, hepatitis A, whooping cough, cancers caused by HPV, and influenza,” says Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “We have the power to protect not only ourselves but our entire community, when we vaccinate on time, every time.”
- In order to help the state’s farmers more easily identify if their county falls within a declared disaster area, the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development launched a Geographic Information System (GIS) viewer providing a one-stop portal of data.
“Extreme weather conditions such as drought, deep freezes or flooding impacts our farmers’ ability to planting, harvest or tend to their crops, financial assistance programs can be a critical lifeline,” said MDARD Director Gary McDowell. “We wanted to ensure that they could quickly and easily identify programs in their area. I am encouraging farmers to bookmark this viewer for future use.”
This information is from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor’s email newsletter. Below is an update as of 10 p.m. on August 6, 2020.
Thursday, August 6, 2020 Update
Face Masks Required In Child-Care Centers
Governor Whitmer announced yesterday that face coverings are now required in all child-care centers and camps. Michigan has seen COVID-19 outbreaks at these locations, adding to the mounting evidence that children can contract and spread the virus. By requiring face coverings, child-care centers and camps can remain open while keeping children and staff members safe.
“Child-care workers have been on the front lines of this crisis and have worked tirelessly to provide a safe place for our children and families during this time. COVID-19 is still a very real threat to Michiganders of all ages, and we must continue to stay vigilant and use every tool at our disposal to protect ourselves and each other,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am committed to doing everything in my power to protect people of all ages from COVID-19. By masking up, we can all be a part of the solution to further prevent the spread of the virus and save lives.”
Governor Whitmer gave remarks at the memorial for Michigan’s longest-serving Governor, William Milliken.
“Last year, Michiganders lost a true statesman, a model of bipartisanship, and a Michigan icon who served our people with integrity and honor. In his 14 years of service to our state, Governor Bill Milliken taught us a number of powerful lessons that leaders everywhere will carry with them for decades.”
“In the era of vast political polarization in which we currently live, we cannot forget that sentiment. Governor Milliken taught us that our love for Michigan and our commitment to the people who call it home must transcend politics. He taught us that we are Michiganders first, and we must do everything we can to find common ground for the betterment of our state.”
Honoring the Life of Sergeant Splan
The governor ordered U.S. and Michigan flags within the State Capitol Complex and upon all public buildings and grounds across the state of Michigan to be lowered to half-staff on Friday, August 7, 2020, to honor the life and service of Bloomfield Hills Department of Public Safety Sergeant Steven Splan, who passed away in the line of duty.
“The entire state of Michigan is heartbroken to hear of the passing of Sergeant Steven Splan, who dedicated his life to a career of service to keep his community safe,” said Governor Whitmer. “The flags will be lowered to honor Sergeant Splan and serve as a reminder of his selfless sacrifice. My thoughts will be with his immediate family and his extended family of police officers as they lay him to rest.”
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 722 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 85,429.
Happening Across State Government
- Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office is ramping up efforts to make sure long-term care facilities are operating within the requirements of law during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the last several months, this virus has claimed more than 6,000 lives in Michigan and presented us with countless challenges that we have had to work together to overcome,” Nessel said. “My office is prepared to continue our role of enforcing the law as this virus lingers and as Michigan’s most vulnerable populations remain at risk. The measures outlined in Executive Order 2020-148 to protect those vulnerable populations and the people who care for them must be followed.”
- The Department of Technology, Management & Budget (DTMB) presented the latest long-term statewide employment projections to a virtual audience of state policymakers and education and workforce development professionals at the Michigan Occupational Outlook Conference. Based on the projections, the “Michigan’s Hot 50” and “Michigan’s Career Outlook” publications provide information about high-demand, high-wage careers through 2028 in Michigan.
“The data compiled in these lists are invaluable to students and job seekers alike as they make decisions about their futures,” said Jason Palmer, director of DTMB’s Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. “It is our goal to provide our education and workforce development partners with accurate, relevant, timely, and transparent information to help them advise their constituents.”
August Updates Resources
If you have any questions or concerns, please visit one of these resource links below:
- CDC Situation Updates
- State of Michigan Coronavirus Updates
- Country-Specific Map – Travel Health Information
- About COVID-19
- COVID-19 Hotline: 1-888-535-6136
Please use this post as an informative guide for the COVID-19 August updates. Share with others through text messages, social media, and email.
Related Post: Washington, D.C. Report – Juiy 2020