COVID-19 July Updates

POAM is sharing the latest COVID-19 July 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 July 29, 2020.

Wednesday, July 29, 2020 Update

New Executive Orders

Yesterday, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-160 and Executive Order 2020-161, amending Michigan’s Safe Start Order and issuing revised workplace safeguards. Under the Safe Start Order, starting July 31, 2020, statewide indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people and bars will be closed for indoor service across the state, including in Regions 6 and 8.

“As we see COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Michiganders cannot afford to drop our guard. We must take every step possible to save lives, protect the brave men and women on the front lines, and avoid overwhelming our healthcare system while we continue to combat COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer. “After seeing a resurgence in cases connected to social gatherings across the state, we must further limit gatherings for the health of our community and economy. By taking these strong actions, we will be better positioned to get our children back into classrooms and avoid a potentially devastating second wave.”

Military Readiness Drills

On Tuesday, Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II joined the Michigan National Guard at Camp Grayling as they participated in military readiness drills as part of the Northern Strike exercise.

“Today’s Northern Strike exercise serves as a national model for the type of training that exists right here in our state,” said Lt. Governor Gilchrist II. “In the face of the unique circumstances presented by the coronavirus pandemic, the Michigan National Guard continue to showcase how they can overcome any obstacle to achieve success in their mission.”

Additional Signed Executive Order

The governor also signed Executive Order 2020-159 to allow Michigan’s colleges and universities to proceed with converting large spaces for instruction without approval or inspection.

“Our college students and educators have made tremendous sacrifices over the past four months to protect each other from the spread of COVID-19. When it comes to instruction in the fall, Michigan’s colleges and universities are working tirelessly to provide a safe environment for students and staff,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am committed to doing everything in my power to remove barriers for individuals, businesses, and schools to fight COVID-19. This order will make it easier for our colleges and universities to educate Michigan’s college students in the safest and efficient way by ensuring everyone can maintain safe physical distancing.”

New Cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 996 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. Approximately 300 cases are from a backlog of test results received from a commercial laboratory. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 80,172.

Happening Across State Government

  • Michigan’s elections system is safe, secure, and prepared to handle the challenges of the COVID-19 era, Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson confirmed at a press conference today. Ahead of the statewide primary next week, Benson discussed the work that has been done to strengthen election security and fully implement the election reforms voters overwhelmingly approved in 2018.

“For the past 19 months my administration has worked in partnership with local clerks and national experts to strengthen and modernize our elections system to meet the mandate of the voters,” said Secretary Benson. “That work has continued even in the midst of a pandemic, and our collective efforts have made it easier to vote and harder to cheat in Michigan.”

  • MDHHS recognized World Hepatitis Day by launching the We Treat Hep C Initiative to take important steps towards eliminating hepatitis C in 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 July 12, 2020.

Sunday, July 12, 2020 Update

Masks Required Indoors & Outdoors

On Friday, July 10, Governor Whitmer extended and expanded her previous order requiring that masks be worn by individuals both in indoor and crowded outdoor spaces. Most significantly, the order requires any business that is open to the public to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering, with limited exceptions.

“The heroes on the front lines of this crisis have gone hours without taking their masks off every day – doctors, nurses, child care workers, grocery store workers. We owe it to them to wear our masks when we’re on a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy,” said Governor Whitmer. “Masks can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 by about 70 percent. By wearing masks, we can save lives and protect our family, friends, and neighbors from the spread of COVID-19. And by wearing masks now, we can put our state in a stronger position so our kids can return to school safely in the fall. For the sake of your loved ones, let’s all mask up, Michigan.”

Last week, Michigan saw an uptick in COVID-19 cases in multiple regions and the research shows that wearing a mask can save lives and dramatically reduce the growth rate of COVID-19 infections. The order went into effect at 12:01 this morning and requires businesses that are open to the public to refuse entry and service to individuals who fail to comply, and require them to post signs at all entrances instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside.

National Guard Use Throughout the Rest of 2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer sent a letter to President Donald Trump requesting that the president authorize the use of Michigan National Guard forces through December 31, 2020. Title 32 authority, which allows Guard members to receive federal pay and benefits, was set to expire on August 21 due to a deadline set by the Trump Administration.

“The Michigan National Guard is a crucial part of the State’s emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Guard will be vital to our ongoing recovery as well,” said Governor Whitmer. “Beyond August 21, 2020, we will continue to require the Michigan National Guard to perform humanitarian missions across the state, such as helping run mobile screening facilities, testing, distributing food and medical supplies, ensuring resiliency of supply lines, disinfecting public spaces, and supporting public safety when required.”

Work with Whitmer Tour

The governor continued her “Work With Whitmer” tour on Friday in Lansing, where she worked at American Fifth Spirits, a local distillery that transitioned into making hand sanitizer for essential workers and everyday Michiganders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor worked alongside staff to produce a batch of hand sanitizer that will be sold locally as well as distributed across the state. From mixing the ingredients, to filling the bottles, to adding the labels, the governor learned about what it takes for a small business to produce hand sanitizer. The governor talked with the owners about how the pandemic has impacted the distillery, and what the company has done to keep their business running and their customers safe.

“Michiganders are hardworking people and it was great to see a business right here in Lansing that has stepped up to the plate to help fight this virus,” said Governor Whitmer. “I had a lot of fun both learning about their craft as well as how American Fifth has thought of creative ways to continue serving their customers and play a part in helping Michigan fight COVID-19.”

PPE Donation

Last week, Michigan received a donation of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) from the Kingdom of Jordan. Governor Whitmer announced that the shipment included overalls, surgical masks, and goggles, with an additional shipment of N95 masks is expected to follow.

“I want to personally thank the Kingdom of Jordan for this generous donation of critical Personal Protective Equipment to ensure our frontline medical workers have the supplies they need to treat COVID-19,” Governor Whitmer said. “This donation will help our hospitals replenish depleted supplies of PPE as we continue to flatten the curve.”

New Appointments

Governor Whitmer announced the appointment of Cynthia K. Williams to the Lake Superior State University Board of Control on Friday.

“Cynthia Williams has established herself as a qualified public servant, who carries the expertise in education that is so critical in this position,” Whitmer said. “With the challenges facing universities during the coronavirus pandemic, it’s important to have someone on the board who will do right by students, staff, and alumni. I’m confident that Cynthia will bring tremendous value to the Lake Superior State University Board of Control.”

New Cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 390 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 69,338.

Happening Across State Government

  • The health experts at MDHHS have worked tirelessly to fight COVID-19 and they are urging people now more than ever to follow Governor Whitmer’s order to #MaskUpMichigan.
  • As businesses work to enforce the governor’s most recent order requiring masks in all indoor spaces, the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity is reminding employers and employees to follow the workplace guidelines set in place to keep Michiganders safe from COVID-19.

This information is from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor’s email newsletter. Below is an update as of 10 p.m. on July 5, 2020.

Sunday, July 5, 2020 Update

Practice Safety

Over the holiday weekend, Governor Whitmer reminded Michiganders to stay safe and be smart to slow the spread of COVID-19 while celebrating with family and friends.

Launch of OFME

Last week, Governor Whitmer announced the formal launch of the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification (OFME) today, naming Trevor Pawl as the state’s Chief Mobility Officer and reaffirming Michigan’s position as the global leader in producing and developing the next generation of transportation technologies. The new office will work across state government, academia, and private industry to enhance Michigan’s mobility ecosystem, including developing dynamic mobility and electrification policies and supporting the startup and scale-up of emerging technologies and businesses.

“Now more than ever, it is critical that Michigan strengthen opportunities for economic growth and job creation while securing our continued leadership in mobility and electrification through forward-thinking policies, innovative partnerships, and smarter infrastructure,” Governor Whitmer said. “Trevor has a proven track record of building and scaling state programs like Pure Michigan Business Connect and PlanetM. He is the right person to bring Michigan’s mobility ecosystem together under a common vision and generate meaningful results.”

New Cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 343 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 65,876.

Happening Across State Government

  • The fight against COVID-19 still isn’t over and MDHHS is reminding Michiganders to do their part to slow the spread of the virus.
  • On Thursday, the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) launched a state emphasis program (SEP) that will be in effect through December 31, 2020. This SEP will increase MIOSHA’s presence in hospitals to enforce the requirement to provide appropriate PPE to protect hospital staff and ensure they can continue to care for those most in need.

“As Michigan continues to combat the spread of COVID-19 and protect workers, it is especially important that front-line workers coming in direct contact with this disease have the equipment to protect themselves,” COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan said. “MIOSHA will conduct inspections of hospitals to help ensure employees are properly outfitted with PPE and employers are following the standards put in place.”


This information is from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor’s email newsletter. Below is an update as of 10 p.m. on July 1, 2020.

Wednesday, July 1, 2020 Update

Approved Hazard Pay

On July 1, Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bill 690, which appropriates nearly $880 million in federal funding to support various COVID-19 response actions across the state.

The supplemental budget includes a number of provisions that allow assisting Michigan in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, help small business weather the difficult economic conditions created by COVID-19, and ensure that workers who put themselves at risk on the frontlines are fairly compensated, including:

  • A $2/hour increase for direct care workers;
  • $125 million in grant funding to reduce the cost of child care for families;
  • $100 million for hazard pay for local first responders and $200 million for local units of government;
  • $100 million in small business restart grants;
  • $60 million in rental assistance and eviction diversion;
  • $25 million for wireless hotspots and enhanced connectivity;
  • $18 million for health and safety grants for schools;
  • $10 million in MIOSHA grants for protections to keep workers safe on the job;
  • and $14 million for food banks and domestic violence shelters.

“I was pleased to sign this bill to put more federal funding to work across our state,” said Governor Whitmer. “Between the signing of this bill today and the recent agreement on the 2020 budget announced earlier this week, we have now put the full amount of the federal Coronavirus Relief Fund to use so that Michiganders can reap the full benefit of our federal funding. Now, we need Congress to act later this month and provide additional aid to the states so that we can begin to address the budget shortfall in 2021.”

New Executive Order

Governor Whitmer yesterday signed Executive Order 2020-143 closing indoor service at bars throughout most of lower Michigan to protect the progress Michigan has made against COVID-19. Regions 6 and 8, which include the Upper Peninsula and much of northern Michigan, are excluded from the order, and bars statewide can continue to serve outdoors. The governor also signed a package of bills allowing cocktails-to-go at bars and restaurants to help these businesses serve more Michiganders during this time.

“We owe it to our front line heroes who have sacrificed so much during this crisis to do everything we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 and reduce the chance of a resurgence like we are seeing in other states,” said Governor Whitmer. “Following recent outbreaks tied to bars, I am taking this action today to slow the spread of the virus and keep people safe. If we want to be in a strong position to reopen schools for in-person classroom instruction this fall, then we need to take aggressive action right now to ensure we don’t wipe out all the progress we have made.”

Extension On License Renewal Dates

Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bills 876-878, which codify her previous Executive Orders, further extending the renewal dates for driver’s licenses, CDLs, state ID cards, and vehicle registrations. Among the extensions outlined in the legislation, those with driver’s licenses or vehicle registrations expiring after March 1 have until September 30, 2020, to have them renewed.

“I am pleased to continue to work with the Legislature to codify significant Executive Orders that help Michiganders cope with the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Whitmer. “These bills will give Michigan residents peace of mind and reduce the amount of person to person interaction necessary when renewing licenses and registrations.”

Additional Bills

Governor Whitmer also signed House Bills 4449, 5195, 5313, 5315, 5341-5355, and 5400, as well as Senate Bills 876-878 and 963 into law yesterday.

New Cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 262 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 64,132.

Map of Michigan COVID-19 Cases | July Updates

Happening Across State Government

  • With temperatures expected to be above 90 degrees in much of Michigan this July 4th holiday weekend, the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) are urging residents to take steps to stay safe during the extreme heat.

“Extreme heat can be life-threatening,” said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and commander of the MSP/EMHSD. “By taking some precautionary steps, you can minimize your risk of heat-related injury and help those who are most affected by severe heat.”

  • The Michigan PFAS Action Response Team (MPART) today announced it has awarded approximately $2.5 million in grant funding to municipal airport operators to support monitoring and testing for per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) contamination.
  • With the summer recreation season here, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is issuing a reminder that everyone should avoid foam on Michigan lakes and rivers known to have per and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in the water.Foam on these water bodies can have much higher amounts of PFAS than the water, and swallowing foam with PFAS could be a health risk. Health advisories for foam exist on some water bodies and specific advisories can be found in the PFAS Foam section at Michigan.gov/pfasresponse.

“Although current science indicates PFAS does not move easily through the skin, it’s best to rinse off foam after contact and bathe or shower after the day’s outdoor activities,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “None of this information changes recommendation for water use at home.”

July Updates Resources

If you have any questions or concerns, please visit one of these resource links below:

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