COVID-19 June Updates

POAM is sharing the latest COVID-19 June 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 June 23, 2020.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020 Update

Flattening Curve

Michiganders across the state have done their part to flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. As Governor Whitmer continues to make decisions to protect the public health and safety of Michigan residents, she reminded everyone that we must continue to be smart and safe to prevent a second wave of this deadly virus.

New Michigan Jobs Created

Yesterday, Governor Whitmer announced that Magna International will expand its seat manufacturing facility in Highland Park, a project that will generate $35.4 million in private investment and create 480 jobs for Michigan workers.

“This is great news for Michigan workers, their families, and our economy as a whole as we lay a path for economic recovery and growth here in our state,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today’s announcement by Magna further underscores that Michigan, the state that put the world on wheels, is the undisputed location for auto manufacturers to expand and grow. It’s time to get Michiganders back to work and I’m glad to see one of the state’s longtime employers investing once again in our state.”

New Commission Appointments

The governor also announced appointments to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission and the Michigan Wildlife Council as well as signed House Bills 5141 and 5541 and Senate Bills 278 and 279 into law yesterday.

New Cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 221 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 61,630.

Happening Across State Government

  • Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency has announced a goal to clear its backlog and make a determination on all eligible unpaid claims filed before May 1st. For the 11,824 workers who applied prior to May 1st and are still awaiting a decision on eligibility, the agency will pay out benefits, determine that the claimant is ineligible and communicate why, or deem the claimant unreachable after multiple attempts to make contact. Unpaid claims filed before May 1st represent only 0.5% of all claims.

“Our goal is to have every unemployment claim filed before May 1st resolved by the end of next week,” said UIA Director Steve Gray. “While most of our eligible workers have been paid, the unprecedented number of claims during this crisis means that there are still tens of thousands of real Michiganders needing one-on-one review to pay benefits. We know COVID-19 continues to cause fear and frustration for these families and we are working work around the clock and enhance our resources to quickly eliminate the remaining backlog and get every worker the emergency financial assistance they’re entitled to.”

  • Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health MDHHS, delivered testimony remotely to the U.S. Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee highlighted the ongoing threat posed by COVID-19 and called for federal action to increase investment in our public health infrastructure and eliminate policies that perpetuate health inequities in communities of color.

“Now is not the time to celebrate or turn our focus away from COVID-19. If anything, we must get more aggressive,” said Khaldun. “More aggressive in urgently addressing health inequities, expanding testing and contact tracing, and ensuring our public health infrastructure is strong. We cannot let our guard down now.”

“As a country, we did not expand access to COVID-19 testing at the rate needed to identify cases quickly – with tragic consequences,” said Khaldun. “A national procurement and testing strategy would have prevented state and local governments from competing with each other and avoided one of the most outrageous realities of this pandemic – turning people away who should have been tested, resulting in the disease spreading like wildfire in our communities. Michigan has since built a testing network of nearly 70 labs and 250 testing sites, and we conduct about 14,000 tests per day. We have the capacity to do more, but supply constraints remain a limiting factor.”

  • The Michigan Strategic Fund yesterday approved new economic assistance for small businesses, community revitalization projects, and business expansion that signals a strong beginning for economic recovery in Michigan.

“Today’s actions by the MSF Board send a strong signal that we are laying the path toward economic recovery for Michigan’s residents, businesses, and communities,” said MEDC CEO Mark A. Burton. “From business growth and small business support to community vitality, the projects approved today are putting our state in a position to not only recover economically from the impact of COVID-19 but to thrive.”


This information is from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor’s email newsletter. Below is an update as of 10 p.m. on June 14, 2020.

Sunday, June 14, 2020 Update

New Community Voices

On Friday, Governor Whitmer added four seats to The Michigan Commission on Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES). The Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and three community members appointed by the governor will occupy these seats. The governor’s order will bring more community voices to the table as the commission considers police reforms for our state.

“Expanding the commission to bring diverse, community voices to the table during this national conversation and movement to improve community-police relations is a proactive step toward strengthening and healing our communities together,” said Governor Whitmer. “While there is more to do, this is a pivotal time. I look forward to working with law enforcement, the community, and with everyone else who wants to build a more just, equitable state for all Michiganders.”

Under the executive order, the three members appointed by the governor must not be a law enforcement officer, a Michigan tribal law enforcement officer, or be employed by or otherwise affiliated with a law enforcement agency or a law enforcement training academy.

This comes after the governor announced her support for a series of policy plans for police reform in Michigan, calling on Michigan law enforcement agencies to enhance their training and policies to help create a police culture where all Michiganders are treated with dignity and respect under the law. Governor Whitmer also voiced her support for measures that require law enforcement officers to complete training on implicit bias and de-escalation techniques and applauded the Senate for taking up Senate Bill 945, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Irwin, which addresses many of these issues. The governor also urged police agencies to require their officers to intervene when they observe an excessive use of force by another officer, which will save lives and help to keep people safe.

Lifted Restrictions on Camps

The governor lifted restrictions on overnight residential, travel, and troop camps beginning June 15.

“As we’ve worked together to bend the curve and protect our families from COVID-19, our kids have lost time in the classroom and missed out on playdates, birthday parties, and graduations. That’s why I’m glad they’ll have an opportunity to spend a week or weekend away at camp,” Governor Whitmer said. “This is another significant milestone for Michigan as we continue to slowly and safely reopen our economy, and I want to thank Michiganders for doing their part to flatten the curve. While this is good news, there’s still more work to do to protect Michigan families from the spread of this virus, avoid a second wave, and protect the heroes on the front lines. We will get through this together.”

New Appointments

Governor Whitmer made appointments to the Michigan Board of Counseling, Michigan Historical Commission, Residential Builders’ and Maintenance and Alteration Contractors’ Board, Michigan Unarmed Combat Commission, Michigan Underground Storage Tank Authority Board of Directors, Michigan Appellate Defender Commission, Detroit Wayne County Health Authority Board of Directors, and the Board of Law Examiners.

New Cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 189 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 59,990.

Happening Across State Government

  • Friday, the Michigan Department of State launched an online platform to provide voters with another method of digitally submitting their absent voter ballot application at Michigan.gov/Vote.

“The more choices a person has when it comes to exercising their right to vote, the better they are able to make the choice that works best for them” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “This tool provides another digital option for voters to safely and conveniently apply to receive their absentee ballot, while also offering clerks an easy, cost-efficient way of processing the application securely.”

  • The Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity reminded Michiganders to use the free online portal to find hundreds of available job postings across the state.

This information is from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor’s email newsletter. Below is an update as of 10 p.m. on June 11, 2020.

Thursday, June 11, 2020 Update

Protecting Michigan Families

The Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team released a new report that shows that the aggressive actions Governor Whitmer took to protect Michigan families from the spread of COVID-19 have significantly lowered the number of cases and deaths that would have occurred had the state done nothing. The data shows that very few states dropped their infection rate as low for as long as Michigan.

“Throughout this crisis, the vast majority of Michiganders have done the right thing by staying safer at home. Those who have done their part, especially the brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis, have helped us flatten the curve and save lives,” said Governor Whitmer. “Our action is working, but we must stay vigilant and flexible in order to lower the chance of a second wave. We owe it to the heroes on the front lines to keep doing our part by wearing a mask when in public and practicing social distancing. We will get through this together.”

As the governor announced the Stay Home, Stay Safe order, and other measures to combat the spread of COVID-19, the rate of infection fell. The data shows that before public health measures were put in place, the average Michigander spread the virus to three other people. As measures were implemented and adherence grew, Michigan’s infection rate decreased to 2.5 people, then 1.25, then 0.8. Throughout April, a person with COVID-19 infected an average of less than one other person, allowing the curve to fall.

New Executive Orders

Yesterday, Governor Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-118, which further extends the duration of protection for tenants and mobile homeowners from being evicted from their home until June 30, and Executive Order and 2020-119, which extends protections for vulnerable populations in Michigan’s county jails, local lockups, and juvenile detention centers until July 9.

“By extending the protection against eviction for non-payment we can ensure that COVID-19-infected individuals and vulnerable populations can isolate in the safety of their homes while continuing to protect incarcerated persons in our prisons, jails, and juvenile detention centers,” Governor Whitmer said. “These orders will ensure that we can continue to flatten the curve, avoid a second wave of infection, and protect the heroes serving on the front lines of this crisis.”

Michigan Flag Lowered To Half-Staff

The governor ordered U.S. and Michigan flags to be lowered to half-staff on Friday, June 12, 2020, to honor the life and service of Monroe County Sheriff’s animal control officer Darrian Young, who was killed on June 6 when her patrol car was struck by another vehicle.

“Our state grieves the loss of Darrian Young, who was just beginning a very promising career in public service,” Whitmer said. “Michigan is honored to have had Deputy Young in its service. She represents the best in us as Michiganders and she will be dearly missed and remembered fondly. My thoughts are with her family as we honor her life and legacy by lowering the flags to half-staff.”

New Senate Bills

The governor also signed Senate Bills 350 and 718, as well as House Bill 5766 into law.

New Cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 218 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 59,496.

Happening Across State Government

  • Yesterday, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation announced that it awarded $4.35 million to 74 small businesses in 40 counties across Michigan in the first round of low-interest loans awarded through the Michigan Small Business Relief Program, MEDC announced today. Today’s support builds on $10 million in grants awarded to more than 2,700 businesses through the program last month.

“This is good news for small business owners everywhere as we continue to safely re-engage sectors of our economy,” said Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “The COVID-19 pandemic hit our small business owners hard, and we’re working around the clock to ensure they have the support they need moving forward. That means ensuring they can pay their employees and provide them with the PPE they need to keep themselves, their families, and the heroes on the front lines safe. I will continue to work with partners at the state and federal level to ensure our small business owners can get back on their feet.”

  • MDHHS has worked around the clock to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. From ensuring our front line workers have enough personal protective equipment to testing thousands of Michiganders. They are now encouraging anyone who may feel they have or come into contact with someone with COVID-19 to get tested. Visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirustest to find the closest testing location.

This information is from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor’s email newsletter. Below is an update as of 10 p.m. on June 8, 2020.

Monday, June 8, 2020 Update

Helping Midland Families

Yesterday, Governor Whitmer traveled to Midland County to volunteer at Meridian Elementary School to help Michigan families impacted by the historic and devastating flooding in the area. The governor also announced that she intends to apply for a major disaster declaration to get the necessary funding and help from the federal government to repair the damage.

Pride Month

This Pride month, Governor Whitmer highlighted the countless contributions LGBTQ+ Michiganders have made to our state.

New Cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 129 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 58,999.

Happening Across State Government

  • Michigan employers are encouraged to use the State’s Work Share program to help ease any difficulty they may have to retain their workforce during COVID-19. Read more.
  • Last week, the Michigan Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy announced that Michigan consumers can begin redeeming bottles and cans that they have collected during the temporary, COVID-related shutdown of retail deposit rooms.
  • The Michigan Department of Natural Resources reminded Michiganders and visitors to reduce the risk of accidentally spreading invasive species while moving firewood. New infestations of invasive pests or diseases can be devastating and pose a serious threat to Michigan’s agriculture, forests, and the environment.

This information is from the Michigan Executive Office of the Governor’s email newsletter. Below is an update as of 10 p.m. on June 3, 2020.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020 Update

Policy Plans

On June 2, Governor Whitmer announced her support for a series of policy plans for police reform in Michigan, calling on Michigan law enforcement agencies to enhance their training and policies to help create a police culture where all Michiganders are treated with dignity and respect under the law. Governor Whitmer also voiced her support for measures that require law enforcement officers to complete training on implicit bias and de-escalation techniques and applauded the Senate for taking up Senate Bill 945, sponsored by Sen. Jeff Irwin, which addresses many of these issues. The governor also urged police agencies to require their officers to intervene when they observe an excessive use of force by another officer, which will save lives and help to keep people safe.

“The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor were a result of hundreds of years of inequity and institutional racism against Black Americans,” said Governor Whitmer. “Here in Michigan, we are taking action and working together to address the inequities Black Michiganders face every day. That’s why I’m calling on Michigan police departments to strengthen their training and policies to save lives and keep people safe. I am also ready to partner with the Michigan Legislature and law enforcement officials to pass police reform bills into law.”

ACTIONS THE GOVERNOR IS TAKING
  • Requesting that the Michigan Commission of Law Enforcement Standards (MCOLES) provide guidance to law enforcement agencies on continuing education that will help officers keep up with the everchanging landscape of new laws and issues facing the community, including diversity and implicit bias training.
  • Encouraging police departments to participate in efforts that are underway on comprehensive reporting on the use of force by police departments.
  • Urging law enforcement agencies to implement duty to intervene polices.
  • The governor applauded Southfield Police Chief Elvin Barren and Lansing Police Chief Daryl Green for their efforts in ensuring their officers intervene when an officer observes another officer doing something inappropriate or illegal.
  • Calling on the Legislature to act on SB 945.
  • Under Senator Irwin’s bill, SB 945, incoming law enforcement officers would be required by law to go through training on implicit bias, de-escalation techniques, and mental health screenings.

Shared Thoughts

Governor Whitmer also shared her thoughts in a New York Times op-ed.

Rescission of Executive Orders

Governor Whitmer announced yesterday the rescissions of executive orders on FOIA, hospital capacity, and emergency medical services, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) loosened rules on who can visit patients in certain health care settings, as regions across Michigan continue to advance under the MI Safe Start plan.

“As we slowly and safely reopen our economy, it’s important to roll back emergency orders designed to deal with the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Governor Whitmer said. “By rolling back executive orders, and allowing more people to visit their loved ones in hospitals, it sends a clear signal we are making progress in the fight against COVID-19 and continue to move in a positive direction.”

New Leaders for Healthcare & Education

On June 2, Governor Whitmer announced a group of 25 leaders in health care and education to serve on the COVID-19 return to learn the advisory council. The group of experts includes educators, parents, and students who will work closely with the governor as she continues to put the health and safety of our students and educators first.

“This group brings together experts in health care and education, including students, educators, and parents to think about how to ensure the more than 1.5 million K-12 students across Michigan get the education they need and deserve,” Governor Whitmer said. “On behalf of our kids, their families, and the more than 100,000 educators in our state, we must all work together to get this right. I know this group is prepared to carefully examine the data and consult with experts when helping me determine what is best for our kids.”

National Guard Continued Efforts

The Michigan National Guard will continue its efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic after President Donald Trump extended federal deployment known as Title 32 authority until Aug. 21. The extension comes after Governor Whitmer sent a letter to the president on May 27 urging him to extend Title 32 authority.

“The Michigan National Guard has been instrumental in our efforts to flatten the curve and mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and will continue to play a vital role as we slowly and safely reopen our economy,” Governor Whitmer said. “We need to keep working to expand testing and this extension will ensure we can continue to ramp up testing throughout the state. Moving too fast without the tests we need could put Michigan at risk of a second wave of infections.”

New Court Appointments

On June 2, Governor Whitmer appointed Breeda K. O’Leary to the 29th District Court of the City of Wayne and Brian C. Hartwell to the 43rd District Court of the City of Hazel Park.

“Breeda and Brian are well-respected within the legal community and will be bringing their extensive experiences to the bench,” Governor Whitmer said. “I’m confident that they will both uphold a standard of excellence while performing their duties for the citizens of Michigan in the 29th and 43rd districts.”

Widespread COVID-19 Testing

On Tuesday, Governor Whitmer testified remotely before the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations and called on the federal government to help states like Michigan ensure and promote widespread testing for COVID-19.

“Since I first declared an emergency in response to this pandemic, my administration has taken aggressive measures to fight the spread of COVID-19, prevent the rapid depletion of the state’s critical health care resources, and lower the chance of a devastating second wave,” said Governor Whitmer.

New Cases

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced 304 new cases of COVID-19 yesterday. This brings the total number of positive cases of COVID-19 to 58,035.

COVID-19 June Updates

Happening Across State Government

Enforcement Action

Under the leadership of Governor Whitmer and Col. Joe Gasper, the Michigan State Police (MSP) has already taken a number of actions to reform policies that will ensure MSP members treat all Michiganders with dignity and respect.

ACTIONS MSP HAS TAKEN
  • Created an Equity and Inclusion Officer position within the department.
  • Set a goal to increase the racial minority trooper applicant pool to 25 percent and the female trooper applicant pool to 20 percent, in an effort to diversify the department.
  • Established community service trooper positions to institute a community policing concept statewide.
  • Posted all non-confidential department policies online to increase transparency.
  • Implemented recurring implicit bias training for all enforcement members and assisted in the development and pilot of a nationwide implicit bias training for civilian personnel.
  • Generated a public-facing transparency web portal for FOIA requests.
  • Revised the department’s pursuit policy to limit the circumstances in which MSP members can engage in a vehicle pursuit.

Epidemic Order

In addition to Governor Whitmer’s rollback on certain executive orders, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon issued an epidemic order, “Exceptions to temporary restrictions on entry into certain facilities,” that allows expanded visitation in hospitals, outpatient clinics, and doctor’s offices.

“Sometimes a visitor can be just the medicine a hospitalized patient needs to help them through their recovery,” said Gordon. “As long as strong precautions are taken to help ensure the health and safety of visitors, patients and staff, this order allows for exceptions to those restrictions.”

Safety For Residents

From testing for potential toxic releases to help local officials deal with debris removal, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) continue to work with local responders, federal and state partners, and industry to ensure the safety of residents as they clean up after Midland-area flood damage that occurred in the wake of two dam failures.

“Our hearts go out to those whose lives have been torn apart by this disaster,” said Liesl Clark, EGLE director. “Seeing the devastation first-hand last week reinforced for me the need to ensure that we are taking every possible step to both understand why these dams failed, and to provide tools, resources and support to help residents and businesses recover.”

Attorney General Statement

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel issued the following statement on the tragic death of George Floyd and the necessity of accountability and action to drive change:

“I have struggled to find the right words to describe the disappointment and frustration I feel in knowing that George Floyd’s life was taken from him at the hands of law enforcement in such a terrible, yet preventable way. But what further angers me is that this behavior is far too common. We’ve seen this same dynamic play out in cities all across this nation for people like Eric Garner, Sandra Bland, and Stephon Clark, and while I know there is good in the work done by so many individuals who truly serve and protect their communities, I must recognize the pain that the black community and other communities of color continue to face.

RESOURCES

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