MLC May 2021 Updates

The Michigan Legislative Consultants (MLC) is sharing the latest updates with our members informed on what’s happening at the State Capitol in our MLC May 2021 Updates.

County Map of Michigan | MLC April 2021 Updates

This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, May 24, 2021.

Monday, May 24 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 7,726
  • Total Cases: 884,580
  • Weekly Deaths: 326
  • Total Deaths: 18,953
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 4,393
  • Total Cases: 919,534
  • Weekly Deaths: 181
  • Total Deaths: 19,709
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 4,585
  • Total Cases: 740,564
  • Weekly Deaths: 68
  • Total Deaths: 13,137
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 9,227
  • Total Cases: 1,376,441
  • Weekly Deaths: 188
  • Total Deaths: 22,633
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 2,309
  • Total Cases: 608,583
  • Weekly Deaths: 32
  • Total Deaths: 6,990

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • Under United States law, it is permissible for government authorities and employers to generally require vaccine mandates and to request proof of record. Such mandates for the COVID-19 vaccine have been rare thus far, though they are expected to become more common in the healthcare, emergency, and education sectors. You can find employer FAQs regarding the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s recently issued guidance here.
  • New data released by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) estimates that Medicare spent $16.6 billion on COVID-related hospitalizations since January 2020, with more than 4.1 million Medicare beneficiaries infected with the virus. Please find the report here.

Governor Releases MI Blueprint for Comprehensive Student Recovery

Governor Gretchen Whitmer released guidance to help districts and schools create recovery plans to ensure students have the resources needed to thrive post-pandemic. It provides evidence-based recommendations to address challenges across wellness, academics, school culture and climate, family and community engagement, and postsecondary education.

To view the full guide, please click here.

Michigan Articles

  • The Department of Health and Human Services has updated its epidemic order to reflect the changes announced last week to capacity limits and mask mandates. Click here to read epidemic order.
  • The Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MiOSHA) has released updated COVID-19 emergency rules to reflect the updated epidemic order. Click here to read the rules.
  • Michigan businesses have received $24 billion in Federal Paycheck Protection Program funds. Click here to read more.
  • MiOSHA has decided against creating permanent COVID-19 workplace rules. Click here to read more.
  • Michigan has now given more than 8 million vaccine doses.

National Articles

 


This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, May 17, 2021.

Monday, May 17 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 11,505
  • Total Cases: 876,854
  • Weekly Deaths: 388
  • Total Deaths: 18,627
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 4,987
  • Total Cases: 915,141
  • Weekly Deaths: 100
  • Total Deaths: 19,528
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 5,693
  • Total Cases: 735,999
  • Weekly Deaths: 65
  • Total Deaths: 13,069
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 10,823
  • Total Cases: 1,367,214
  • Weekly Deaths: 210
  • Total Deaths: 22,445
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 2,971
  • Total Cases: 606,274
  • Weekly Deaths: 54
  • Total Deaths: 6,958

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • Last Tuesday, Reps. Juan Vargas (D-CA) and French Hill (R-AR) introduced H.R. 3125, the “COVID-19 Emergency Medical Supplies Enhancement Act,” which would designate COVID-19 tests, personal protective equipment, drugs, and medical supplies as scarce and critical materials for use of the Defense Production Act (DPA). The bill is intended to build upon both the Trump administration and the Biden administration’s use of DPA funds for nonmedical projects in times of crisis for future emergencies. The bill would allow the president to permanently expand the definition of “national defense” under the law, among other provisions.
  • Last Thursday, the Biden administration announced a $7.4 billion investment in public health infrastructure through the expansion of the sector’s workforce. The funding, which comes from the American Rescue Plan, includes $3.4 billion for epidemiologists, data scientists, and staff for contract tracing and testing. It also includes funding for: A new AmeriCorps program focused on public health; the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s epidemic intelligence service and training on public health data technology; and fellowship and internship opportunities at public health laboratories.

Guidance Provided on Gatherings and Face Mask Order

Following the state’s significant changes to the Gatherings and Face Mask epidemic order, the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has released additional information to help residents navigate the update. Beyond the highlight that fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to wear masks in almost all circumstances, additional guidelines include:

  • General activities: DHHS has released a one-pager ranking the safety of certain actives and providing information on when an unvaccinated individual should wear a mask. To view that information, please click here.
  • Large Outdoor events: All individuals can gather outdoors at large events without a face mask, but DHHS recommends a mask in crowded outdoor spaces for those who aren’t fully vaccinated. Event organizers have a list of requirements they must follow such as physical distancing protocols. For more information, please click here.
  • Athletics: Regardless of vaccination status, individuals aren’t required to wear a face mask for the purpose of outdoor organized sports. DHHS recommends those not fully vaccinated wear a mask while participating in contact sports both indoors and outdoors. Certain testing requirements remain in place for unvaccinated participants. For more details, please click here.

Regardless of DHHS’ guidelines, local units of government and private businesses can continue to set their own requirements regarding the use of face masks.

Michigan Articles

  • The Department of Health and Human Services issued guidance to healthcare providers on vaccinating those between the age of 12-15. Click here to read more.
  • Will Michigan follow other states that are providing incentives to residents who receive the vaccine? Click here to read more.
  • The speaker of the house and senate majority leader have spoken out on the changes to Michigan’s mask requirements. Click here to read more.

National Articles

  • On July 15, the child tax benefit under the latest round of coronavirus relief will begin hitting eligible taxpayers’ bank accounts. Click here to read more.
  • What’s the story behind the administration’s change to the mask policy? Click here to read more.
  • It’s been said that drinking water after getting your COVID-19 vaccine can help lessen the side effects, what is the truth behind that? Click here to read more.

This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, May 10, 2021.

Monday, May 10 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 15,929
  • Total Cases: 865,349
  • Weekly Deaths: 468
  • Total Deaths: 18,239
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 6,208
  • Total Cases: 910,154
  • Weekly Deaths: 144
  • Total Deaths: 19,428
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 6,863
  • Total Cases: 730,306
  • Weekly Deaths: 66
  • Total Deaths: 13,004
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 14,614
  • Total Cases: 1,356,391
  • Weekly Deaths: 188
  • Total Deaths: 22,235
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 3,727
  • Total Cases: 603,303
  • Weekly Deaths: 65
  • Total Deaths: 6,904

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • Last Friday, Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary Xavier Becerra met with Indian Minister of Health and Family Welfare, Dr. Harsh Varshan, to discuss the surge of COVID-19 cases in India and the ongoing support the U.S. is providing to India. Minister Vardhan thanked Secretary Becerra for recent U.S. donations of oxygen tanks, generators, therapeutics, vaccine manufacturing components, PPE, and rapid tests. Becerra noted that the U.S.-India relation in health is one of the most successful aspects of the countries’ relationship and that the U.S. is responding to India in the same way they assisted us earlier in the pandemic. You can read a press release from HHS here.
  • Today, the Senate will vote on the nomination of Andrea Palm to serve as deputy health secretary at HHS. She received a 20-8 vote from the Senate Finance Committee last month and is expected to be confirmed with bipartisan support. Palm previously led Wisconsin’s Department of Health Services, where she worked to expand access to telehealth services and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Throughout the pandemic, she established a strong response to COVID-19 that led Wisconsin to become a top state in vaccination rates. Please find Palm’s testimony to the Senate Finance Committee here.
  • Tomorrow morning, the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions will convene to hear an update from federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19. Among those testifying are Dr. Anthony Fauci, Director of National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH); Dr. David Kessler, Chief Science Officer for COVID Response at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS); and Dr. Rochelle Walensky, Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). You can watch the hearing here.

Vacc to Normal Dashboard Launched

On the heels of Governor Whitmer announcing the “Vacc to Normal” program, the Department of Health and Human Services has launched a dashboard allowing residents to track milestones. This includes data on the number of vaccinations received by Michigan residents, a key part of the program. The Vacc to Normal program allows strategic reopening of different areas of the state and economy based on the number of residents who are vaccinated. For example, the capacity limits at indoor sports stadiums will increase two weeks after 60% of residents have been vaccinated.

To view the dashboard, please click here.

Michigan Articles

  • The Department of Health and Human Services updated the testing requirements for long-term care facilities. Click here to read more.
  • The Department of Insurance and Financial Services announced the extension of a program providing mortgage relief for residents experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19. Click here to read more.
  • Some rural residents in Michigan remain skeptical about receiving the COVID-19 vaccine. Click here to read more.

National Articles


This information is sourced from the Michigan Legislative Consultants’ COVID-19 Special Update email newsletter sent on Monday, May 3, 2021.

Monday, May 3 – Statewide Economic Impact

Statistics

MICHIGAN
  • Weekly Cases: 23,576
  • Total Cases: 849,420
  • Weekly Deaths: 447
  • Total Deaths: 17,771
OHIO
  • Weekly Cases: 7,309
  • Total Cases: 903,946
  • Weekly Deaths: 162
  • Total Deaths: 19,284
INDIANA
  • Weekly Cases: 7,975
  • Total Cases: 723,443
  • Weekly Deaths: 68
  • Total Deaths: 12,938
ILLINOIS
  • Weekly Cases: 18,607
  • Total Cases: 1,341,777
  • Weekly Deaths: 211
  • Total Deaths: 22,047
WISCONSIN
  • Weekly Cases: 4,527
  • Total Cases: 599,576
  • Weekly Deaths: 83
  • Total Deaths: 6,839

Federal Update From our Partners at Foley & Lardner

  • Late last week, Director of the National Institute of Health (NIH) Francis Collins announced that the NIH will issue more than $1 billion in research grants to study the long-term effects of COVID-19. Preliminary research suggests that anywhere from 10 percent to 30 percent of those who contract COVID-19 have symptoms that may last for more than a month. Over 270 proposals were submitted for the grants, and awards will be announced in the coming weeks.
  • In a press release published last Thursday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced that it awarded over $32 million to 122 organizations to provide training and technical assistance to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Health Center Program-supported centers nationwide. These funds will be used to provide centers with COVID-19 related training, assistance, and support. Please find more information here.
  • This week, the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health and the House Education and Labor Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions will hold hearings on lowering prescription drug costs and making health care more affordable. In a memo submitted to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Chairman Frank Pallone notes that prescription drug prices, particularly brand-name drugs, are, on average, significantly higher than in 32 other countries with comparable economies. Legislation that will likely come up in these hearings includes H.R. 3, the “Elijah Cummings Lower Drug Costs Now Act;” H.R. 19, “Lower Costs More Cures Act of 2021,” H.R. 153, “Protecting Consumer Access to Generic Drugs Act of 2021,” among others. You can read the memo here.

Michigan Reaches Vaccination Milestone

It was announced today that 7 million Michigan residents have received their COVID-19 vaccine. To date, 50% of residents have received their first dose, and 38% are fully vaccinated. Governor Whitmer has set a goal of vaccinating 70% of Michigan residents over the age of 16.

Michigan Articles

National Articles

  • The U.S.’s top trade negotiator is starting talks with the World Trade Organization on ways to expand vaccination distribution. Click here to read more.
  • People are crossing borders in order to receive COVID-19 vaccines. Click here to read more.
  • President Biden said the U.S. will be in a different position this summer as more people get vaccinated. Click here to read more.

Additionally, the following website is a source for updated information from the administration.

STAY UPDATED

While these are very uncertain times, know the MLC Team, along with POAM, is available to answer your questions regarding this MLC May 2021 Updates. Additionally, we will provide regular updates as more information becomes available.

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