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  • Latest Info Regarding COVID-19

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  
    March 16, 2020 
    Contact: BrownT56@michigan.gov  
     
    Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Temporarily Closing Bars, Theaters, Casinos, and Other Public Spaces; Limiting Restaurants to Delivery and Carry-Out Orders 
     
    LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-9, which temporarily closes theaters, bars, and casinos, and limits restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders. 
     
    Under Executive Order 2020-9, effective Monday, March 16 at 3:00pm, the following places of public accommodation will be closed; restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos.  
     
    This order does not restrict a place of business from offering food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service. Places of public accommodation are encouraged to do so and use precautions to mitigate potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing. Restaurants may allow five people inside at a time to pick up orders, so long as they stay six feet apart from each other. 
     
    These restrictions do not apply to the following locations: office buildings, grocery stores, markets, food pantries, pharmacies, drug stores, and providers of medical equipment and supplies, health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities, warehouse and distribution centers, and industrial and manufacturing facilities.  
     
    Order restrictions will remain in place until Monday, March 30 at 11:59 pm.   
     
    “This disease is a challenge unlike any we’ve experienced in our lifetimes,” said Governor Whitmer. “Fighting it will cause significant but temporary changes to our daily lives. By practicing social distancing and taking aggressive action now, the state is working to mitigate the spread of coronavirus so we reduce the risk that our health care system becomes overwhelmed. This is about saving lives. Michiganders are tough and we are going to get through this, but it will require everyone doing their part. That means making smart choices and not putting yourself or others at risk by going out in public unless it is absolutely necessary.” 
     
    “We need to move quickly to slow the spread of the virus and protect public health,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “I realize these actions will present temporary changes to the way we live, but they are critical to help ensure our health care system is prepared to treat those who need the most urgent medical care.” 
     
    “This crisis will require business and labor working together to ensure that we are putting the best interests of Michiganders first in order to protect public health,” said Jeff Donofrio, Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “We understand that these decisions will impact the way we do business, but the decisions we make now will allow us to get our economy back on track sooner rather than later. We are putting measures in place to help protect the employers, employees, and individuals that will be impacted.” 
     
    To mitigate the spread of COVID-19, Governors across the United States have begun implementing similar measures in their states, including Jay Inslee (D-WA), Charlie Baker (R-MA), and Tom Wolf (D-PA). 
     
    Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of: 
    · Fever  
    · Cough  
    · Shortness of breath  
     
    The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to: 
    · If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.  
    · Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.     
    · Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.     
    · Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.     
    · Avoid contact with people who are sick.     
    · If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.  
    · Replace handshakes with elbow bumps.  
    · Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.  
     
    Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.  
     
    To view executive order 2020-9, click the link below:
    · EO 2020-9.pdf

     
    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 
    March 16, 2020 
     
    Governor Whitmer Expands Unemployment Benefits for Michigan Workers 
     
    LANSING, Mich. -- Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-10 to temporarily expand eligibility for unemployment benefits. This executive order is effective immediately and until Tuesday, April 14 at 11:59pm. 
     
    Under the governor’s order, unemployment benefits would be extended to: 
    · Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill. 
    · Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off. 
    · First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19. 
     
    “While we work together to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, we must do everything we can to help working families,” said Governor Whitmer. “This executive order will provide immediate relief to those who can’t go to work, and who rely on their paycheck to put food on the table for themselves and their families. I urge everyone to make smart choices at this time, and to do everything in their power to keep themselves and their loved ones safe.” 
    “We know that many families are and will experience economic pain as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.,” said Jeff Donofrio, Director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. “Our expansion of unemployment and workers’ compensation benefits is designed to help provide emergency support to Michigan’s working families."
    The State is also seeking solutions for self-employed workers and independent contractors who traditionally do not have access to unemployment insurance. 
    Access to benefits for unemployed workers will also be extended: 
    · Benefits will be increased from 20 to 26 weeks. 
    · The application eligibility period will be increased from 14 to 28 days 
    · The normal in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended. 
     
    Eligible employees should apply for unemployment benefits online at Michigan.gov/UIA  or 1-866-500-0017. A factsheet on how to apply for benefits can be found here 
     
    Under the order, an employer or employing unit must not be charged for unemployment benefits if their employees become unemployed because of an executive order requiring them to close or limit operations. 
     
    The order also expands the State’s Work Share program. Employers are encouraged to implement the program that permits employers to maintain operational productivity during declines in regular business activity instead of laying off workers. More information about Work Share can be found here 
     
    Additional unemployment resources for employees can be found here and for workers here. 
     
    Governor Whitmer is also seeking additional solutions for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Earlier this month, Congress passed legislation that makes $1 billion available to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide low-interest loans to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
     
    The governor has informed SBA that she is seeking an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration for the state and has initiated the process to receive the declaration from SBA. Once granted, small businesses in qualifying areas will be able to access low-interest loans through the SBA. In the interim, we are encouraging small businesses that could benefit from SBA loans to start collecting the information they’ll need to complete and submit their application. Examples of information needed can be found hereFor additional information or to obtain help preparing the loan application in advance of the declaration, please contact the Michigan SBA offices in Detroit or Grand Rapids.
     
    The governor has requested that President Trump issue a Major Disaster Declaration so that Individual Assistance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance through FEMA may be made available to additional Michiganders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
     
    The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit MEDC’s website: www.michiganbusiness.org or call 888.522.0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Visit their website https://sbdcmichigan.org/small-business-covid19/ for additional information. 
     
    Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:  
    · Fever  
    · Cough  
    · Shortness of breath  
    The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:  
    · If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.  
    · Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.    
    · Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.    
    · Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.    
    · Avoid contact with people who are sick.    
    · If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.  
    · Replace handshakes with elbow bumps.  
    · Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.  
     
    Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus 
     
    For those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8AM - 5PM daily. 
     
    To view executive order 2020-10, click the link below: