Category Archives: Government

Gov. Whitmer signs order protecting Michigan workers who stay home when they are sick


Posted by The Huron Hub
Friday, April 3, 2020
11:30 AM EST

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order prohibiting all employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against an employee for staying home from work if they or one of their close contacts tests positive for COVID-19 or has symptoms of the disease.

The governor says Executive Order 2020-36 also strengthens the governor’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order by declaring that it is the public policy of the state that all Michiganders who test positive or show symptoms, or who live with someone who tests positive or shows symptoms, should not leave their homes unless absolutely necessary.

The order takes effect immediately and will remain in place until the end of the governor’s declared emergency or until otherwise rescinded.

“People who are prioritizing the health and safety of their families, neighbors, and loved ones during this crisis should not be punished by their workplace. Staying home and staying safe is one of the most important things we can do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, and this executive order will ensure more people can do so without facing discrimination from their workplace,” Whitmer said. “We have taken aggressive measures to protect our communities, but it’s on all of us to work together to fight this virus.”

“Ensuring those who experience symptoms or test positive for COVID-19 and the people they live with remain in their homes will help mitigate community spread,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive. “It’s crucial that anyone experiencing symptoms, and those they live with, stay home and stay safe.”

Under the order, any and all individuals who test positive for COVID-19 or who display one or more of the principal symptoms, such as fever, atypical cough, and atypical shortness of breath, must remain in their home or place of residence.

This includes Michiganders who are otherwise free to leave their homes under Executive Order 2020-21. People who test positive or who are experiencing symptoms must wait to leave their homes until three days have passed since their symptoms have resolved and seven days have passed since symptoms first appeared, or since they were swabbed for the test that yielded the positive result.

In addition, any and all close contacts of a symptomatic individual or of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should remain in their home until 14 days have passed or the symptomatic individual receives a negative COVID-19 test.

Health-care professionals, workers at a health-care facility, first responders (e.g., police officers, fire fighters, paramedics), child protective service employees, workers at child caring institutions and correctional officers are exempt from staying at home if a member of their household tests positive for COVID-19 or displays one or more of the principal symptoms provided that their employers’ rules governing occupational health allow them to go to work.

Individuals and household members who test positive for COVID-19 or who display one or more of the principal symptoms may leave their home or place of residence when necessary to obtain food, medicine, or supplies that are needed to sustain or protect life and when those items cannot be obtained via delivery.

People may also engage in outdoor activities, including walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity consistent while remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household.

When symptomatic people or their close contacts leave the home, they should wear some form of covering over their nose and mouth, such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief. For now, however, supplies of N95 masks and surgical masks should generally be reserved to health-care professionals, first responders (e.g., police officers, fire fighters, paramedics), and other critical workers.


You can view a special COVID-19 (coronavirus) news section on HuronHub.com by clicking on this link.

For current and up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Whitmer announces programs to expand unemployment benefits for all workers affected by COVID-19

Getty images

Posted by The Huron Hub
Monday, March 20, 2020

-Benefits increased for all unemployed workers

-Benefits expanded to self-employed and low-wage workers

-New filing schedule implemented for those applying

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Monday announced new programs for workers affected by COVID-19.

The governor, under the federal CARES Act, signed an agreement between Michigan and the U.S. Dept. of Labor to implement Pandemic Unemployment Assistance and Compensation programs that grant benefits to workers who do not already qualify for state unemployment benefits. Workers include self-employed, 1099-independent contractors, gig, and low-wage workers who can no longer work because of the pandemic. The agreement also increases weekly benefits for all unemployed workers by $600 a week for up to four months and extends benefit payments from 26 to 39 weeks.

“The State of Michigan is dedicated to implementing measures to protect the health of all our residents and we understand financial health is critical as we meet this challenge together,” said Whitmer. “This increase and expansion of unemployment benefits will provide a measure of security for Michigan working families who lost their income due to the pandemic. We are committed to ensuring emergency financial relief for unemployed residents who continue to stay home and stay safe.”

The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) will provide additional guidance regarding eligibility and application details in the coming days as it implements these new programs.

Benefits Extended to Self-Employed, Low-Wage, and Other Workers Affected by COVID-19
Under the CARES Act, individuals who are not already eligible for Michigan’s unemployment programs will now be provided a set amount of $600 a week for up to four months on top of the state benefit. Benefits are available for up to 39 weeks. These newly eligible individuals include self-employed workers, independent contractors, low-wage workers and those with a limited work history.

Benefits Increased for All Unemployed Workers
Under the CARES Act, weekly benefits for all unemployed workers will be increased by a set amount of $600 a week for up to four months. This applies to workers already in the unemployment system and eligible employees about to apply. These workers do not need to reapply and those about to apply do not need to take additional steps and should file as usual. If a worker’s application has previously been denied by the UIA in the past three weeks there is no need for them to reapply at this time. They will be notified by the agency with any additional action that may need to be taken.

“We appreciate the patience Michigan residents have shown with the unemployment system over the last few weeks as we continue to provide emergency financial assistance during this historical demand. I want to assure every eligible worker in our state who needs to apply for unemployment benefits that they will receive them,” said Dept. of Labor and Economic Opportunity Director Jeff Donofrio. “We continue to urge workers to apply online at Michigan.gov/UIA and to utilize our new filing schedule based on their last name. UIA staff is working as hard and fast as they can to process claims and we continue to reallocate resources and upgrade technology to serve our customers.”

The day or time of day in which a claim is filed will not impact whether a worker receives benefits or their benefit amount. Additionally, claims will be back-dated to reflect the date in which a claimant was laid-off or let go from their job due to COVID-19. The eligibility window to apply has also been increased from 14 to 28 days from the date of their work stoppage.

New Filing Schedule:

Online Filing Schedule – Michigan.gov/UIA. Workers are encouraged to go online during off-peak times between 8PM-8AM

  • Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to file claims on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays.
  • Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to file claims on Sundays, Tuesdays, or Thursdays.
  • Saturdays will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

Call Center Filing Schedule – 866-500-0017:

  • Last names beginning with letters A-L are asked to call on Mondays and Wednesdays between 8:00am – 5:00pm.
  • Last names beginning with letters M-Z are asked to call on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:00am – 5:00pm.
  • Fridays (8:00am – 5:00pm) will be available for anyone to accommodate those who could not file during their allotted window.

For more information visit Michigan.gov/UIA.


 

Romulus updates community on city services during COVID-19 outbreak


Posted by The Huron Hub
Friday, March 27, 2020

Romulus updated the community on the city’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, including updates on city services.

“City officials have worked around the clock to ensure we are doing all we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 while continuing to provide tremendous customer service to our residents,” Mayor LeRoy Burcroff said. “The health and wellness of our residents is our number one priority, and we remain committed to providing the resources needed during this critical time.”

Updates on city services include:

  • “Stay Home,” Stay Safe”—due to the Governor’s Executive Order, issued on Monday, all city buildings are closed to the public, except for the police department. Residents are encouraged to visit the city’s website with questions. If additional assistance is needed, residents can feel free to call any one of the city departments.
  • Spring Clean-Up update—curbside yard waste and bulk pick-up will be put on hold beginning April 1, 2020 until further notice. Questions can be answered by calling Waste Management, Inc at 866-797-9018 or Romulus DPW at 734-942-7579.
  • Water access—two weeks ago, the city’s water billing department discontinued account shut offs, and will do so until further notice to ensure residents have access to water services during the COVID-19 pandemic. If residents are without water and would like service reconnected can contact 734-942-7560 during regular business hours. Please note: customers are still expected to pay for water used during this time.

Related: Romulus declares State of Emergency, takes steps to address COVID-19 pandemic

“During this trying time, we are immensely grateful for our essential workers—police and fire, emergency medical professionals, grocery store and pharmacy employees, mail carriers, truck drivers and airport staff,” Burcroff said. “I know I speak for the entire community when I say we are keeping these workers, their health and the health of their family and loved ones in our thoughts and prayers. My heart goes out to those who have been impacted by the virus, as well as their friends and families. We are Romulus strong, and we will get through this is together. We will continue to do all we can to support the health and safety of all of our residents.”

To support local small businesses, the city has compiled a list of restaurants still open for carry-out. The list can be found here.

For further updates on the city’s actions during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit romulusgov.com/coronavirus or visit the city’s Facebook page.


You can view a special COVID-19 (coronavirus) news section on HuronHub.com by clicking on this link.

For current and up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Camilleri, Polehanki call for early end to school year ‘to protect students and teachers’

(HURON HUB file photo)


Posted by The Huron Hub
Thursday, March 26, 2020

State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown) and Sen. Dayna Polehanki (D-Livonia), called for an early end to the school year following the projected course of COVID-19.

The legislators say the need to provide certainty and a path forward for districts and families is essential at this time.

“We are ready and willing to address this legislatively,” said Camilleri and Polehanki in a joint statement. “But to act faster and provide clarity for our school districts, we urge the Governor to close schools for the rest of the year to protect our students, teachers, and families.”

Both Polehanki and Camilleri said they have key pieces of legislation that would help the state complete this closure in a responsible way, including forgiving days, fixing teacher evaluations, and addressing third grade retention.

Both said that the quickest and most decisive way to close schools would be through action on Governor Whitmer’s part.

Polehanki and Camilleri, both former teachers and Democratic Vice Chairs of the Michigan House and Senate Education Committees, supported Whitmer on recent actions they say protect students and emphasized the importance of ensuring teachers, administrators, and support staff still receive the pay and benefits they deserve if the school year is cut short.

The legislators also called for immediate action to allow districts to plan for the summer and beyond.

“Above all else, we need a swift decision so districts will know where they stand,” said Camilleri and Polehanki. “We know that deciding to close school would lead to many additional questions, and we are ready to work with the Governor’s office, the Department of Education, and our local school districts to make this work for everyone.”


You can view a special COVID-19 (coronavirus) news section on HuronHub.com by clicking on this link.

For current and up-to-date information regarding the coronavirus, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

34th District Court in Romulus closes to public through April 3


By Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub
ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com

Published March 24, 2020

The 34th District Court in Romulus is closed to the public through April 3.

The courthouse will be closed to the public with limited staff reporting to conduct only essential functions of the court.

Proceedings scheduled between the dates of March 16-April 3, 2020 at the 34th District Court will be adjourned.

The court says all parties will receive notice by mail of the hearing date.

Other important court related changes or closures include:

●All in custody arraignments will be held by videoconferencing. Walk in
arraignments have been suspended. If you have an outstanding warrant or license
suspension email or call the court for more information.

●Felony cases for in custody defendants will remain as scheduled and will be held
by videoconferencing.

●All reporting probation will be conducted by phone. Work Program and the
Reality Check Program have been cancelled until further notice.

●Civil filings must be mailed to the court or placed in the drop box located outside
of the courthouse entrance with the filing fee attached.

All court users should visit mi34thdistrictcourt.com for the most
current information and updates, as well as online resources for resolving their case.

The changes at the court are in compliance with Supreme Court Administrative Order 2020-2, said Brian A. Oakley, chief judge for the 34th District Court.

“We will continue to work with the Michigan Supreme Court and the State Court
Administrator’s office along with our local officials to ensure that we are doing all that
we can to combat this health crisis,” he said.


You can view a special COVID-19 (coronavirus) news section on HuronHub.com by clicking on this link.

For current and up-to-date information regarding the Coronavirus, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Gov. Whitmer orders Michigan residents stay home 3 weeks due to COVID-19

Press release
Posted by The Huron Hub
March 23, 2020 - 11 AM EST

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO 2020-21), directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order also directs Michiganders to stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.

Effective at 12:01 am on March 24, 2020, for at least the next three weeks, individuals may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances, and they must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they do so, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances.

“In just 13 days, we’ve gone from 0 to over 1,000 COVID-19 cases,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities. The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives.”

“Taking aggressive action to protect our communities is the most important thing we can do to mitigate further spread of COVID-19,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “If we do this now, we can make sure our hospitals and healthcare workers are prepared to take care of the sickest people. It is crucial that people do the right thing by staying home and staying safe.”

Executive Order 2020-21 prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Businesses and operations are to designate the workers that meet those criteria, and must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons in the performance of that necessary in-person work.

Workers that are necessary to sustain or protect life include those in health care and public health, law enforcement and public safety, grocery store workers, and more. For a full list of these critical infrastructure workers, click the link to Executive Order 2020-21 at the bottom of this page.

Additionally, under Executive Order 2020-21, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons outside a single household are temporarily prohibited. People may leave the house to perform for limited, necessary purposes, and may engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity, consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside a person’s household and with other restrictions imposed by prior executive orders.

Michigan is currently in the top five states in the nation in number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Several governors across the country have taken similar steps to protect their communities from the spread of COVID-19, including governors Mike DeWine (R-OH), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), J.B. Pritzker (D-IL), Tom Wolf (D-PA), Gavin Newsom (D-CA), John Bel Edwards (D-LA), Phil Murphy (D-NJ), and Ned Lamont (D-CT).

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:

  • If you think you have symptoms of 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.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.

Michiganders can apply for unemployment benefits if they have left work or taken a leave of absence because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised, displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive. Those temporarily laid off from work should apply for unemployment benefits online at www.michigan.gov/UIA or 1-866-500-0017.

Governor Whitmer is working to ensure that children who rely on the food provided by schools will have the resources they need. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has developed an online map for families to find meals. Families can access the map at: https://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/schoolnutrition/.

On March 19, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved the governor’s request for a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration, opening the opportunity to small businesses to access low-interest loans from the SBA. The application for disaster loan assistance is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. For businesses looking for more information on how to apply for an SBA EIDL loan or whether it is something they should consider, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19.


 

Reports: Gov. Whitmer to announce stay-at-home order Monday


Posted by The Huron Hub
Monday, March 23, 2020
8:45 AM EST

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is going to announce a stay-at-home order during an 11 a.m. press conference on Monday, according to various media reports.

WXYZ and the Associated Press are reporting that the order will have various exceptions, including grocery and pharmacies.

States across the nation are limiting residents’ movements amid the continued spread of the coronavirus.

As of Sunday, several states and cities have ordered residents to stay-at-home. View this USA Today article for a list.

You can view a special coronavirus coverage section on HuronHub.com by clicking on this link.

Check back for updates