MAC COVID-19 Update
Daily report on cases, deaths delayed into evening

The state’s daily update on the number of cases and deaths due to COVID-19 has been delayed from its usual mid-afternoon release to sometime this evening.

A spokesperson from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services confirmed the delay with Crain’s Detroit Business. It apparently derived from a software malfunction.
Experts: Document, document, document on FEMA costs

A team of experts from Witt-O’Brien’s repeatedly emphasized that documentation was critical to successful applications for FEMA reimbursements. The advice was given during a webinar from the National Association of Counties on Monday. (To see the complete webinar and slide deck, click here .)

Among key points for Michigan county leaders as they prepare their applications:

  • Accounting for hours attributable to COVID is essential
  • Check HR policies and make sure they are clear on overtime and who the policies touch
  • It’s an ongoing situation, so may have to bring in new people to cover new areas and make sure the policy covers everyone (FEMA prefers a policy in place prior to event, but if not, still write it and formalize it ASAP)
  • Emergency and public transportation costs to consider include deep cleaning of vehicles or more vehicles for patrol due to separating officers
  • Costs associated with outreach/messaging to inform public that services are provided at temporary locations are FEMA-eligible

Other tips shared included:

  • “Show clear connective tissue” between your expenses and COVID-19 response, especially in Category B
  • Training for new staff or retrained staff, in Emergency Operation Centers, for example, are eligible costs
  • A good baseline in calculating amounts is the percentage share of your population to the statewide total
  • Think outside the box on such FEMA-eligible items as emergency transit vs. public transit.

FEMA policies will be a moving target because infectious disease response was not comprehensive, the presenters said. Counties are urged to be thorough with documentation and check policy guidance.

Webinars are now slated throughout May to help county officials navigate the reimbursement process. Click here for the schedule. PLEASE NOTE that local officials are REQUIRED to attend at least one of these sessions.

To obtain maximum benefit from the information presented at the briefing, counties should have representatives from its management, emergency response, public works, and accounting/finance/procurement operations and designate a primary point of contact to interact with the recipient and FEMA. Additional information on the Public Assistance Grant Program can be found in the Public Assistance Program and Policy Guide (PAPPG) .

For more information, contact Deena Bosworth at
Treasury webinar details income shocks, budget timelines

Federal funds have somewhat mitigated the disruption to family incomes in Michigan due to COVID-19, but Michigan faces a two-year road back to the employment levels seen just a few weeks ago, local officials were told during a webinar Monday sponsored by the Michigan Department of Treasury, MAC, the Michigan Municipal League and the Michigan Townships Association.

While there has been a 25 percent decline in payroll employment in 2Q of 2020, personal income has not dropped at a commensurate rate, due to the $600 per week addition to unemployment benefits and the $1,200 federal stimulus checks. Forecasters anticipate a faster recovery than has been seen in previous economic downturns, but it will likely be 2022 before Michigan returns to its employment peak pre-COVID.

Meanwhile, the State Budget Office is awaiting the May 15 Consensus Revenue Estimating Conference before embarking on how to balance the current FY20 budget, with an anticipated $2.6 billion to $3 billion shortfall. The Governor’s Office continues to push for retroactive flexibility to use the $3.1 billion in federal CARES Act money available to Michigan for revenue recovery so they can minimize cuts to the state budget.

Revenue sharing checks did go out to locals as scheduled for April 30, but future payments for FY 20 may be in jeopardy depending on how the Governor and Legislature decide to address the budget. Work on the FY 2021 budget will continue, but likely won’t be finished before late summer due to the need for a third revenue conference in August after the delayed income tax payments come in for the state this summer.

The Michigan State Police reminded participants of the mandatory FEMA webinars that started this week.  All potential applicants for FEMA reimbursement are required to attend one of the 17 virtual briefings and are encouraged to review the fact sheets posted on their website .Please note that not all of the expenses incurred in implementing the governor’s executive orders are eligible for FEMA reimbursement.

The next joint webinar will be May 18 at 2 p.m. Registration information will be released soon. For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at
MAC to back court fee bill in committee this week

MAC will submit written testimony this week to the House Judiciary Committee in support of House Bill 5488, which would extend the expiration on the authority of trial courts to levy a variety of fees.

Without action, the fee authority would expire in October, creating an immediate operational crisis for the state’s trial courts. If the bill passes as written, the “sunset” for this authority becomes Oct. 1, 2023.

Committee meets Wednesday morning in Lansing as the Legislature restarts committee sessions.

HB 5488, by Rep. Sarah Lightner, is one of MAC’s top legislative priorities for 2020.

For more information on this issue, contact Meghann Keit at
MAC sets May 6 webinar to aid counties on return-to-work plans

Counties continue their planning to return more employees to on-site operations. In a webinar on May 6, experts from the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority (MMRMA) will walk participants through MMRMA’s COVID-19 Model Response Plan and then take questions from MAC members.

This webinar is designed for county administrators, finance directors, human resources directors, building directors and other senior operational staffers.

To pre-register for this event, click here.

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
Governor extends restrictions on nursing, juvenile facilities

Entry to nursing, juvenile and other facilities is limited to essential personnel until May 31, under a new Executive Order signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Sunday night.

EO 72 replaces a previous order with these restrictions. This order extension is dated until May 31.

“I know this is a difficult time for families, patients and workers across the state, but we must continue to be diligent in our efforts to slow the spread of the virus,” said Whitmer. “Right now, the best we tool we have to save lives is to reduce person-to-person interaction. That is why it is necessary to extend this order and put the health and safety of Michiganders first. I hope everyone in Michigan continues to do their part to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

For a full list of the governor’s Executive Orders, click here .
Federal officials to host webinar on Rural Health and COVID-19

On May 12 at 4 p.m. eastern, the U.S. Department of Agriculture will sponsor a free webinar on COVID-19 and its effects on rural health.

“Delivering health care in rural communities presents unique challenges that have always required coordination and innovation. Now, more than ever, it is essential that rural communities and healthcare providers have access to the resources they need to combat COVID-19,” USDA said.
This webinar will provide an overview of the rural health focused efforts by HHS and USDA and highlight specific tools and resources to help combat COVID-19.

This webinar is free. High-speed internet is required to participate. A recording will be available on our website after the live event. Connection details will be emailed to you immediately upon registration.

To register for the webinar, use this link:

If you have questions or problems with the registration process, please contact RHIhub Webinars at

For questions about the content of this webinar, please contact Betty-Ann Bryce at