MAC COVID-19 Update
Special Note: This will be the last COVID-19 mid-week update.
MAC will continue to issue special alerts as events dictate.
MAC gets clarification from Governor's Office on county office work

In response to numerous requests from members, MAC finally was able to get a clarifying statement from the Governor’s Office on county operations during the Stay at Home order.\

Generally, local government offices should remain closed so long as the work can be done remotely.
However, in regions that are allowed to reopen more broadly under the new EO (Regions 6 & 8 in the Upper Peninsula and Northern Michigan), local governments may reopen. If they do, they must adhere to the safety requirements as applicable to those workplace settings  — e.g., if it’s a local government’s office space, then they must meet the same requirements in the EO as is required of office space employers.

“County buildings may allow people (not employees) to come into buildings in Regions 6 & 8. If this is an office setting … they need to follow the rules for workplace safety for offices within the EO,” a representative of the Governor’s Office wrote.
 
Also, if employees are deemed essential under the county’s preparedness plan, they can report for service under the current EO, as they could under previous iterations of the Stay at Home order.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the Stay at Home order, with some altered provisions, to June 12 with Executive Order 96 late last week.
State expands testing efforts on COVID

The state has made a major shift in its testing criteria on COVID-19 to allow for much broader testing, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has announced.

Among the groups now listed are:

  • Asymptomatic patients who are preparing for surgery, if testing is deemed necessary by the treating health professional
  • Asymptomatic people who have known exposure to someone who has COVID-19 or symptoms, or who work in a profession that puts them at high risk of exposure due to close contact with the public, such as dental technicians, or to COVID-19 outbreaks in certain industries like at food processing facilities

“MDHHS is encouraging anyone who meets the testing criteria to get tested. Free testing is widely available, including at federally qualified health centers and major retail pharmacies. Anyone who wishes to be tested may call the Michigan coronavirus hotline at 1-888-535-6136 or visit Michigan.gov/CoronavirusTest to find an appropriate testing location, including a list of sites offering testing at no cost. Michiganders can locate testing sites by inputting their address or selecting state, county and ZIP code.”
EGLE directed to investigate dams' failure

An investigation into the failure of two dams near Midland will be led by the Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE), Gov. Gretchen Whitmer directed in a letter on Wednesday. The failures have caused widespread flooding and the displacement of thousands of residents in the Midland area. Midland County remains under a State of Emergency until at least June 16, 2020, as recovery work continues.

One of the dams, Edenville, has been under EGLE oversight since 2018, when its owner, Boyce Hydro, lost its federal license to generate hydropower there.
Remember: Veteran grants can be used for COVID aid

The state wishes to remind counties that they have the option of using County Veteran Service Fund (CVSF) grants directly for COVID-19 emergency assistance to veterans and their families.
This option, “facilitated by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA), will allow veterans in participating counties to make vehicle and home repairs, pay medical expenses, buy groceries and personal care items and meet other needs determined emergent.”
The MVAA facilitates $6.4 million in CVSF grants to County Veterans Service Offices.
“The emergency relief is available to counties that were previously approved for CVSF grants but now want to amend the grants to offer emergency relief directly to veterans. Some counties were slated to spend CVSF grants on veteran outreach and activities but were unable due to COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. The emergency relief is also available to counties that either did not qualify or chose not to apply for CVSF grants,” MVAA said in a statement.

Counties interested in applying for a CVSF-ER grant can contact the MVAA’s Karen Rowlader at RowladerK@michigan.gov or Marie Douville at DouvilleM@michigan.gov.
Michigan and national mental health crisis lines

MDHHS COVID-19 Hotline and Email Response
Call Michigan COVID19 Hotline at 888-535-6136 to answer health-related questions about the virus. It is open from 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. seven days a week, or e-mail: COVID19@michigan.gov (emails will be answered from 8 am to 5 pm, 7 days a week).

COVID-19 Line – Senior Citizens
Michigan Senior Citizens needing emotional support. Call: 1-888-535-6136

National Disaster Distress Helpline
Offers 24/7 crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress. Call: 1-800-985-5950 or Text: 66746

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
Provides free and confidential support 24/7 to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress. Call: 1-800-273-8255 or visit: suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Crisis Text Line
Persons needing crisis counseling via text. Text RESTORE to 741741

HeadSpace Web Service
A collection of meditation, sleep and movement exercises designed to help keep a strong and healthy mind. Free to Michiganders (normally a paid service). Visit: headspace.com/mi

Michigan PEER Warmline
Staffed by peer support specialists, the warmline is for those living with serious mental health and/or substance use challenges. Provides resource referral and shared experience of recovery and hope. Call: 1-888-PEER-753 (888-733-7753)

Healthcare Provider Support Hotline
Michigan healthcare personnel needing support. Staffed by volunteer nurses, social workers psychologists at Wayne State University. Call: 1-888-910-1636

SAMHSA CCP 2-Month Crisis Counseling
Michigan residents needing crisis counseling and support for emotional distress related to COVID-19 in the Detroit area. Call: 1-888-535-6136