MAC COVID-19 Update
MAC publishes list of local public health orders

As counties continue their response to the COVID-19 pandemic, more local public heath orders have been approved. MAC has put together a comprehensive list of county orders or guidance and links to those documents.

MAC heard early from the business community that inconsistent orders were causing confusion. We suggested that as counties progress in devising orders, they follow one of the earliest: Washtenaw County . This document shows those that vary from that particular order and how it is different so counties might prepare for questions relating to those specific order differences.

Some counties have not issued such orders and guidance, depending on the number of cases or likeliness of increased exposure. The state may order additional guidance as more information is found and cases increase or decrease, but this has not been confirmed.

Furlough, layoff issues move onto counties’ radar

Responding to a MAC request, most counties said this week that they had not furloughed or laid off any employees. However, many counties reported that discussions were under way on these issues, even if formal actions had not been taken.

Many decisions were tied to what happens with the next round of Executive Orders from Gov. Whitmer.

For example, Eaton Administrator John Fuentes reported, “The Eaton County Board extended remote work expansions where feasible and possible, and all employee compensation through April 15, the date of its next scheduled meeting. It will be recommended that date be extended to April 30 to provide additional planning for furlough/layoff scenarios, depending on the expiration of an extended order. No furloughs or layoffs have occurred to date. Action may likely be considered based on how long conditions exist and/or worsen in the coming days.”

“We thank all of our administrators and board chairs for responding so quickly to our information requests,” said MAC Executive Director Stephan Currie. “We understand how crowded everyone’s day is during the crisis. We will continue to provide key data as we gather it from state and federal sources.”

Act by May 29 for federal aid from Justice Department

The U.S. Department of Justice is making $850 million available to help public safety agencies respond to the challenges posed by the outbreak of COVID-19. The department is moving quickly to make awards, with the goal of having funds available for drawdown within days of the award. Michigan’s eligible award amounts to $8.4 million.

The deadline to apply is May 29.

“The Coronavirus Emergency Supplemental Funding (CESF) Program will provide funding to assist eligible states, local units of government, and tribes in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the coronavirus,” the department states.

“Allowable projects and purchases include, but are not limited to, overtime, equipment (including law enforcement and medical personal protective equipment), hiring, supplies (such as gloves, masks, sanitizer), training, travel expenses, and addressing the medical needs of inmates in state, local, and tribal prisons, jails, and detention centers.”

White House gives update on federal aid for crisis

During a conference call with county leaders across the U.S. today, administration officials reported:

  • Payroll Protection Program – More than $90 billion in loans are out so far. Concerns are growing about having sufficient funds for the program. The president has requested an increase of $600 billion for the fund. The Senate is expected to take up the request on Thursday.
  • Economic Incentive Payments – Aid checks to Americans should be sent on or around April 15. Social Security recipients that don’t file tax returns can use banking information for direct deposit of SS checks. Payment cards are being considered as an option to deliver funds as well.
  • Corona Relief Fund (of $150 billion) – Development of a portal is under way for those eligible entities to provide banking information. Goal is to have portal running by Saturday (April 11). The types of expenses will be released before April 24, which is when money is slated to go out.

State alters rules on borrowing to ease cash crunch

Cash flow issues are proliferating with local governments. The authority to borrow is granted only to those municipalities that meet strict financial guidelines, unless approved by the Michigan Department of Treasury.

This week, the state issued a letter that allows for the expedited processing of borrowing requests by allowing local units to email a copy of the application and check for the fee, then put hard copies in the mail. While applications are usually processed on a first come, first served basis, this letter instructs Treasury to process those with the most urgent time pressures.

For more information on this issue, contact Deena Bosworth at .

NACo offers webinar on resources to aid the elderly during crisis

The National Association of Counties and the National Association of Area Agencies on Aging are cohosting a webinar on Thursday, April 9 from 3 p.m. to 4:15 p.m. to detail best practices for county officials to safely and effectively serve our elderly residents during the coronavirus pandemic.

This is of particular concern in Michigan, which in 2017 led the nation in Michigan led nation in the number of counties with a median age over 50 – 13. Overall, 17 percent of the state’s approximately 10 million residents are age 65 or older.

MAC adds ‘heat map’ to website for county-by-county data

Working with our partners at the data firm Munetrix, MAC has installed an interactive “heat map” of the state showing COVID-19 data by county. In addition to the number of cases and deaths, the map will show cases per 100,000 residents.

Munetrix has offered to share the embed code for this map with our county members for their websites. If you wish to receive the code, send the request to

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