Here is some information that I hope you will find helpful, including some updates on the state’s efforts to address COVID-19 as well as other news from your state government.
MDHHS Issues New Epidemic Order
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued a new emergency order that will prohibit most indoor social gatherings through at least Dec. 9. This is in response to the rapid increase of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Michigan over the past month. Beginning tomorrow, the following will be required:
- High Schools, colleges, and universities must move to distance learning;
- Elementary and middle schools can continue to offer in-person learning at the school district’s discretion;
- All K-12 athletics are suspended;
- Theaters, movie theaters, conference centers, concert halls, performance venues, sporting venues, stadiums, the three Detroit casinos, arcades, bowling centers, ice skating rinks, indoor water parks, amusement parks, bingo halls, night clubs, strip clubs, and trampoline parks are closed;
- Fitness facilities are limited to 25 percent capacity and must maintain at least twelve feet of social distancing between workout stations. Individual workouts at gyms and fitness centers are permitted, but group fitness classes are prohibited.
- Retailers, libraries, and museums are limited to 30 percent occupancy;
- Funerals are limited to 25 people;
- Indoor gatherings cannot exceed two households and are limited to 10 people; and
- Outdoor gatherings are limited to 25 people.
More information can be found here.
‘Futures for Frontliners’ Application Deadline Approaching
Earlier this fall, Michigan launched the Futures for Frontliners program, which provides a tuition-free pathway to higher education or a high school diploma for the essential workers who were working on the frontlines throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. To qualify, an individual must be a Michigan resident and have worked in an essential industry at least part-time for eleven of the thirteen weeks between April and June 2020. Individuals who already have a college degree are not eligible.
State of Michigan Moves to Shut Down Line 5 Pipeline
Gov. Whitmer has ordered Enbridge Energy Company to permanently shut down their Line 5 Pipeline by May 2021. The state of Michigan is revoking a 1953 easement that allows Enbridge to run the Line 5 pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac. In recent years, Enbridge has proposed constructing an underground tunnel and new pipeline beneath the straits. This project has been opposed by environmentalists, indigenous peoples, and others who rely on the Great Lakes.
UIA Offering Phone Appointments
The Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency is now offering phone appointments for individuals with specific claim issues. Appointments can be made up to one week in advance at Michigan.gov/uia. A customer service agent will call the claimant on the designated day and time they choose from the agency’s customer service line, 866-500-0017. Appointments can be made to help with claimants who filed the wrong SSN; have an inactive claim; are unable to certify for all weeks needed; need to file a claim, but already have one filed in their name; or do not have the link in MiWAM to file a claim.
While legislative offices remain closed to the public, my team and I are still providing responsive service as we work from home. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at (517) 373-0587 or by email at email@example.com if we can help.