Welcome to my latest e-newsletter! Included in this edition are some important legislative and COVID-19 updates, along with a few resources I hope will prove helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to my office by phone at (517) 373-1788 or email at KyraBolden@house.mi.gov for questions about this or any other state-level issue.
State Representative, 35th House District
2021 was a busy year for my office! Above, you can find several highlights and accomplishments from the previous year. My staff and I look forward to a productive 2022 serving you!
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
Michiganders Can Claim Free COVID-19 Tests That Will Be Shipped Directly to Homes
At-home, rapid COVID-19 tests are available for free at COVIDTests.gov, with every household eligible for four free tests shipped directly to their home.
Oakland County Health Division Expands Testing Sites Because of COVID-19 Surge
Record numbers of COVID-19 cases are prompting the Oakland County Health Division to expand COVID-19 drive-through testing. To make an appointment, go to www.oakgov.com/COVID and click on the COVID Testing button or contact the nurse on call at (800) 848-5533.
MDHHS Updates Quarantine Guidance for General Public Based on CDC Recommendations
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has updated its quarantine guidance for the general public to reflect the recent recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Notably, the CDC recommends a shortening of the quarantine and isolation duration for those who aren’t vaccinated or haven’t received their booster to five days followed by an additional five days of wearing a well-fitting mask around others. The updated guidance is specific to the general public and does not change the current guidance recommendations for congregate settings, early child care or K-12 settings — these settings should continue to use existing guidelines and policies regarding quarantine and isolation. Guidance will continue to evolve as the CDC provides further information.
COVID-19 Vaccine Help
If you know someone eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine who doesn’t have access to the internet or needs help with vaccine translation services, call 2-1-1 and press ‘5’ for free, confidential assistance.
For more information on COVID-19 vaccines specifically in Oakland County, visit this website. This website also has resources for testing and FAQ about COVID-19 as well.
Invest in MI Community Survey
The federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act was signed into law in mid-November. It promises to deliver billions of dollars for Michigan that will help us make large-scale positive investments and create good-paying jobs.
Gov. Whitmer has asked state departments to begin planning on how to spend this money, but the Legislature has a role to play, too. That’s why we want to hear from you! House Democrats know that it’s those we serve, the people living and working in our communities, who know best what infrastructure needs to be improved.
Now’s your chance to tell us! Please click this link to fill out the survey with as much detail as possible. We’ll collect responses from across the state and partner with state and local officials, along with industry experts, to turn your input into action and rebuild Michigan.
UIA Virtual Appointments Offer More Accessibility for Michiganders
Closed caption option available for deaf and hard-of-hearing customers
The Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) has added a virtual appointment option for customers needing assistance with their claims, including a dedicated link for customers who are deaf or hard of hearing utilizing voice-to-text closed captioning.
In addition to phone and in-person appointments, customers can now also schedule virtual appointments. Virtual appointments provide personal contact with a customer service agent with the convenience of a remote connection.
The 20-minute virtual appointments can be scheduled online up to one week in advance at Michigan.gov/uia. Click on “Schedule an Appointment.” The UIA expects to schedule up to 340 virtual appointments per day.
Once the virtual appointment is scheduled, customers will receive an email with a link to join the appointment via Google Meet on the appointed day and time. Customers will need to have a Gmail account to join from a mobile device. They do not need to have a Gmail account to join from a computer.
Hours of operation for virtual appointments are:
In addition to scheduling a virtual appointment, customers may contact UIA by:
Customers in need of other special accommodations to participate in a virtual meeting should request the accommodation when initially scheduling their appointment.
So far, the Agency has held more than 12,000 virtual appointments, including 212 which utilized the closed captioning feature.
Human Trafficking Prevention Month
January is National Slavery & Human Trafficking Prevention Month, a time to acknowledge those experiencing enslavement and those who have escaped. Michigan ranked in the top 10 states for human trafficking in 2019 with 364 cases. Although slavery is commonly thought to be a thing of the past, human traffickers still profit from trapping millions of people worldwide in horrific situations. We must all do our part to prevent and report this horrendous crime. Follow the link to learn more about how you can help.
Holocaust Remembrance Day
Jan. 27 is International Holocaust Remembrance Day. This is a day created by the United Nations to honor and commemorate the millions of lives lost during the Holocaust. This is also a day to educate about the legacy of the Holocaust in order to help prevent future genocide. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has a page dedicated to this day as well. To learn more, you can visit this website.
Michigan’s Birthday (Anniversary of Statehood)
Jan. 26 was the 185th anniversary of Michigan’s statehood. On Jan. 26, 1836, President Andrew Jackson signed a bill making Michigan the 26th state to join the Union. Michigan has been through much in our 185-year history. Through it all, we have always persevered and become a better state and people. I am proud to be a Michigander, and I’m proud to be serving the people of this great state.