I hope everyone had a great week since we last spoke! The past few weeks have been busy in the House of Representatives, as we have been working on passing a variety of legislation that supports all Michiganders. I look forward to seeing many of you at my upcoming district events in the next few months.
Masking Guidelines Update
On Wednesday, Feb. 16, the state updated its COVID-19 mask guidelines as COVID-19 case counts and hospitalizations continue to decrease across the state. The new guidelines no longer recommend that everyone wear masks in indoor settings, including schools, unless in high-risk congregate settings. However, regardless of vaccination status, masks should still be worn during isolation and quarantine periods.
For additional information you can view the guidance here.
This week, the House adopted House Resolution 243 condemning the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The attack on Ukraine is unprovoked and unjustified, causing needless anguish and loss of life throughout the country. Russia’s attack on Ukraine is a violation of the Budapest Memorandum, an agreement between the United States, Russia and Great Britain to commit to “respecting the independence and sovereignty and the existing borders of Ukraine” and to “refrain from the threat or use of force against the country.” I am proud to be a co-sponsor of HR 243, which was adopted by the House on Tuesday, March 1. I hope you support me and my decision to co-sponsor HR 243.
Right to Try Act
Last week in session, I voted NO on HB 5637, which would amend the “Right to Try Act” to expand the definition of “investigational drugs, biological products, devices, or other treatments” to include those used to treat the coronavirus disease during the COVID-19 pandemic. I voted no on HB 5637 because the bill would allow the use of experimental medicines to treat COVID-19, despite the safety and effectiveness of such medications being unclear and lacking FDA approval. Additionally, hospitals and physicians consider some of the COVID-19 medicines outside of the medical standard of care and have refused to administer them to their patients; therefore, neither courts nor the Legislature should interfere with what science and the medical community feel are the best treatments for COVID-19. This bill was passed in a narrow 56-48 vote on Feb. 23 and referred to the Senate Committee on Health Policy and Human Services on Feb. 24. I hope you support me and my decision to vote no on HB 5637.
You may wish to sign up for committee notices in order to receive the most up-to-date information on bills. By doing so, you will receive notifications as soon as the committee chairs post the next meeting’s date and time, making you among the first to know when committees will be meeting and what legislation is placed on the agenda for debate. Visit the sign-up page to receive these notifications.
Information continues to change rapidly, and we are working hard to share updates and information as quickly as possible on social media. Please take a moment to like and follow me on Facebook, as this is where information will first be shared.
Upcoming Time with Donna
Join me virtually at my next coffee hour in March. We’ll talk about upcoming legislation and answer any questions you have on topics most important to you.
When: Friday, March 11, from 8-9 a.m.
What to Do in HD 52
Saline’s Salt Valley Arts Collaborative Art Installation
Come to downtown Saline and check out the latest project by regional artists at the 109 Cultural Exchange. Salt Valley Arts has taken a well-known work of art and divided it onto a grid. Each participating artist created a square that matched one part of the grid and reproduced it in any way they wanted. All types of media were fair game — quilt, paint, bead, weave or knit, pompoms, wood, colored paper, feathers. New pieces are being added every few days. Everyone is invited to Guess the Sum and try to figure out the famous work of art to be revealed.
When: Wednesdays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. running through March 10
Where: 109 W. Michigan Ave.
More information: https://www.saltvalleyarts.org/events
Chelsea Area Historical Museum Reopens with Special Events
The Chelsea Area Historical Museum is reopening with the “Bring a Friend Sneak Peek” event. Come learn new and old stories of Chelsea’s families, buildings and businesses, as well as the new exhibit, Campaigns of War and Public Health, which features artifacts from WWI and the American Red Cross.
When: Saturday, March 5, noon to 3 p.m.
Where: 1853 Boyd House at 128 Jackson St.
More Information: Bring A Friend Sneak Peek! (facebook.com)
Where to Get a COVID-19 Vaccine in Washtenaw County
The Washtenaw County Health Department hosts a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at their offices in Ypsilanti. All three FDA approved vaccines and boosters are available. Please note that you must now schedule an appointment to receive the vaccine, as the clinic is no longer providing walk-ins. If you would like to also receive the flu shot, you can request it at the same time. You can find more information here.
Where: Washtenaw County Health Department, 555 Towner St. in Ypsilanti.
When: Please sign up for a timeslot here. If no times are available, please check back as appointment slots are updated regularly.
The Washtenaw County Health Department’s website has a list of locations in Washtenaw County where you can sign up to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. This list gives the location and any links needed to schedule your vaccine appointment. Find the list here.
Additionally, if you need assistance getting to a COVID-19 vaccination site in Washtenaw County, you can book a FREE door-to-door ride through the AARP Ride@50+ Program. This program can be used by any person of any age in Washtenaw County.
Phone Number: (844) 900-4892 Code: Vaccinate Washtenaw (if this number is busy call (734) 773-0907)
We will continue to provide information for vaccination clinics throughout the district as they get scheduled.
Order Free At-Home COVID-19 Tests
Every home in the U.S. is now eligible to order four free at-home COVID-19 tests and are estimated to ship in 7-12 days. Order your tests here and have them when you need them.
You can receive continual updates from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by clicking here.
Washtenaw Community Mental Health (CMH)
A 24-hour crisis services and mobile crisis team that can assist navigating mental health care services. You can call or text the CARES team at (734) 544-3050.
I Want to Hear from You
During this challenging time, I want to hear from you. What do you need? How can we help you? Please, reach out to me at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov.
State Representative, House District 52