Dear Neighbor:

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.

Upcoming Event: Virtual Coffee Hour

Please join me for a Facebook Live coffee hour this Monday, March 15, from 10 to 11 a.m. You will find the event on my Facebook page at that time. Or you can participate by phone using the information below.

Dial-in number: (602) 580-9214

Access code: 2493014

I will give a legislative update and answer any questions you may have. Please send an email to if you have any questions or topics you would like covered. I look forward to speaking with you all soon.

MDHHS Revises Epidemic Order

Last week, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services released a revised version of its previous epidemic order. As restrictions are relaxed for bars, restaurants and retail shops, it’s important to continue following necessary safety precautions. Remember to wear a mask, practice social distancing and stay home if you feel ill.

The following is currently permitted under the revised epidemic order:

  • Restaurants and bars can be open at 50% capacity (with a maximum capacity of 100), and they can be open until 11 p.m.
  • Retail shops can be open at 50% capacity.
  • Gyms can be open at 30% capacity.
    • Gym users must wear masks, and exercise equipment must be placed six feet apart.
  • Stadiums and arenas with a capacity of less than 10,000 can seat up to 375 people, and those with capacity over 10,000 can have up to 750 people.
  • Indoor residential gatherings are limited to 15 people from no more than three households, and outdoor residential gatherings are limited to 50 people.
  • Casinos can open at 30% capacity.

This order is effective through April 19. More information can be found at

Residential Care Facilities Allow In-person Visits

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has released a Residential Care Facilities Order that allows patients in nursing homes and other residential care facilities to have up to two indoor visitors at a time. Visitors must be tested, wear masks and maintain six feet of social distance. The order also encourages facilities to resume communal dining and other group activities.

State Expands COVID-19 Vaccine Eligibility

As of March 8, Michigan residents who are age 50 and up with pre-existing medical conditions or disabilities are eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Caregiver family members and guardians who care for children with special health care needs are also eligible. On March 22, all Michiganders age 50 and up will become eligible to receive the vaccine.

The State of Michigan is aiming to vaccinate 70% of Michigan residents age 16 and older by the end of 2021. More information on the COVID-19 vaccine in Michigan can be found at

MI Classroom Hero Grants Eligibility Expanded

Last week, the Michigan Treasury Department announced expanded eligibility for the $2.5 million MI Classroom Heroes Grant Program. Teachers working with the Great Start Readiness Program (GRSP), Head Start, or in adult education and young adult special education classrooms can now receive up to $500 for the extra hours and costs incurred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

To receive grant funding, teachers must have performed at least 75% of their standard instruction workload in-person before switching to remote instruction on April 2, 2020, when schools were required to go remote for the remainder of the school year. Teachers who are eligible should contact the school they worked at during the 2019-2020 school year. More information can be found at

Fishing Season Begins April 1

Fishing licenses are now available for the 2021 season, which begins on April 1. State law requires individuals age 17 or older to purchase a fishing license before fishing in public waters. Fishing licenses can be purchased by the day for $10, or annually at a rate of $26 for residents, $76 for non-residents, $11 for seniors and $2 for youth. Licenses can be purchased online at


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 if we can help.


Kara Hope

State Representative, 67th House District