My hope today is that all of you are safe and home. For our frontline workers, first responders, medical personnel and those working in essential businesses, THANK YOU. We are all deeply appreciative of the work you are doing.
There’s no question that the past few weeks have been difficult for all of us, especially for those on the frontline, reporting to work and making sure that we all can be safe and continue life as best we can.
My condolences to those of us who have lost a loved one to the fight against COVID-19. Many more are struggling in Washtenaw County as our numbers of cases grow.
This crisis is temporary. The “Stay Home” order is temporary. The challenges we face are temporary. But the lives of our neighbors and loved ones are not. Each of us has a vital role to play in stopping the spread of this virus and protecting the lives of our neighbors by staying home as much as possible.
During the “Stay Home Stay Safe” order, my staff and I will not be in our Lansing office regularly. We will be in the 52nd District working to assist you and to advocate for our community’s needs. To reach out, please email me at DonnaLasinski@house.mi.gov.
Please remember to wash your hands regularly, avoid direct contact with others and if you feel ill, please contact your healthcare provider immediately.
COVID-19 Michigan Statistics
As the number of CoOVID-19 cases in the state continue to grow, we have not yet reached the “apex” or peak of infections. This disease does not respect physical lines of county, city or state.
At this time, Michigan ranks 3rd in the nation for the highest number of cases. This is an rise form 5th most infections.
State Total Confirmed Cases: 24,638
State Total Deaths: 1,487
Washtenaw County Total Confirmed Cases: 689
Washtenaw County Total Deaths: 18
Information is changing rapidly. 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.
On April 7, my colleagues and I voted to extend Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers for 23 days, until April 30, 2020. While the Governor had requested a 70 day extension, that was not considered or voted on. This vote was not to extend the “Stay Home” order.
“Stay Home Stay Safe” Order
On April 9, Gov. Whitmer extended the “Stay Home” order until April 30 with additional provisions for worker protections, requirements for large box stores and allowing certain businesses to reopen, provided they meet a certain criterion.
The Governor relied on the advice of her medical experts and the experiences of other hot spot states.
While we are aggressively halting the virus right now, at the same time we are working to plan for the re-opening of our businesses and our ability to return to daily life and activities.
We know there are businesses and work that with the proper precautions can be done.
These conversations will not be simple and will take time, but I am confident that we can identify what work and businesses will be able to operate as we stabilize the spread and begin to look to return to our daily lives.
This weekend, there was some misunderstandings about the executive order.
You can still purchase gardening supplies, as well as home supplies like paint, wood and carpet, and other items. However, these sections of the stores are closed to in-person selection. Delivery and curbside pickups are available from hardware and garden stores. In-person purchases were prohibited to protect the workers, and you, in stores. By limiting the amount of physical contact with items, by people picking things up, needing carts, and asking for help from a worker, it limits the spread of COID-19 and keeps everyone safer. Here is a link to the full Executive Order FAQ.
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 DonnLasinski@house.mi.gov.
Governor Whitmer acted to protect workers from retaliation by their employers, if they stay home because one of their close contacts has tested positive for COVID-19: Click here for post and further information.
The Attorney General’s office has created a website to help you “know your rights” as an employee if you are still required to work during this time. Click here.
On Monday, April 13th at 8 a.m., the UIA’s system will have guidance and be able to process claims by self-employed persons and contract workers
For more information or to apply for unemployment benefits, visit Michigan.gov/UIA or call (866) 500-0017.
Meals School Age Students
Ann Arbor Public Schools
Breakfast and lunch packages are available for pickup from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays. If you can’t make the pick-ups or have food allergy concerns, call the AAPS Food Service Hotline at 734-994-2265. For more information, including pickup locations, visit here.
Chelsea School District
Food Service is providing sack breakfast and lunch meals for students from 10 a.m. to noon at the Chelsea High School commons entrance. If you do not have transportation, contact the district at 734-433-2208 ext. 6082 to discuss alternative plans.
Dexter Community Schools
Drive-up pickup will be in the Mill Creek Parking Lot from 8:00-9:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. Families can pick up on both Tuesdays and Fridays each week. For families who cannot come in to pick up food or have special dietary needs, we have established a hotline number to call 734-424-4186.
Manchester Community Schools
For Manchester Schools food distribution services, please visit their website and fill out the school closure meals form.
Visit michigan.gov.meetupeatup for all of the school locations providing meals. These meals are available to all children ages 0-18 at no cost.
Small Business Support
The Small Business Administration’s Disaster Relief Loans are available to Michigan small businesses. For more information, eligibility, and to apply, visit here.
Paycheck Protection Program are forgivable loans for small businesses if they keep workers on their payrolls. For more information, eligibility, and to apply visit here.
52nd District Resources
My office and I have created a Google Drive of resources and information regarding COVID-19 for individuals, employers and employees. Click here to access the entire drive.
You can receive continual updates from the MI Dept. of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) by clicking here.
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Tuesday Town Halls
Out of an abundance of caution, all previously scheduled coffee hours and in-district meetings are cancelled. I will instead be hosting Facebook Live Town Halls.
When: Every Tuesday night at 7pm
Where: My State Representative Donna Lasinski Facebook
I will be recapping events and news that happened throughout the week, and answering all of your questions. To join, visit my Facebook page on Tuesday nights at 7pm and you will see my live video. Click on the video to join.
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Registering to Vote
We are having elections this year, and it is important that we vote. You can now vote by mail, register to vote online and vote early. Follow the links for all your information about voting in Michigan: Register online Voting By Mail
United Way of Washtenaw County Free Tax Preparation Help
As the new year begins, we also need to start preparing to file our 2019 taxes. The United Way of Washtenaw County offers free tax preparation help to those who are eligible. To see if you are eligible for their tax preparation help, please visit the website below. If you are eligible, you can schedule your appointment online or call the phone number below.
Please note that they will only be able to help with the 2019 tax filing year. Prior years will be on hold until spring 2020 (after this tax season).
Phone: (734) 677-7235
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State Representative Donna Lasinski