Dear Neighbor,


As we track the cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, it’s important for all of us to continue taking the appropriate precautions to keep everyone safe and to slow the spread of this disease.


For a complete list of strategies from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to minimize your risk of exposure and to keep you and your loved ones healthy, click here. For the latest information as the situation continues to develop, visit and


Over the past week, the Legislature has worked together to unanimously dedicate $150 million to support the state’s response to coronavirus. While we have more work ahead of us, this funding is a critical first step in providing Michigan residents assistance as we continue to tackle this crisis together. As we continue to take steps to mitigate the crisis, please share the information here with friends and neighbors, and continue to practice social distancing.




Padma Kuppa

State Representative, 41st House District


Statewide Coronavirus Hotline — (888) 535-6136

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services launched a statewide hotline to respond to your health-related questions about COVID-19. The hotline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Public health and other experts will answer your questions and direct you to the resources available in your local communities and in other state government departments.


How can I protect myself from getting COVID-19?

There are steps you can take to prevent the spread of flu and the common cold that will also help prevent COVID-19, including:

  • Wash your hands with soap and water.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home if you are sick and contact your health care provider.

It is important to remember that stigma and discrimination occur when people assocaite an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality. COVID-19 does not target people from specific populations, ethnicities or racial backgrounds.


Expanding Access to Telemedicine

Michigan residents receiving Medicaid benefits can now take advantage of telemedicine health services from their home. In addition, most major health insurers have announced that they will cover and encourage the use of virtual care, while waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing. Call your health care provider for more information.


Expanding Unemployment Benefits 

Beginning Monday, March 16, until Tuesday, April 14, Michigan is temporarily expanding unemployment benefit eligibility to those affected by COVID-19. Benefits will be extended to:

  • Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, like child care due to school closures or caring for a loved one who is ill;
  • Workers who are sick, quarantined or immunocompromised, and do not have access to paid leave time or are laid off; and
  • First responders in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined.

Benefits will also be extended from 20 to 26 weeks, the eligibility period would be increased from 14 to 28 days, and the normal in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended.


For more information or to apply for unemployment benefits, visit or call (866) 500-0017.


K-12 School Closures 

Beginning Monday, March 16, until Sunday, April 5, all K-12 school buildings, public, private, and boarding, are closed. Childcare facilities will remain open during this time, whether they are attached to schools or free standing.


Supporting Small Businesses

Earlier this month, the U.S. Congress passed legislation to make $1 billion available to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide low-interest loans to small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


In addition, Gov. Whitmer has been coordinating with the SBA to attain an Economic Injury Disaster Loan Declaration for our state. Once granted, small businesses in qualifying areas will be able to access these low-interest loans through the SBA.


For additional information or to obtain help preparing the loan application in advance of the declaration, please contact Detroit’s SBA office at (313) 226-6075.


For businesses searching for support and assistance through other available state programs, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center is available at (888) 522-0103 or by visiting their website at


The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources for small businesses impacted by COVID-19. Click here to visit their website for additional information.


Combating Price Gouging

Effective Monday, March 16, until Monday, April 13, Michigan is cracking down on businesses and individuals that engage in price gouging on consumer food items, emergency supplies, and other goods and materials. Residents are urged to report any price gouging or other violations of theConsumer Protection Act online by clicking here or by calling (877) 765-8388.


Legislative Services

Although the Michigan House of Representatives has recently issued new policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Capitol, my staff and I are still available to assist you! Never hesitate to reach out to me at or by phone at (517) 373-1783. Since most staff is required to work remotely at this time, you may need to leave a message, but we will respond to you as quickly as possible.


For a printable fact sheet of this information, please click here.