Dear Friend,

This year has been one unlike any other; but as we continue to battle the pandemic, remember my staff and I are here to help you through this difficult time. In recent weeks, we’ve seen the number of positive COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations increase exponentially. At the beginning of November, our state recorded its 200,000th confirmed case and we have now surpassed 8,000 deaths to this terrible virus. In response, the Michigan Dept. of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new epidemic order to save lives and protect frontline heroes during this fall surge in cases by enacting a three-week pause targeting social gatherings and other group activities beginning Wednesday, Nov. 18.

As we move into the winter months, it is more important than ever to step up and do our part by masking up, maintaining social distancing and washing our hands. When working together, Michiganders have proven time and time again that we can overcome any obstacle placed in our path. By continuing to take these precautions in our neighborhoods, communities and across our state now, we can turn the tide in the fight against COVID-19. The more aggressive our actions are today, the sooner we can get back to a more familiar tomorrow. And as we head into the holiday — and flu — season, we each have a responsibility to take this threat seriously.

With as quickly as things change, I know that this can be a confusing time for all of us. Be sure to regularly check and for the latest information. If you have additional questions about what the state is doing to mitigate the spread of the virus you can call Michigan’s COVID-19 Hotline at (888) 535-6136 seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. or email and your questions will be answered from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day.

Another tool that will prove vital to combating the further spread of COVID-19 is the recently announced free mobile phone app, MI COVID Alert.

This crisis has been a defining moment for our community, our state and our country. These may be uncertain times for all of us, but I am confident that we will continue to respond with the same strength and resilience that Michiganders always have.

See below for more information on this important technology and the new epidemic order issued by MDHHS.



Brenda Carter

State Representative, 29th House District

MDHHS New Epidemic Order

pause to save lives

The new epidemic order issued by MDHHS is aimed at limiting residential and non-residential gatherings where COVID-19 spreads rapidly. Bars and restaurants will be open for outdoor dining, carry-out and delivery only.

Gyms will remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures in place. Casinos, movie theaters and group exercise classes will be closed. Professional and college sports meeting extraordinary standards for risk mitigation may continue without spectators, but all other organized sports must stop. Colleges and high schools may proceed with remote learning but must end in-person classes.

Taking effect on Wednesday, Nov. 18, this order leaves open work that can’t be performed from home, including manufacturing, construction and health occupations. Outdoor gatherings, outdoor dining and parks remain open. Individualized activities with distancing and face masks are still allowed: retail shopping; public transit; restaurant takeout; personal-care services such as haircuts, by appointment; and individualized exercise at a gym, with extra spacing between machines.

Michigan has seen fewer outbreaks associated with elementary and middle schools, and younger children are most in need of in-person instruction. In-person K-8 schooling may continue if it can be done with strong mitigation, including mask requirements, based on discussion between local health and school officials. Childcare also remains open to support working parents.

The teachers, childcare workers and health care professionals continue to serve on the front lines ensuring support for Michiganders across our state. We must take this three-week pause seriously, not only for our own loved ones but for every hero risking their life and the health of their family as we continue to battle this ongoing crisis.

MI COVID Alert App

MI COVID Alert is a free app for your mobile phone that will help Michiganders stay safe and protect each other. This app is easy-to-use and can:

  • Alert you if you may have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus
  • Advise you on what to do to protect yourself and others
  • Alert other app users that you were in close contact with if you test positive for coronavirus

Contact tracing is a vital part of slowing the spread of the virus; the more people that download and use the app, the more it will help our state’s existing contact tracing operation. The app does this by alerting you that you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.

The app will not disclose the name of the contact or the location of exposure, but it will let you know that you were close enough (within 6 feet) for long enough (15 minutes or more), for there to be a risk that you could have been exposed to the virus. The app will then alert you and advise you on what to do next. Likewise, if you test positive for coronavirus, you can use the app to alert anyone you have been in close contact with.

For more information on how to use the MI COVID Alert app, click here.

For more information regarding the app’s privacy and data policies, click here.

For more information on the importance of downloading and using MI COVID Alert, click here.

Testing Sites Near You

You should get tested for coronavirus if you or someone close to you is sick or has symptoms and works outside the home. There are many locations where you can get tested at no charge to you.

To find a location near you, call the COVID-19 Hotline at (888) 535-6136 and press 1, or click here and enter your ZIP code. The website will show you a map of locations and provide information about possible charges (many locations offer free testing), if you need insurance or a doctor’s note, and if that location tests those who show no symptoms.