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 today, 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 Michigan.gov/coronavirus and CDC.gov/coronavirus 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 COVID19@michigan.gov 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.
19th House District
MDHHS New Epidemic Order
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.
While Livonia Public Schools had already announced that it was temporarily pausing in-person instruction for all grades, the latest MDHHS order also pauses in-person instruction for high school and college students statewide.
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.
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.