Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered residents today, Monday, March 23, 2020, to stay home for after Coronavirus cases jumped over 1,000.
The order takes effect Tuesday at 12 a.m. and could last up to three weeks. All residents must stay in their homes unless they’re a part of a critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.
Residents who are permitted to leave their homes must adhere to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, including maintaining a six-feet distance from others.
The order prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Businesses and operations are to designate the workers that meet those criteria and must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons in the performance of that necessary in-person work.
Workers that are necessary to sustain or protect life include those in health care and public health, law enforcement and public safety, grocery store workers, and more. For a full list of these critical infrastructure workers, click here.
All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons outside a single household are temporarily prohibited. People may leave the house to perform for limited, necessary purposes, and may engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity, consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside a person’s household and with other restrictions imposed by prior executive orders.
Additional information from the governor’s office:
Michigan is currently in the top five states in the nation in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Several governors across the country have taken similar steps to protect their communities from the spread of COVID-19, including governors Mike DeWine (R-OH), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), J.B. Pritzker (D-IL), Tom Wolf (D-PA), Gavin Newsom (D-CA), John Bel Edwards (D-LA), Phil Murphy (D-NJ), and Ned Lamont (D-CT).
Patients with the confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is:
- If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- 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.
- If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.
For those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
Michiganders can apply for unemployment benefits if they have left work or taken a leave of absence because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised, displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive. Those temporarily laid off from work should apply for unemployment benefits online at www.michigan.gov/UIAor 1-866-500-0017.
Governor Whitmer is working to ensure that children who rely on the food provided by schools will have the resources they need. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has developed an online map for families to find meals. Families can access the map at https://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/schoolnutrition/.
On March 19, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved the governor’s request for a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration, opening the opportunity to small businesses to access low-interest loans from the SBA. The application for a disaster loan assistance is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. For businesses looking for more information on how to apply for an SBA EIDL loan or whether it is something, they should consider, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19.
Resources for workers and employers
Filing for Unemployment, BenefitsEligible employees are strongly encouraged to apply for unemployment benefits online at Michigan.gov/UIA or by calling 866-500-0017.
A factsheet on how to apply for benefits can also be found online. Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-10 expands unemployment benefits to Sick Workers: Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off. Workers Caring for Loved Ones: Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off first responders: Individuals working in the public health community who become ill or are quarantined due to exposure to COVID-19 and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off. The governor’s order also extends access to benefits for unemployed workers: Increased Weeks: Benefits will be increased from 20 to 26 weeks. Longer Application Time: The application eligibility period will be increased from 14 to 28 days. Fewer Requirements: The in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended. Visit the Unemployment Insurance Agency website for Unemployment Resources for EmployeesEmployee Frequently Asked QuestionsSelf-Employed WorkersThe State is also seeking solutions for self-employed workers and independent contractors who traditionally do not have access to unemployment insurance. The governor has requested that President Trump issue a Major Disaster Declaration so that Individual Assistance and Disaster Unemployment Assistance through FEMA may be made available to additional Michiganders affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Work ShareEmployers are encouraged to implement the State’s Work Share program that permits employers who may be facing maintain business operations during declines in a regular activity instead of laying off workers. The program allows employers to keep their employees working with reduced hours, while employees collect partial unemployment benefits to make up a portion of the lost wages. More information about Work Share is available online at www.michigan.gov/WorkShare.Visit the Unemployment Insurance Agency website for: Unemployment Resources for EmployersEmployer Frequently Asked QuestionsUnpaid Leave vs. TerminationDue to the uncertainty regarding potential congressional action regarding whether furloughed workers will be able to access federal resources, employers are urged to place employees on temporary leave as opposed to the termination. View the State’s guidance for employers contemplating potential layoffs. Capital Resources for EmployersBusiness Call CentersThe MEDC’s call center stands ready to support businesses with questions about assistance available to small businesses through existing state programs by calling 888.522.0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center can also provide resources at https://sbdcmichigan.org/small-business-covid19/. Small Business Association Loans The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved the governor’s request for a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration, opening the opportunity to small businesses to access low-interest loans from the SBA. Michigan small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, and nonprofits that have suffered substantial economic losses as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak can now apply for low-interest loans as part of $1 billion in funding. The application for a disaster loan assistance is available at: disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/.Michigan Small Business Relief Program The Michigan Strategic Fund approved the Michigan Small Business Relief Program which authorizes the MEDC to provide up to $20 million in support for small businesses. The funding is divided between $10 million in small business grants and $10 million in small business loans to support businesses facing drastic reductions in cash flow and the continued support of their workforce. The $10 million in grant funding will be provided to local or nonprofit economic development organizations throughout the state to provide grants up to $10,000 each to support certain small businesses that have realized a significant financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 virus. For more information visit, michiganbusiness.org/covid19Tax Assistance for Small Businesses The Michigan Treasury Department is providing small businesses that have experienced disrupted operations due to the COVID-19 additional time to make their sales, use and withholding tax monthly payment. Small businesses scheduled to make these payments on March 20 can postpone filing and payment requirements until April 20. Penalties and interest penalties will be waived for 30 days. Learn more about penalties and interest online or by calling the Treasury Business Tax Call Center at 517-636-6925.Ongoing UpdatesInformation around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus. The above resources and more can be found on the Michigan Coronavirus website, under Employer and Employee resources.