Michigan’s Gov. Whitmer Asks Trump for Major Disaster Declaration

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has submitted a request to President Trump to ask him for a major disaster declaration, which would allow the state to aid its residents in a variety of ways.

If granted in full, the declaration would allow the state to provide meals for families in need, rental assistance and temporary housing, as well as funding for field hospitals and mental health support.

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Delaware Says It Reports Negative Cases to CDC, Will Report to Public

The Delaware Department of Health has confirmed that it is reporting both positive and negative test results of coronavirus testing to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, despite not making that information available to the public.

“Yes, we are reporting both positive and negative results to the CDC,” a spokesperson said in an email to The Michigan Star on Wednesday. “We absolutely understand the interest in knowing the number of negative test results received, as well as the number of positives.”

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Whitmer Extends Canvassing Deadline for Michigan Primary

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the deadline to tally the votes from the Michigan primary by executive order on Wednesday due to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic in the state.

The canvassing deadline for the March 10 primary was originally March 24, according to a guideline from the state of Michigan. Whitmer’s order has pushed it back to April 24.

“I am grateful to Governor Whitmer for ensuring our democracy will remain robust during this public health crisis,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson in a statement. “Providing more time to canvass the recent election will provide certainty for Michiganders that our elections are accurate and worth everyone participating in.”

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CVS Will Hire 50,000 Workers, Company Announces

CVS Health plans on hiring 50,000 employees to fill full-time, part-time and temporary positions as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the United States, the company announced on Monday.

Available roles include store associates, home delivery drivers, distribution center employees and customer service employees. CVS said many roles will be filled by employees from current CVS Health clients that have had to furlough workers, such as Hilton and Marriott.

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Whitmer Orders ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Lockdown for Three Weeks

Michigan residents have been ordered to stay inside their homes as part of a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Monday.

The order, effective at 12:01 a.m. on March 24, prohibits people leaving their home unless they are engaged in an outdoor activity, performing necessary tasks like going to a hospital or grocery store, or are part of an industry deemed essential. The lockdown will be in place for three weeks.

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Alabama Now Provides Negative Coronavirus Testing Data

Alabama is now providing aggregated data for the coronavirus pandemic, state officials told The Michigan Star earlier this week.

Per Section 1702 of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires states to provide “aggregated data on testing and results from State and local public health departments.” Aggregated data includes both positive and negative test results.

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ACLU, Other Activist Groups Demand Voter Registration Deadline in Ohio Be Moved with New Primary Election Date

early voting

A collective of activist groups submitted a letter to Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose demanding that the changes to the primary election also follow the National Voter Registration Act and the Ohio Constitution.

The letter from League of Women Voters of Ohio, A. Philip Randolph Institute Ohio, ACLU of Ohio, Lawyers Committee on Civil Rights, and Demos reminded La Rose that the deadline for voter registration must be no more than 30 days before a federal election.

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Tennessee Applies for Economic Injury Disaster Loan Assistance

Tennessee has submitted a request for Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance to the U.S. Small Business Administration, Gov. Bill Lee announced Wednesday.

The assistance allows small businesses and nonprofit organizations negatively impacted by the coronavirus to apply for loans of up to $2 million.

“For most of my life, I’ve been a small business owner and understand the unique challenges each of you face,” Lee said in a statement. “While I am pleased with our progress on targeted relief for small businesses, we know this is just a first step from our federal partners to provide liquidity to our businesses. We are in constant dialogue with our delegation members to ensure that federal aid is responsive to our concerns and needs.”

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Ohio to Distribute Temporary Pandemic Child Care Licenses

Ohio will issue temporary pandemic child care licenses to ensure communities have access to safe child care during the spread of the coronavirus, official announced on Wednesday. The temporary licenses are aimed at helping health and safety providers have a safe place for their children while they working to fight COVID-19.

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Michigan Coronavirus Cases Up to 53

Michigan currently has 53 confirmed cases of the coronavirus after 20 more cases were recently confirmed, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced on Sunday.

The virus, identified by medical professionals as COVID-19, has been confirmed in seven different counties: Washtenaw County, Oakland County, Macomb County, Kent County, Wayne County, Ottawa County and St. Clair County. It has also been confirmed in the city of Detroit.

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Whitmer Expands Unemployment Benefits for Those Impacted by the Coronavirus

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order extending unemployment benefits for Michigan workers impacted by the spread of the coronavirus in the state.

Under the expanded eligibility, unemployment benefits are available to workers who are sick, quarantined or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid time off; workers who have “unanticipated family care responsibility” such as ill family or additional childcare responsibility due to school closures; and first responders who are ill or quarantined because of the coronavirus. The extended eligibility is in effect until April 14.

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State Officials Activate Michigan Joint Information Center in Preparation for Coronavirus

State officials activated the Michigan Joint Information Center on Tuesday in order to assist state communications about the spread of the coronavirus disease.

There are currently no known cases of the coronavirus in Michigan.

The JIC allows responding public information officers across the state to post and access the latest verified information.

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Michigan Medicaid to Waive Copays, Cost-Sharing for Coronavirus Treatment

The Michigan Medicaid program will waive copays and cost-sharing for coronavirus testing and treatment, according to an announcement from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday.

“We must take steps to ensure every Michigander has access to the care they need to combat the spread of this disease,” Whitmer said in a statement. “That’s why the State of Michigan is stepping up by waiving fees for testing and treatment associated with coronavirus.”

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Whitmer Signs ‘Pay As You Stay’ Law That Helps Michigan Homeowners Struggling with Back Taxes

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation on Monday that would help struggling Michigan homeowners pay their property taxes.

The “Pay As You Stay” bill, sponsored by Rep. Wendell Byrd (D-3-Detroit), eliminates penalties, interest, and fees to allow foreclosing governmental units to significantly reduce delinquent taxes.

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Whitmer Threatens Removal of Accreditation for Wayne State University

  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and other Michigan leaders sent a letter to the Wayne State University Board of Governors threatening them with removal of accreditation if it did not adopt a Code of Conduct at its next meeting. The letter comes on the heels of squabbling within the board over…

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State Land Bank Announces Open Applications for $50,000 Grant to Remove Blight from Small Communities

The State Land Bank Authority announced on Tuesday that it will be opening a second round of applications for the Michigan Rural Community Demolition Grants. The $50,000 grants allow smaller communities in Michigan to eliminate blight to help improve their area.

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