Coronavirus in Michigan: Day 58

Manufacturing to resume in Michigan on Monday

At least 27 more COVID-19 cases confirmed in Greater Lansing


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THURSDAY, May 7 — Manufacturers will be able to get back to work in Michigan next week.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer today amended Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order to allow manufacturing workers — including auto workers — to resume work on Monday. It also extends all other existing lockdown measures in Michigan from May 15 to May 28.

“This is good news for our state, our businesses and our working families,” Whitmer said in a press release that was sent out earlier this afternoon. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward on our plan to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.”

Under the order, manufacturing facilities must adopt measures to protect their workers from the spread of COVID-19, much like at construction sites which could resume work this morning. This includes daily health screenings and dedicated entry and exit points at every facility.

Whitmer said manufacturers will start at 25% of their normal capacity and build up from there.

Further, all nonessential in-person visits, including tours, will remain suspended. Manufacturers must also train workers on, among other things, how COVID-19 is transmitted from person to person, symptoms of the virus and how to appropriately use masks and other equipment.

All businesses in the state, including manufacturers, must require masks to be worn when workers cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from others and must also consider face shields for those who cannot consistently maintain a three-foot separation from others.

Whitmer also detailed six phases of her plan to re-engage Michigan’s economy. The state has already ticked past the “uncontrolled growth” and “persistent spread” phases and is currently in the third, “flattening” stage, she explained. Up next: Improving, containing and post-pandemic.

Under the newly extended executive order, residents still cannot leave their homes except to run critical errands, engage in safe outdoor activities or go to their specified essential employment.

In Greater Lansing…

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive prohibition on construction ended this morning, developers wasted no time getting their builders back to work across Greater Lansing.

The latest executive order allows some types of work that present a low risk of infection — including construction, real estate and other outdoor work — to resume as long as employers take appropriate safety precautions designed to help mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.

Construction sites must designate a supervisor to enforce COVID-19 control strategies, conduct daily health screenings for workers, create dedicated entry points with signage, identify choke points and high-risk areas for enhanced social distancing and ensure sanitation continues.

The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity released more guidance on best practices earlier today to help protect Michigan construction workers and reduce the spread of COVID-19.

“The only way we can safely reopen businesses, including our job providers in the construction industry, is to be smart about protecting our workers,” Whitmer said in a release.

The East Lansing Downtown Development Authority has allocated $250,000 in discretionary funds to launch a business relief program for DDA businesses suffering financial hardships amid the pandemic. At least 100 eligible businesses will each receive $2,500 in business relief grants.

Applications will be accepted until midnight. Click here for more information about the program. The DDA holds its next virtual meeting at noon on May 14 to discuss the grant funding in detail.

Lansing Community College will hold a virtual commencement ceremony at 5:30 p.m. May 15 to celebrate its 2020 graduates. The planned in-person ceremony, scheduled for the Jack Breslin Center in East Lansing, was canceled. Click here for more details on the plans.

Publicom, a full-service marketing firm in Okemos, is offering 40 free hours of marketing communications services and a year of mentoring to help a local business or organization “thrive beyond the pandemic.” The package is valued at about $9,000. Applications consist of just four questions and are due by June 15. Click here for more details about the new grant.

Rite Aid will open 46 additional COVID-19 testing sites on May 11 and has expanded eligibility to include adults without symptoms. Several locations, including the Rite Aid along Main Street in Eaton Rapids, will also now allow residents to receive a self-swab test at no cost.

Across Michigan…

More than 2,700 small businesses across Michigan have received a total of $10 million in grants through the Michigan Small Business relief program, an initiative launched last month to pad dwindling cash flows for small businesses that are suffering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of $600,000 was distributed across businesses in Ingham, Clinton and Eaton counties.

Additionally, the Michigan Strategic Fund has also approved $10 million in loans that are currently being reviewed by a loan committee at the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Whitmer signed an executive order yesterday extending expanded unemployment benefits.

The order broadens the state’s workshare program and extends benefits to workers who have unanticipated family care duties and those who are sick, quarantined or do not have access to medical leave. The order also expands benefits to workers who voluntarily left a job after accepting new employment but were unable to start in their new position due to the pandemic.

Whitmer also signed an executive order yesterday allowing public bodies to continue to conduct remote public meetings under the Open Meetings Act until at least June 30. Under the order, telephone- or video-conferencing methods are acceptable to fulfill transparency requirements.

Michigan has also launched a new portal on Pure Michigan Talent Connect, the state’s labor exchange system, to make it easier for health care professionals to apply for jobs that provide lifesaving care to COVID-19 patients. More than 7,000 openings are currently available.

Three Michigan church leaders, including the state House speaker’s father, filed suit yesterday against Whitmer’s stay home order in federal court, arguing it violated their First Amendment rights to free exercise and to assemble, according to recent reports in The Detroit News.

In the numbers…

At least 27 cases of COVID-19 were tracked across Greater Lansing today, but no new deaths were reported since yesterday. The regional death toll still stands at 30 with at least 830 confirmed cases reported across Ingham, Eaton and Clinton counties in the last few months.

Michigan tracked at least another 592 coronavirus statewide cases earlier this afternoon with another 93 virus-related deaths, edging up the case count to nearly 46,000 with 4,300 deaths.

State officials announced today that about one in every 10 tests are coming back positive for COVID-19, compared to about one in five a few weeks ago before the curve started to flatten. Whitmer cautions, however, that social distancing precautions still need to be taken seriously.

Ingham County                       

Cases — 557(+18)   

Recoveries — 188           

Recovery Rate — 33.8%    

Deaths — 14

Fatality Rate — 2.5%          

Zip code 48911 tracks 151-160 cases. Zip code 48910 tracks 61-70 cases. Zip code 48823 tracks 51-60 cases. Zip codes 48854 and 48864 each track 41-50 cases. Zip codes 48842, 48912 and 48906 each track 31-40 cases. Zip code 48915 tracks 21-30 cases. Zip code 48917 tracks between 11-20 cases. Zip codes 48840, 48895, 48285, 48819, 48827, 48892, 48909, 48933, 49251, 49264 and 49285 each track 1-10 cases. This data is updated on a daily basis.      

Eaton County                    

Cases — 147 (+6)

Recoveries — 105           

Recovery Rate — 71.4%         

Deaths — 6                

Fatality Rate — 4.1%            

Clinton County                                       

Cases — 126 (+3)            

Deaths — 10 

Fatality Rate — 7.9%                                    

The Mid-Michigan County Health Department does not report recovery statistics.                  


Cases — 45,646 (+592)

Recoveries — 15,659 (as of 5/1/20)               

Recovery Rate — 34.3%       

Deaths — 4,343 (+93)

Fatality Rate — 9.5%         

State reports show that about 68% of cases (and 80% of deaths) are reported from Oakland, Macomb and Wayne counties, including the city of Detroit. Other hotspots include Kent County with 4.5% of cases, Genesee County with 3.8% of cases, Washtenaw County with 2.5% of cases, Saginaw County with 1.7% of cases, Ingham County with 1.2% of cases and Kalamazoo County with 1.2% of cases statewide. About 4.5% of cases, or 2,036 cases (and 50 deaths) have also been reported among state prisoners at the Michigan Department of Corrections.

Caucasians account for 34% of cases and 49% of deaths. Despite accounting for a smaller segment of the population, African Americans account for 32% of cases and 41% of deaths.       


Cases — 1,244,119

Deaths — 74,844

Fatality Rate — 6%    

Source: CNN                

As of this afternoon, Michigan still has reported the seventh most cases in the country, behind New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, California, Pennsylvania and Illinois. Michigan also ranks fourth in most virus-related deaths, behind New York, New Jersey and Massachusetts.



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