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       State lawmakers will return to Lansing tomorrow for the first time since March 17th. They expect to vote on a resolution to extend Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
 

Unemployment Insurance Claims Office photo
flickr

Nearly 800,000 people have filed for unemployment benefits in Michigan since mid-March. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday detailed the stunning impact of the coronavirus on the state's economy. Only businesses deemed essential remain open and Whitmer says her stay-at-home order will be extended in the coming days. She says more people have applied for unemployment aid in the last two weeks than in all of 2019, when the jobless rate was below 4%. Michigan has reported at least 17,221 coronavirus cases and 727 deaths, mostly concentrated in Detroit and the suburbs.

Ford Motor Company emblem
Wikimedia Commons

Ford Motor Co. says it has manufactured and shipped over 1 million clear plastic face shields to hospitals and first responders all over the U.S. Spokeswoman Elizabeth Kraft says the company hit the mark on Saturday and sent the 1 millionth protective shield to New York City as part of a shipment of more than 30,000 shields. Ford began designing the shields on March 19 after getting a request from the Mayo Clinic in Minnesota. It started building masks at a factory in Plymouth, Michigan, near Detroit on March 23.

N95 mask photo
Wikimedia Commons

Officials say a field hospital at Detroit's downtown convention center could gets its first COVID-19 patients this week. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says Detroit-area hospitals are running "dangerously low" on personal protection equipment. She also reports an "incredible surge" in the number of unemployment claims. Whitmer promises that people will get paid, despite computer woes and bureaucratic red tape. The governor gave an update on the coronavirus after the number of cases rose to 15,700 and 617 deaths over the weekend.

Dana Nessel photo
Dana Nessel

Michigan’s Attorney General is asking home improvement stores strictly abide by the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order.

Unsplash

The loans are designed so that if businesses primarily put the money towards payroll, rent, or utilities, they will be completely forgiven. 

The program is funded through the coronavirus CARES act which recently passed through congress.

Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist says the program is aimed at keeping employers, and their staff, afloat. 

“Making sure they have the ability to retain their people and also to be able to have loans to open up that they will not have to pay back if they retain their people.”

Gov. Whimter's office

  Michigan lawmakers plan to convene to lengthen Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency declaration amid the coronavirus pandemic but are at odds over the extension and whether the session is even necessary.

The Republican-led Legislature is scheduled to meet Tuesday, three weeks after last voting. Since then, one legislator has died from a suspected COVID-19 infection and another has tested positive, causing uneasiness over congregating in Lansing.

18th Wing Public Affairs

State officials issued an emergency order designed to speed up the reporting of COVID-19 deaths in Michigan as the number of cases continued to surge.

The Department of Health and Human Services issued a directive late Saturday for funeral directors and medical professionals. Under the order, funeral directors have 24 hours to initiate a death record and and submit it to the attending physician. Doctors have to attempt to certify the record within 24 hours of receipt, among other things.

A child looking upward while holding a teddy bear
JBER

In a matter of weeks, COVID-19 has upended the lives of children and families across Michigan. School closures and movement restrictions are disrupting children's routines and support systems while adding new stressors on caregivers.

“When we look at families who are losing their jobs, being laid off, not having income to pay their rent, you can see an increase in stress within those homes that can be directly related to an increase in child abuse and neglect.”

GVSU Education Farm photo
gvsu.edu

Low-income families are being especially hard-hit during the coronavirus pandemic. Grand Valley State University is donating all produce grown from its educational farm to those who need it most.

The spring growing season is underway at Grand Valley State University’s educational farm. When students and farm volunteers were sent home to slow the spread of the coronavirus, the administration suggested donating the crops.

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