More Than 380,000 Michigan Residents Filed for Unemployment Last Week

A record 384,844 Michigan residents filed for unemployment benefits between March 29 and April 4, according to data released by the Department of Labor on Thursday.

The number passes up data from the previous two weeks, which saw 128,006 people file between March 15 and March 21 and 304,335 people file between March 22 and March 28. That brings the three-week total to 817,185 for those filing for unemployment benefits in the state.

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‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Order Extended Until May 1

Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order has been extended through the end of April, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Thursday.

In addition to continuing the banning of non-essential businesses and travel, the new order also prohibits gathering of people of more than one household and imposes new restrictions on stores to help customers maintain social distancing.

“Michigan has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we’re still on the upswing. We must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread and protect our families,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up.”

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Michigan Legislature Approves 23-Day Extension of Whitmer’s Emergency Powers

Michigan legislature voted on Tuesday to approve an extension of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency powers through the end of April.

The governor originally asked for a 70-day extension of emergency powers, but Michigan legislators said they felt that was too much.

“I agree that there needs to be an extension; we’re far from being out of the woods on this issue. But I believe 70 days looks too far forward considering the information we have now and how quickly that changes,” said Sen. Rick Outman (R-33-Six Lakes) in a statement. “The best thing to do for the immediate future is continue following suggested protocols and stay at home to keep you, your family and your community safe.”

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Whitmer Could Extend Michigan Stay-at-Home Order

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said that she expects to extend the stay-at-home order originally expected to end April 14.

Whitmer originally instituted the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order on March 24, saying that the stay-at-home order would stay in effect for the three weeks. Just days before, on March 22, Whitmer had also ordered that “public accommodation” like bars, theaters and gyms to close, as well as restricted restaurants to take-out or delivery only. That order is slated to end on April 13.

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Michigan Has Third-Highest Rate of Infection in Country at 35.3 Percent

Michigan is keeping pace with some of the most-infected states in the country, with more than 35 percent of tests coming back with confirmed positive cases of the coronavirus, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.

As of Monday evening, Michigan has 6,498 confirmed positive cases out of 18,391 total tested — an infection rate of 35.3 percent. By comparison, New Jersey has an infection rate of 39.7 percent with 16,636 confirmed cases and New York has an infection rate of 35.7 percent with 66,497 confirmed cases. New York and New Jersey are the top two most-infected states in the country, followed by Michigan. California is currently the fourth most-infected state with 6,447 confirmed cases and an infection rate of 21.5 percent.

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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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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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