News & Events

Here you can learn about our latest projects and what's new at our's and other organizations.

July 2020

 

LARA Fire Services

 
 
 
 

 

MDHHS Directors Introducing PFOMS

 
 
 
 

 

To: Michigan Fire Service

 
 
 
 

 

VIEW DETAILS

 
 
 
 

 

 
 

May 2020

Please feel free to share!

Hollie Metts

Assistant to the State Fire Marshal

Bureau of Fire Services

Memo - NFFF Course Updates (5-13-2020).p[...]
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Subject: COVID-19 Update - Training Moratorium Extended through 5/28/2020

 

 

 

LARA Fire Services

 
 
 
 

 

Subject: COVID-19 Update - Training Moratorium Extended through 5/28/2020

 
 
 
 

 

To: Michigan Fire Service

 
 
 
 

 

In accordance with the recommendations from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services designed to help slow the spread of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19), and to align with Executive Directive 2020-70, all fire service examinations conducted by the Bureau of Fire Services (BFS) are postponed until after May 28, 2020.

To allow BFS staff an opportunity to review information regarding the severity and extent of the ongoing situation, rescheduling of examinations cannot be initiated until after May 28, 2020. All courses other than Fire Fighter I, II, and I & II are also suspended until after May 28, 2020 and will need to be rescheduled. Note: Course funding will not be lost if courses are rescheduled.

Further, effective immediately, in-person classroom portions of the Fire Fighter I, II, and I & II courses are suspended in order to keep students and instructors healthy. Alternatively, these classes may meet remotely – provided the lectures are done in an interactive format using a platform such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom Meeting, etc., and all students have access to the interactive format – and the practical portion of the course is held after May 28, 2020. If all Fire Fighter I, II, and I & II students do not have access to the interactive format, the class must be suspended until it is determined the threat of the COVID-19 is reduced.

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 


April 2020

Please see attached regarding firefighter training courses and exams over the next few weeks.  If you have any questions, please reach out to your region coordinator.

 

Stay safe and healthy!

 

Thank you,

 

 

Hollie Metts

Assistant to the State Fire Marshal

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March 2020

Attached is a memo regarding a national study that is being conducted in NFIRS on COVID-19 responses.  This memo will go out on GovDelivery later today.  Please share.

 

Take care,

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Good afternoon,

 

Please see the attached memo from Fire Marshal Sehlmeyer for information that we hope will assist fire departments in mitigating the spread of COVID-19 while providing emergency medical services within their communities – specifically regarding personal protective equipment (PPE) and planning for a COVID-19 response.  Feel free to share this information with anyone who may need it.

 

Thank you,

Memo - Planning for a COVID-19 Response [...]
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July 2020

 

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July 2020


Vote for MSP in ‘Best Looking Cruiser’ Contest

car

It’s time to vote! The American Association of State Troopers (AAST) is conducting their annual “Best Looking Cruiser” contest amongst state police agencies. We need your help!

Between now and July 21, cast your vote for our Blue Goose here! You can vote once on each device.

The winning state will be featured on the cover of the AAST’s America’s Best Looking Cruisers 2021 Wall Calendar.

The calendars will be available for purchase at statetroopers.org beginning October 1. Net proceeds of calendar sales will benefit the American Association of State Troopers Foundation, which provides educational scholarships to dependents of member troopers.


MSP Staff Manage Procurement and Logistics Essential to Michigan’s COVID-19 Response

paletteHealthcare and frontline workers are easily the heroes of the COVID-19 crisis - (gloved) hands down.

As case counts climbed, not only were these essential workers facing a deadly adversary but also the realization that the commodities they needed to protect themselves were scarce.

“Every U.S. emergency disaster response depends on pulling resources from areas that aren’t impacted,” said Wendy Galbreath, Logistics Section Chief in the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC).  “The fact that this pandemic is a global event challenged that system.  We were in competition with the rest of the world for something as simple as hand sanitizer.”

The SEOC, managed by the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD), was activated by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at the end of February to bring state, local and federal agencies together to coordinate Michigan’s response.

A huge part of that response has been locating, buying, and delivering personal protective equipment, commonly called PPE, like medical-grade face masks, to those who interact with the public.

Then came March.  And April.  And May.  And a commodity-based craziness unlike anyone had ever experienced.  It was difficult to determine if the products were legitimate and if they were, when they would arrive.

Emergency managers around the state were inundated with requests for resources.

“It’s our job to get them what they need for their communities,” said Maj. Emmitt McGowan, who at the time served as commander of MSP/EMHSD and deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security.  “For perspective, the Flint Water Crisis had previously been our largest event, with 181 resource requests, over a two-year period.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve already handled more than 12,000 resource requests in under four months.”

Procurement was a 24/7 effort that still continues today to prepare for a potential second wave of sickness.

A new MSP/EMHSD initiative, the P3 Program (Public/Private Partnership), has proven effective.  Private Sector Liaison Brenna Roos is utilizing P3 in the SEOC, for the first time, during the state’s COVID-19 response.

“In the early stages, the focus was on assisting the Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) with securing PPE from private sector partners like Meijer and Walmart,” said Roos.  “I was in contact with anybody who offered to donate and I spent a lot of time tracking down leads too.  You make that connection and help each other.  We couldn’t have provided all we did without that support.”

At more than 120 days activated, the SEOC is now focused on expanding testing for COVID-19, ensuring our frontline workers have an adequate supply of PPE and establishing a stockpile of supplies should the state experience a surge in cases.

“No one has experienced an emergency of this scale, so it’s been a learning experience for us all,” said Capt. Kevin Sweeney, who promoted to commander of MSP/EMHSD and deputy state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security during the pandemic.  “Through the diligent efforts of Governor Whitmer, the SEOC staff, state agencies, emergency managers and our private and public sector partners, we are navigating the challenges posed by this pandemic to ensure Michiganders have what they need to be safe.”


Bolt for the Heart Run/Walk Early Bird Pricing ends July 30

runThe Second Annual MSP Bolt for the Heart 5k Run/Walk & 10k Run is just one month away!

The race, which will take place on Saturday, August 15 at the MSP Training Academy, will start between 9 a.m. - 10 a.m. to limit crowds at the start line. No more than five people will be permitted to start at a time. The start line will be wide, and the space is very open to allow for proper social distancing.

New this year is also the option to register for a virtual 5K run/walk or 10K run.

To see all the options and to register, click here.


One Hundred Dangerous Days for Teen Drivers

Did you know more teen driving fatalities occur in the summer than any other time of the year?

The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning has launched the “100 Dangerous Days for Teen Drivers” safety campaign in an effort to reduce teen driving fatalities.

You can help reduce teen driving fatalities by following these recommendations:

  • Don’t speed
  • Avoid distractions
  • Limit number of passengers
  • Don’t drive while impaired
  • Buckle up

For more information, visit the “100 Dangerous Days for Teen Drivers” campaign website.


Mask Up Michigan

Research shows that wearing a face mask can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 by about 70 percent.

You might feel healthy, but the reality is that approximately 40 percent of people who have COVID-19 may be asymptomatic, which means they can spread it to others without even realizing they have it.

For now, masking up and continuing to stay 6 feet from others are the best ways we can avoid bringing the virus home, keep our schools and workplaces open, and contain COVID-19.

It’s on us, Michigan. Mask up.

For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus.

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The Legal Rights and Responsibilities of Michigan Bicyclists

The League of Michigan Bicyclists has produced a new bicycle education video covering the responsibilities for motorists and bicyclists, legal rights of bicyclists on Michigan roads and examples of safe and unsafe bike-riding behavior.

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Leave with a Smile

hawk

On July 3, Trooper Hooper of the MSP Metro South Post was flagged down by a motorist regarding a stranded bird on the side of I-75. The troop was able to get the bird in his front seat and bring it to the post where it was given a temporary home. Troopers contacted a local falconer and transferred the red tail hawk to a local rehab center for further evaluation.


In the Community

July 16: MSP recruiters at Michigan Works Outdoor Job Fair – Alma, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

July 17: MSP recruiters at Michigan Works Outdoor Job Fair – Mount Pleasant, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Aug. 15: Bolt for the Heart 5k Run/Walk – MSP Training Academy, 9 a.m.


Keep Michigan Safe

MichTip

If you see something suspicious, immediately call   

9-1-1 for emergencies. For non-emergencies, suspicious activity can be reported to the MSP Michigan Intelligence Operations Center by phone at 1-855-MICH-TIP (855-642-4847) or online at www.michigan.gov/michtip, or via our mobile app.


Join the MSP

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Choose a career in public service; learn more at www.mi.gov/mspjobs.


Contact the MSP

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Contact us: Find your nearest MSP post at www.mi.gov/mspposts.


Download MSP Mobile

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MSP Mobile, a free mobile app, allows users to follow the MSP post that covers their area to receive breaking news and information.

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This email was sent to rsvanhorn@charter.net using GovDelivery Communications Cloud on behalf of: Michigan State Police · P.O. Box 30634 · Lansing, MI 48909

 

Hi EveryoneDue to the COVID-19 restrictions put on by the Governor and the chance that she will extend the Stay Home ban, Don and myself have changed our meeting to a video conference call.
I talked to Nick and it is unsure whether the college will be open at the time of our meeting. Also I had a reservation at the campground there on the river. They are still closed and depending on what the Governor does after May 28th they may still be closed.

Any questions please call myself or Don.

Thank you

Rick
MFSIA Secretary

Coalition Updates

                                         

July 2020

Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 75,947, including 6,148 deaths.  This includes 4,120 cases and 68 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Michigan Legislature

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Republican legislative leadership reached an agreement on cuts to balance the FY19-20 budget.  In conjunction with an executive order, HB 5265 and SB 373 reduce state revenues, appropriate federal dollars, and utilize the state’s rainy day fund to fix the $2.2 billion shortfall.  A detailed Senate Fiscal Agency memo is attached.  Highlights include:

 

  • $475 million in Michigan Department of Corrections and Michigan State Police cuts that were backfilled with federal funding.
  • $256 million for K-12 schools to address the $175 per-pupil cut.  Schools will receive $350 in per-pupil federal funding.
  • $150 million in additional Medicaid match funds.
  • $165 million in restricted funds being shifted to the General Fund.
  • $84 million in unused state work project appropriations will be returned to the General Fund.

 

The legislature sent several coronavirus-related bills to the governor’s desk this week.  SB 899, sponsored by Sen. Mike MacDonald (R-Macomb Twp.), would enact legal protections for healthcare workers for issues stemming from COVID-19.  The bill, which passed the Senate 24-13 and the House 56-51, may be vetoed by Gov. Whitmer.  Another bill would create regional “hub” facilities for the treatment of COVID-19 patients and prohibit the admission of a coronavirus-positive patient into a nursing home.  SB 956, sponsored by Sen. Pete Lucido (R-Shelby Twp.), passed the Senate 24-13 and the House 74-34.

 

The legislature also took several votes attempting to override prior vetoes by the governor.  SB 943, sponsored by Sen. Pete MacGregor (R-Rockford), is a scaled-back version of previous legislation delaying deadlines for summer property taxes.  The legislation received a 33-4 vote in the Senate and 57-47 vote in the House, but still may not receive approval from the governor.  The Senate also attempted to take an override vote on SB 686, which would have provided whistleblower protections for state employees communicating with lawmakers.  The measure failed to garner enough support, receiving a 22-15 vote.

 

The House of Representatives passed a bill package designed to create a framework for electronic K-12 learning.  HBs 5910-5913 narrowly passed, with HB 5913 receiving only 55 votes in favor.

 

The legislature has recessed again.  The next scheduled session day is August 6th.  Updated House and Senate calendars are attached as well.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Whitmer extended a prior executive order designed to protect residents of long-term care facilities.  The order includes restrictions on entry into the facilities.  The order is attached.

 

The Marijuana Regulatory Agency released updated guidance to stakeholders.  The updates reflect changes made by executive orders.  The bulletin is attached.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • A new FDA Voices, tilted FDA’s Ongoing Work to Support and Advance COVID-19 Diagnostic Test Accuracy and Availability, describes how FDA has been proactive and supportive of test development by all comers — including laboratories, and large and small commercial manufacturers — to speed development and to quickly authorize tests that the science supports. 
  • FDA delivered written testimony to the Senate Subcommittee on Manufacturing, Trade, and Consumer Protection. The statement, titled Protecting Americans from COVID-19 Scams, was by Catherine Hermsen, FDA’s Assistant Commissioner, Office of Criminal Investigations, Office of Regulatory Affairs.
  • On July 29th at 12:15 PM, the FDA will host a virtual Town Hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2. The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2.
  • HHS and DoD announced an agreement with Pfizer Inc. for large-scale production and nationwide delivery of 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine in the U.S. following the vaccine’s successful manufacture and approval. The agreement also allows the U.S. government to acquire an additional 500 million doses. The federal government will own the 100 million doses of vaccine initially produced as a result of this agreement, and Pfizer will deliver the doses in the U.S. if the product receives EUA or licensure from the FDA after completing demonstration of safety and efficacy in a large Phase 3 clinical trial. Read more here
  • HHS announced a new program to capture feedback between federal officials and the private sector. The National Testing Implementation Forum will bring together representatives from key stakeholder groups to share information and provide input to federal leaders about COVID-19 testing and diagnostics. The members of the Forum will provide their perspectives on how HHS can best identify and address end-to-end testing supply chain issues across commercial, public health, academic, and other sectors and define optimal testing in various settings (diagnostic, screening, surveillance, others).
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details, and I highly encourage exploring the newest toolkits. A few of the most recent additions include:
  • Republican leadership in Congress is preparing to release their version of the next piece of COVID-19 legislation, which has been characterized as an "opening bid." Committee chairs are expected to release their various portions of the bill on Monday.
  • CMS has updated its FAQ for Medicare provider relief during COVID-19. 
  • CMS and the Trump Administration announced new resources to protect nursing home residents against COVID-19.
  • Over the weekend, the FDA reissued an EUA to Quest Diagnostics to authorize its Quest SARS-CoV-2 rRT-PCR test for use with pooled samples containing up to four individual swab specimens collected under observation. The Quest test is the first COVID-19 diagnostic test to be authorized for use with pooled samples. Read more about the announcement and sample pooling here.
  • The FDA implemented and issued a guidance intended to help expand the availability of transport media used to transport certain clinical specimens for testing during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The FDA also posted answers to frequently asked questions relating to the development and use of transport media during the pandemic.
  • Daily White House coronavirus briefings are expected to return tomorrow evening. 
  • Republican leadership in Congress is preparing to release their version of the next piece of COVID-19 legislation, which has been characterized as an "opening bid." For a more detailed description of what to expect, and for a review of the broader COVID-19 legislative landscape, please refer to Sierra Fuller's COVID-19 Legislative Update (email sfuller@cgagroup.com to subscribe).
  • House Committee on Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO) sent a letter to HHS Sec. Alex Azar expressing concerns regarding the Trump Administration’s attacks on public health officials and the CDC during the COVID-19 response. 
  • The FDA closed its COVID-19 Industry Hotline last week. To meet current needs, the FDA is providing support for industry and laboratory questions about COVID-19 and medical devices through this directory Contacts for Medical Devices During the COVID-19 Pandemic.
  • The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) updated its Frequently Asked Questions on Testing for SARS-CoV-2. The revised FAQs now include a list of laboratories that have been removed from the list of laboratories that had notified FDA that they had developed and validated diagnostic tests as set forth in Section IV.A of the Policy for Coronavirus Disease-2019 Tests During the Public Health Emergency (Revised) — titled “Laboratories Certified under CLIA that Meet the CLIA Regulatory Requirements to Perform High Complexity Testing Using Their Validated Diagnostic Tests Prior to EUA Submission.” Any laboratory on this list has been removed from the notification list because FDA has determined that there are significant problems with its test that cannot be, or have not been, addressed in a timely manner and should no longer be used.
  • HHS, through HRSA, announced it will begin distributing $10 billion in a second round of high impact COVID-19 area funding to hospitals starting next week. To be eligible for this round, hospitals need to have had more than 161 COVID-19 admissions between January 1st and June 10th, or one admission per day, or have experienced a disproportionate intensity of COVID-19 admissions (exceeding the average ratio of COVID admissions/bed). Qualifying hospitals will be paid $50,000 per eligible admission. 
  • FDA’s MedWatch Alert webpage on safety and reported adverse events includes information on the latest recalls of several hand sanitizers due to potential methanol contamination.
  • USDA Sec. Sonny Perdue lauded the achievement of its Meals to You partnership, which has now delivered more than 28.5 million meals to the doorsteps of low-income kids in rural communities across America during the COVID-19 health crisis. Meals to You is a public-private partnership between USDA, the Baylor University Collaborative on Hunger and Poverty, McLane Global, and PepsiCo. It began as a summer pilot project in 2019 but has been leveraged as emergency Meals to You to address pandemic-related nutrition needs in rural areas.
  • The CDC announced the extension of a No Sail Order for cruise ships through September 30th, 2020. This order continues to suspend passenger operations on cruise ships with the capacity to carry at least 250 passengers in waters subject to U.S. jurisdiction.
  • The CDC launched a new page that details how to take COVID-19 into account before and during natural disasters.
  • CDC Director Robert Redfield and HHS Chief Information Officer Jose Arrieta provided an update for members of the media on HHS efforts to gather and disseminate real-time hospital data on COVID-19. Here are their statements as prepared for delivery.
  • Here is last week’s COVIDView from CDC, a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators that have been adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
  • The NIH has updated their treatment guidelines to reflect the most recent scientific findings. 
  • Senate Democrats wrote a letter urging the Trump Administration to reverse recent changes to require hospitals to report data to a new system set up by HHS instead of the National Healthcare Safety Network (NHSN) which is run by the CDC. CDC Director Robert Redfield's remarks about the change can be found here
  • The following COVID-19-related hearings in Congress were held this week:
    • Monday (7/20) 1:30 PM House Oversight, "Federal IT Modernization: How the Coronavirus Exposed Outdated Systems."
    • Tuesday (7/21) 9 AM House Oversight Coronavirus Subcommittee, Hybrid Hearing on “The Urgent Need for a National Plan to Contain the Coronavirus.”
    • Tuesday (7/21) 9:30 AM Senate Aging, "Hearings to examine the COVID-19 pandemic and seniors, focusing on racial health disparities."
    • Tuesday (7/21) 10 AM House VA, "Getting Veterans Back to Work After COVID-19."
    • Tuesday (7/21) 10 AM House Energy and Commerce, "Pathway to a Vaccine: Efforts to Develop a Safe, Effective and Accessible COVID-19 Vaccine."
    • Tuesday (7/21) 2:30 PM Senate Commerce, "Hearings to examine protecting Americans from COVID-19 scams."
    • Thursday (7/23) 10 AM Senate Energy and Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on users of public lands, forests, and national parks."
    • Thursday (7/23) 10:15 AM House Education and Labor, “Underfunded & Unprepared: Examining How to Overcome Obstacles to Safely Reopen Public Schools.”
    • Thursday (7/23) 10:30 AM House Financial Services, "The Heroes Act: Providing for a Strong Economic Recovery from COVID-19."

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 71,842, including 6,101 deaths.  This includes 4,119 cases and 68 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Michigan Legislature

The legislature has recessed for summer break.  The next scheduled session days next week, followed by another recess.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the state’s declaration of emergency and disaster until August 11th.  The declaration is attached.

 

The governor also signed several executive orders.  The first order amends the prior mask mandate to clarify that a business may not assume that an unmasked customer cannot medically tolerate a face covering, but can accept a customer’s verbal representation to that effect.  It also clarifies that wearing a mask to a polling place for voting is not required.  Public safety officers are also now required to wear a face covering unless doing so would seriously interfere with the performance of their responsibilities.

 

Other orders extend previous orders including protocols for nursing homes, special hours of operation at grocery stores for vulnerable Michiganders, and remote education and supervision for student pharmacists.  Remote public meetings and administrative hearings are now allowed until the termination of the COVID-19 state of emergency as well.  Lastly, the governor issued an executive order scaling back a previous order suspending scope of practice laws for medical professionals.

 

The Michigan Liquor Control Commission has ordered a show cause hearing for Harper’s Restaurant and Brewpub.  The hearing, which could result in revocation of its liquor licenses, comes after more than 180 cases of COVID-19 were traced to the bar’s brief period of re-opening.  The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, July 23rd at 1:00 p.m.

 

Federal

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that a draft of the Republican coronavirus stimulus bill will be released next week, once members return from recess.  Republicans are continuing to emphasize liability protections for businesses as a “must-have” in order for any bill to pass the Senate.  Other areas of focus include children, jobs, and health care.  Changes to unemployment insurance are also possible, including a cap, so individuals couldn’t earn more on unemployment than in their previous job.

 

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • The FDA released a new FDA Voices, titled An Update and Behind the Scenes: FDA’s Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program, in which agency leaders discuss efforts to leverage cross-agency scientific resources and expertise on COVID-19 therapeutic development and review. There are now more than 510 drug development programs in planning stages for potential therapies for COVID-19, and as of today, the agency has reviewed more than 230 trials of potential therapies for COVID-19.
  • The FDA has posted an updated Coronavirus Treatment Acceleration Program (CTAP) webpage. The webpage provides information about CTAP’s purpose, strategy and operations. Specifically, this revised webpage includes a dashboard showing crucial statistics related to the development of potential COVID-19 therapeutics. Also included are key guidance and links for therapeutic developers, researchers, patients and consumers.
  • In the most recent episode of FDA Insight, Dr. Patrizia Cavazzoni, the acting director of FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, joins Dr. Shah for an in-depth discussion on clinical trials and treatments for COVID-19. A list of clinical trials are available at https://clinicaltrials.gov.
  • The FDA encourages consumers to test their knowledge about the appropriate use of hand sanitizer with this hand sanitizer quiz, posted today. The quiz provides questions and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions related to hand sanitizer. This quiz can help consumers learn how to correctly use hand sanitizer.
  • The Administration for Community Living has its most recent COVID-19 updates here
  • In an editorial published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), the CDC reviewed the latest science and affirms that cloth face coverings are a critical tool in the fight against COVID-19 that could reduce the spread of the disease, particularly when used universally within communities. There is increasing evidence that cloth face coverings help prevent people who have COVID-19 from spreading the virus to others. 
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details, and I highly encourage taking a look at the succinct answers provided to frequently asked questions. The agency has recently updated helpful information about reopening public pools and similar venues, and there is a great one-stop-shop for COVID-19 toolkits. There are multiple toolkits available for varying issues like child care, summer camps, and workplaces. 
  • The Trump administration has ordered hospitals to bypass the CDC and send all COVID-19 patient information to a central database in Washington starting Wednesday. This FAQ document provides more detail about the decision. 
  • The NIH announced that an investigational COVID-19 vaccine was generally well tolerated and resulted in production of both binding and neutralizing antibodies in healthy adult volunteers, according to interim results of an ongoing phase 1 trial. The experimental vaccine is being co-developed by researchers at NIAID and at Moderna, Inc. of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Manufactured by Moderna, mRNA-1273 is designed to induce neutralizing antibodies directed at a portion of the coronavirus “spike” protein, which the virus uses to bind to and enter human cells.
  • Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA), and Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chair Diana DeGette (D-CO) wrote to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn regarding the agency’s work to determine the accuracy of COVID-19 diagnostic and serological tests. In their letter, the members raised similar concerns about serological tests, which are used to determine the presence of antibodies to the coronavirus. In March, citing the relative simplicity of serological tests, FDA allowed some serological tests to be used without first receiving an EUA, under certain conditions. As a result, a flood of unauthorized tests, which were later found to provide unreliable results, inundated the market. While FDA has since revised its guidance on serological tests, requiring developers to request an EUA, dozens of unreliable and unauthorized tests remain on the market.
  • Democratic Leader Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Senator Patty Murray (D-WA), ranking member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released a white paper laying out a number of proposals from Senate Democrats to make sure COVID-19 vaccines are safe, effective, high quality, produced at scale, allocated in a manner that optimizes public health and reduces health disparities, free and accessible to everyone, and widely embraced by the public in order to end the COVID-19 pandemic and set the country on a path for economic recovery. 
  • The House Appropriations Committee met to mark up the FY21 Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies bill Monday. The bill includes $24.425 billion in emergency spending, mostly tied to efforts aimed at addressing COVID-19. Despite arguments from full Committee Ranking Member Kay Granger (R-TX) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Tom Cole (R-OK) that the emergency spending should be dealt with in a standalone bill, the Committee voted 30-22 in favor of the measure. 
  • CDC and the Office of the ASPR have developed five COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios that are designed to help inform decisions by public health officials who use mathematical modeling and by mathematical modelers throughout the federal government. Models developed using the data provided in the planning scenario tables can help evaluate the potential effects of different community mitigation strategies (e.g., social distancing). The planning scenarios may also be useful to hospital administrators in assessing resource needs and can be used in conjunction with the COVID-19Surge Tool.
  • Last week, HUD Sec. Ben Carson announced the “Eviction Prevention and Stability Toolkit” to encourage Public Housing Authorities (PHA) and Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) landlords to plan for and implement strategies to keep families stably housed and mitigate economic hardships due to COVID-19.
  • FDA scientists have identified specific areas of the so-called spike proteins on the surface of the COVID-19-casuing virus that appear to be key to triggering strong protective antibody responses in rabbits exposed to the virus. The virus uses one part of the spike protein to attach to a cell and another to fuse with the cell membrane, enabling the virus to infect the cell. The scientists studied antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 spike proteins, which could help inform vaccine design by increasing our understanding of the various triggered antibody responses.
  • Late last week, CMS announced plans to provide additional resources to nursing homes in COVID-19 hotspot areas. Specifically, CMS plans to deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in the hotspot areas as identified by the White House Coronavirus Task Force. In addition, the agency is implementing an enhanced survey process tailored to meet the specific concerns of hotspot areas and will coordinate federal, state, and local efforts to leverage all available resources to these facilities. The purpose of these efforts is to target facilities with known infection control issues by providing resources and support that will help them improve quality and safety and protect vulnerable Americans.
  • The following COVID-19 hearings took place in Congress this week:
    • Monday (7/13) 2 PM House Homeland, “Oversight of ICE Detention Facilities: Examining ICE Contractors’ Response to COVID-19.”
    • Tuesday (7/14) 12 PM House Homeland, “Reviewing Federal and State Pandemic Supply Preparedness and Response.”
    • Tuesday (7/14) 2 PM House Foreign Affairs, “The Importance of Transatlantic Cooperation During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”
    • Wednesday (7/15) 2 PM House Budget, “Software Update Required: COVID-19 Exposes Need for Federal Investments in Technology.”
  • HRSA awarded more than $21 million to support health centers' COVID-19 response efforts. The majority of this investment—$17 million—supports 78 Health Center Program look-alikes (LALs) with funding to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing. Funding to expand capacity for COVID-19 testing is being made available to LALs through the Health Center Program. With this funding, LALs will expand the range of testing and testing-related activities to best address the needs of their communities, including the purchase of personal protective equipment; training for staff; outreach, procurement and administration of tests; laboratory services; notifying identified contacts of infected health center patients of their exposure to COVID-19; and the expansion of walk-up or drive-up testing capabilities.
  • HRSA announced it is also awarding approximately $3 billion in funding to hospitals serving a large percentage of vulnerable populations on thin margins and approximately $1 billion to specialty rural hospitals, urban hospitals with certain rural Medicare designations, and hospitals in small metropolitan areas. HHS is also opening the provider portal to allow dentists to apply for relief. View more information, including state-by-state breakdowns, here.
  • Here is last week’s COVIDView from CDC, a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators that have been adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
  • HHS made May and June COVID-19 Testing Plans from all states, territories, and localities publicly available on HHS.gov. The State Testing Plans serve as a roadmap for each state's 2019 testing strategy for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. The plans include details on response to surge cases and how to reach vulnerable populations including minorities, immunocompromised individuals and older adults. View the plans here
  • Last week, CMS Administrator Seema Verma convened a roundtable discussion with Detroit health care leaders, representatives from long-term care facilities, and other community stakeholders to discuss the impact of and response to COVID-19 in nursing homes. Attendees expressed concern for the many ways in which patients in nursing homes are being affected by COVID-19 – the fear, the isolation, the separation from loved ones – and the effects the virus is having on nursing home residents’ quality of life. 
  • CMS shared “Five Things About Nursing Homes During COVID-19,” part of an ongoing series by HHS. In this episode, CMS Administrator Seema Verma shares five things CMS is doing to stop the spread of COVID-19 in nursing homes.
  • CMS plans to deploy Quality Improvement Organizations (QIOs) across the country to provide immediate assistance to nursing homes in the hotspot areas as identified by the White House Coronavirus Task Force. QIOs are CMS contractors who work with healthcare providers to help them improve the quality of healthcare they provide to Medicare Beneficiaries. In addition, the agency is implementing an enhanced survey process tailored to meet the specific concerns of hotspot areas and will coordinate federal, state and local efforts to leverage all available resources to these facilities. The purpose of these efforts is to target facilities with known infection control issues by providing resources and support that will help them improve quality and safety and protect vulnerable Americans.

 

Client News

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

 

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 64,675, including 5,966 deaths.  This includes 4,114 cases and 68 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available hereOf the day’s 15 COVID-19 deaths, 13 were prior deaths identified through a vital records search.

 

Michigan Legislature

The legislature has recessed for summer break.  The next scheduled session days are in late July.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order closing indoor service for many bars and restaurants in the lower peninsula.  Under the order, retail liquor licensees that derive more than 70% of their gross receipts from alcohol sales may only provide outdoor service.  The order does not apply to licensees in regions 6 and 8 and is attached.  The governor simultaneously signed legislation designed to aid bars and restaurants during the coronavirus pandemic.  SB 942, HB 5781, and HB 5811, sponsored by Sen. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton), Rep. Mike Webber (R-Rochester Hills), and Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing) respectively, allow for:

 

  • Cocktails to-go
  • Two-for-one drink pricing
  • The creation of social districts
  • Increase discounts on liquor and allow on-premise licensees to purchase more liquor from specially designated distributors
  • Allow refunds and replacement of beer and wine by wholesalers

 

The governor also signed legislation codifying previous executive orders.  SBs 876-878, sponsored by Sen. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City), extend the expiration date of drivers licenses, state ID cards, and vehicle registrations to September 30, 2020.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • The FDA provided guidance with recommendations for those developing COVID-19 vaccines for the ultimate purpose of licensure. The guidance, which reflects advice the FDA has been providing over the past several months to companies, researchers, and others, describes the agency’s current recommendations regarding the data needed to facilitate the manufacturing, clinical development, and approval of a COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Wednesday, the FDA distributed the first round of SARS-CoV-2 reference panel materials. The panel is an independent performance validation step — for diagnostic tests of SARS-CoV-2 infection — being used for clinical, not research, purposes. The reference panel can help characterize a test's level of detection and establish relative sensitivity among tests. The FDA panel is available to commercial and laboratory developers who are interacting with the FDA through the pre-EUA process or whose tests have been issued an EUA. The FDA will provide the reference panel to developers at the appropriate stage in the process.
  • The CDC has released interim guidance on SARS-CoV-2 testing for K-12 schools and institutions of higher education. As schools consider and prepare for reopening in the fall, these guidance documents are intended to help schools and universities make decisions about the appropriate use of SARS-CoV-2 testing. These CDC considerations are meant to supplement—not replace—any federal, state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations with which schools must comply. Implementation should be guided by what is feasible, practical, and acceptable and be tailored to the needs of each community.
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details, and I highly encourage taking a look at the succinct answers provided to frequently asked questions. Over the weekend and Wednesday, the agency updated considerations for restaurants and bars, strategies for daily life and coping, and the newest social media toolkit
  • HHS will extend its partnership with national pharmacy and grocery retail chains CVS, Rite-Aid, Walgreens, Quest (through services at Walmart), and eTrueNorth (through services at Kroger, Health Mart, and Walmart) so they may continue to provide access to COVID-19 testing. The partnership, which is part of the Community-Based Testing Program, has scaled up to more than 600 COVID-19 testing sites in 48 states and D.C.. Approximately 70 percent of these testing sites are located in communities with moderate-to-high social vulnerability, as evidenced by their racial, and ethnic composition, and their housing, economic, language barrier, and similar considerations.
  • The Administration re-established the Ready Reserve Corps as part of the U.S. Public Health Service. More information on this can be found here
  • Dr. Anand Shah, FDA's Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs, welcomes Toby Lowe, the Associate Director of the Office of In Vitro Diagnostics and Radiological Health, to discuss the basics of diagnostic tests for COVID-19 on the new FDA Podcast, "FDA Insight."
  • The House and Senate have both passed a bill to extend the Paycheck Protection Program through August 8th. The program allows small businesses to secure low-interest loans to help maintain their payrolls. President Trump is expected to sign the piece of legislation soon. 
  • Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone (D-NJ) wrote to request information from ten companies and one trade association about their practices and prices for diagnostic and serological tests for COVID-19. The request comes after the Committee conducted an initial examination that has yielded disturbing information about potential price gouging of COVID-19 tests, and providers’ compliance with both the Families First Coronavirus Response (Families First) Act and the CARES Act.
  • The following COVID-19 hearings are slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Wednesday (7/1) 2:30 PM Senate Indian Affairs, “Evaluating the Response and Mitigation to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Native Communities.”
    • Thursday (7/2) 9 AM House Oversight, “The Administration’s Efforts to Procure, Stockpile, and Distribute Critical Supplies”
    • Thursday (7/2) 10 AM Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations, "Hearings to examine Operation Warp Speed, focusing on researching, manufacturing, and distributing a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine."

 

Client News

  • AT&T has invested over $700 million to keep Detroiters connected.  More information on their work is attached.

 

Other

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  As we shift to operating digitally, we at Kelley Cawthorne are continuing to find ways to ensure your voice is represented at the capital.  To that end, we will have a series of webinars with state lawmakers and policy influencers.

 

U.S. Senator Gary Peters will be joining us on Monday, July 13th. We will hear from Senator Peters about recent developments on COVID-19.  Our clients will be in listen only mode.  However, if you would like to submit questions, please provide them to your Kelley Cawthorne Lobbyist by 5:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 9th

 

The webinar will be Monday, July 13th at noon.  More information, including call-in information, will be distributed shortly.

 

Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  In an effort to keep stakeholders informed, the governor’s office has scheduled a call with State Budget Director Chris Kolb on issues generated from executive orders, press conferences, and hot topics.

 

The call with Director Kolb will take place Friday, July 10th at 2:00 p.m.  Please RSVP in advance to Nate Love at nlove@kelley-cawthorne.com by 9:00 a.m. on Friday, July 10th.  Questions must be submitted to Nate by 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 9th as well.  Those who RSVP will receive call-in information at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, July 10th.

 

Please reach out if you have any questions and we will continue to keep you apprised of further updates. 

Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 63,870, including 5,947 deaths.  This includes 4,107 cases and 68 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available hereIn Tuesday’s daily death numbers, 27 of 32 deaths came from a review of prior vital records.

 

Michigan Legislature

Legislative leadership and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced a deal on changes to the current year FY19-20 budget.  The plan moves federal dollars around while simultaneously cutting $490 million through state hiring and spending freezes, layoffs, and finding other savings in state government.  Schools, higher education, and local governments will see state funding cuts that will be replaced by federal funds.  The plan also utilizes $350 million from the state’s $1 billion rainy day fund.  More details are attached.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Whitmer released her “MI Safe Schools Return to School Roadmap,” which outlines how school districts can return to in-person learning in the fall.  The plan gives guidance on, among other things, the use of PPE, cleaning/disinfecting, spacing, screening for symptoms, and athletics.  Teachers and students in grades 6-12 will be required to wear masks at all times, while students K-5 must wear masks unless they are staying in their classroom all day.  In conjunction with the release of the roadmap, the governor issued an executive order requiring districts to adopt a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan.  Both documents are attached.

 

The governor said Tuesday that the recent spike in cases in the lower peninsula, and Lansing and Grand Rapids in particular, is preventing the rest of the state from moving to Phase 5.  She also indicated she would be reviewing information in the coming days to determine whether to reimpose restrictions in some areas.

 

Gov. Whitmer issued several executive orders.  The first order rescinds some provisions of a prior order regarding telehealth.  The rescinded portions are no longer needed due to the enactment of legislation on telehealth.  Another order extends a previous order on protections for migrant farm workers.  The governor also extended prior orders on youth work permits and local government tax hearing notices.  All orders are attached.

 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued two orders to allow for expanded visitations at group facilities if certain health precautions are followed.  Those orders are attached.

 

Gov. Whitmer signed SB 690, the supplemental appropriations bill that distributes approximately $880 million in federal funds to address COVID-19.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • The Senate voted Tuesday evening to extend the Paycheck Protection Program deadline by five additional weeks.  The program, which would expire on August 8th if approved by the House and President Trump, still has more than $130 billion in unspent loan funds.
  • You can view the FDA's daily COVID-19 roundup here
  • The CDC on Monday highlighted considerations for wearing cloth face coverings. Emerging evidence from clinical and laboratory studies that shows cloth face coverings reduce the spray of droplets when worn over the nose and mouth. Wearing a mask is critical to protecting your own health and the health of others. 
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details, and I highly encourage taking a look at the succinct answers provided to frequently asked questions. Over the weekend and today, the agency updated considerations for restaurants and bars, strategies for optimizing the supply of face masks, and the newest travel recommendations by country
  • OSHA, the CDC, and the FDA released joint coronavirus-related interim guidance for employers and workers performing seafood processing operations in onshore facilities and aboard vessels offshore. The guidance includes recommended actions employers can take to reduce the risk of exposure to the coronavirus.
  • The following COVID-19 hearings are slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Tuesday (6/30) 10 AM Senate HELP, "Hearings to examine COVID-19, focusing on an update on progress toward safely getting back to work and back to school."
    • Tuesday (6/30) 10 AM Senate Foreign Relations, "Hearings to examine COVID-19 and United States international pandemic preparedness, prevention, and response, focusing on additional perspectives."
    • Tuesday (6/30) 11 AM House Energy and Commerce, "High Anxiety and Stress: Legislation to Improve Mental Health During Crisis."
    • Tuesday (6/30) 2:30 PM Senate Energy and Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the territories."
    • Wednesday (7/1) 2:30 PM Senate Indian Affairs, “Evaluating the Response and Mitigation to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Native Communities.”
    • Thursday (7/2) 9 AM House Oversight, “The Administration’s Efforts to Procure, Stockpile, and Distribute Critical Supplies”
    • Thursday (7/2) 10 AM Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations, "Hearings to examine Operation Warp Speed, focusing on researching, manufacturing, and distributing a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine."

 

Client News

  • HHS announced an agreement to secure large supplies of the drug remdesivir for the U.S. from Gilead Sciences through September, allowing American hospitals to purchase the drug in amounts allocated by HHS and state health departments. Supplies will be allocated in the same way that Gilead’s donation of approximately 120,000 treatment courses of remdesivir were allocated: HHS allocates product to state and territorial health departments based on COVID-19 hospital burden, and health departments allocate it to hospitals. The delivery of the purchased remdesivir will be streamlined, going directly to the hospital, per the state’s allocation decision, rather than going first to the state health departments for subsequent delivery to hospitals.

 

Other

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June 2020

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 63,261, including 5,911 deaths.  This includes 4,104 cases and 68 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Michigan Legislature

The legislature has recessed for summer break.  The next scheduled session days are in late July.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Attorney General Dana Nessel declined a Congressional Subcommittee’s request to investigate Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order on nursing homes and COVID-19, saying the request was politically motivated.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • Dr. Tony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious diseases expert, invoked “a societal responsibility” during the first public briefing of the White House coronavirus task force in nearly two months. He warned that outbreaks in the South and West could engulf the country, and urged people to practice social distancing and mask wearing as an obligation to others.
  • In response to a request from the State of Texas, HHS granted a 14-day extension of federal support for five Community-Based Testing Sites (CBTS) in Texas. In response, Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett Giroir issued this statement
  • FDA updated the templates for laboratories and commercial manufacturers to help facilitate submission of EUA requests for serology tests. The updates clarify FDA’s previous recommendations for demonstrating clinical performance and presenting validation data; the updates also provide new recommendations for validation of point-of-care tests.
  • A new FDA Voices, titled Partnering with the European Union and Global Regulators on COVID-19, explains how the FDA and the European Union, including the latter’s European Medicines Agency, have long leveraged each other’s expertise and experience to promote the safety, effectiveness, and quality of medical products to advance the health of our respective citizens. Now, our work, built together over more than a decade, has paved the way for a multitude of critical collaborations on many scientific and regulatory fronts as part of our response to the global COVID-19 public health crisis.
  • The NIH updated recommendations for Dexamethasone in patients with COVID-19.
  • CMS announced plans to end the emergency blanket waiver requiring all nursing homes to resume submitting staffing data through the Payroll-Based Journal (PBJ) system by August 14, 2020. The PBJ system allows CMS to collect nursing home staffing information which impacts the quality of care residents receive. The blanket waiver was intended to temporarily allow the agency to concentrate efforts on combating COVID-19 and reduce administrative burden on nursing homes so they could focus on patient health and safety during this public health emergency.
  • CMS released a trends report that provides data on the number of individuals who signed up for coverage on HealthCare.gov through a special enrollment period (SEP) during the pandemic. As a result of the economic disruption that followed COVID-19 outbreaks, many consumers experienced life changes—particularly related to employment—that allowed them to enroll in health coverage through the Exchange.  Enrollment data for April and May of this year show that thousands of Americans who lost job-based coverage due to COVID-19 are successfully taking advantage of existing SEPs to enroll in coverage.
  • The CDC has added congestion or runny nose, nausea, and diarrhea to the list of COVID-19 symptoms. 
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details, and I highly encourage taking a look at the succinct answers provided to frequent asked questions. Over the past few days, the agency updated the operational considerations for COVID-19 mitigation measures in low resource settings (markets), revised the special populations data, and updated the strategy for serology surveillance
  • Based on a detailed review of available evidence to date, CDC has updated and expanded the list of who is at increased risk for getting severely ill from COVID-19. Older adults and people with underlying medical conditions remain at increased risk for severe illness, but now CDC has further defined age- and condition-related risks.
  • A transcript for the most recent CDC COVID-19 telebriefing is available here
  • Here is last week’s COVIDView from CDC, a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators that have been adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
  • A recent GAO report found that the Small Business Administration processed over $512 billion in guaranteed small business loans, but isn’t ready to address fraud risks and hasn’t said how it plans to oversee the loans. Also, the IRS and the Treasury made 160.4 million payments worth $269.3 billion to taxpayers as of May 31—including payments to more than a million deceased individuals.
  • The following COVID-19 hearings are slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Tuesday (6/30) 10 AM Senate HELP, "Hearings to examine COVID-19, focusing on an update on progress toward safely getting back to work and back to school."
    • Tuesday (6/30) 10 AM Senate Foreign Relations, "Hearings to examine COVID-19 and United States international pandemic preparedness, prevention, and response, focusing on additional perspectives."
    • Tuesday (6/30) 11 AM House Energy and Commerce, "High Anxiety and Stress: Legislation to Improve Mental Health During Crisis."
    • Tuesday (6/30) 2:30 PM Senate Energy and Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in the territories."
    • Thursday (7/2) 9 AM House Oversight, “The Administration’s Efforts to Procure, Stockpile, and Distribute Critical Supplies”
    • Thursday (7/2) 10 AM Senate Labor-HHS Appropriations, "Hearings to examine Operation Warp Speed, focusing on researching, manufacturing, and distributing a safe and effective coronavirus vaccine."

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

From: Michigan Executive Office of the Governor <mieog@govsubscriptions.michigan.gov>
Date: April 29, 2020 at 2:31:53 PM EDT
To: Melissa McKinley <mmckinley@kelley-cawthorne.com>
Subject: RELEASE: Governor Whitmer Announces “Futures for Frontliners,” a G.I. Bill Program for Essential Workers
Reply-To: mieog@govsubscriptions.michigan.gov



Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

 

1 

 

For Immediate Release:  

April 29, 2020 

Contact: press@michigan.gov 

 

Governor Whitmer Announces “Futures for Frontliners,” a G.I. Bill Program for Essential Workers 

Program Will Provide Tuition-Free Postsecondary Education Opportunities for Essential Workers; Governor Announces Other Initiatives to Protect Workers and Their Families During the Ongoing COVID-19 Pandemic 

 

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today announced a series of initiatives to help Michigan workers and their families during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including the "Futures for Frontliners” program to provide a tuition-free pathway to college or a technical certificate to essential workers who don’t have a college degree. This includes workers like the ones staffing our hospitals and nursing homes, stocking the shelves at grocery stores, providing child care to critical infrastructure workers, manufacturing PPE, protecting public safety, picking up trash, or delivering supplies. 

 

“The Futures for Frontliners program is our way of saying ‘thank you’ to those who have risked their lives on the front lines of this crisis. This program will ensure tuition-free college opportunities and give these dedicated Michiganders an opportunity to earn a technical certificate, associate degree or even a bachelor’s degree,” Governor Whitmer said. “I want to assure all of our workers we will never forget those of you who stepped up and sacrificed their own health during this crisis. You’re the reason we’re going to get through this.” 

 

The “Futures for Frontliners” program is the first of its kind in the country, and was inspired by the federal government’s support of soldiers returning from World War II by providing educational opportunities. Frontline workers who take advantage of this program will help us reach Governor Whitmer’s goal to increase the number of working-age adults with a technical certificate or college degree from 45% to 60% by 2030.  The Governor stated that she looks forward to working on enacting her proposal with the bipartisan legislative coalition that helped pass Reconnect last month, the program to offer adults over 25 without college degrees tuition-free access to community college. 

 

Governor Whitmer also announced that she is expanding the state’s Workshare Program to allow employers to reduce employee hours to receive weekly unemployment insurance (UI) benefits as well as the additional $600 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) weekly benefit. Both benefits will be funded through federal dollars. Through July, the program can act as supplemental pay for critical infrastructure workers by allowing them to collect the extra $600 per week. 

 

Governor Whitmer also called on leaders in Congress to support Sen. Gary Peters' Heroes Fund to provide hazard pay for frontline workers putting their lives on the line to ensure access to life-saving care, food, and other critical services during the pandemic. It is estimated that more than three million of these essential workers are currently on the job in Michigan. Supported by Sens. Stabenow and Peters, the Heroes Fund proposal would provide these workers with an additional $13 per hour, up to $25,000, with an additional potential recruitment incentive of up to $15,000 for essential medical workers.  

 

“No Michigander should have to worry about how to feed their family or pay rent during a crisis. And no Michigander should be scared to go to work,” said Governor Whitmer. “From the beginning, my team and I have been working around the clock to solve those problems for working families. And I will continue to fight for our working people long after this crisis is over.” 

 

 

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 62,306, including 5,887 deaths.  This includes 4,099 cases and 68 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Michigan Legislature

The legislature has recessed for summer break.  The next scheduled session days are in late July.

 

The Senate Fiscal Agency released its latest economic indicator figures.  Those numbers are attached.

 

Legislation allowing property owners to defer payments of summer property taxes until 2021 is headed to the governor’s desk.  HB 5761, sponsored by Rep. Jim Lower (R-Cedar Lake), received votes of 108-0-1 and 33-4-1 in the House and Senate, respectively.  HB 5810, also sponsored by Lower, received votes of 107-0-1 and 33-4-1.  The legislation also allows local units of government to borrow funds to make up for lower revenues due to deferred payments.

 

Also on its way to the governor for her signature is a set of three bills aimed at providing relief to the hospitality industry.  HB 5781, sponsored by Rep. Mike Webber (R-Rochester Hills), would allow a local unit of government to create “social districts” where customers could consume alcohol sold by adjacent bars and restaurants and passed on 107-0-2 and 36-1-1 votes.  HB 5811, sponsored by Rep. Sarah Anthony (D-Lansing), allows for the sale of liquor to-go by bars and restaurants and passed on 104-1-4 and 36-1-1 votes.  Lastly, SB 942, sponsored by Sen. Aric Nesbitt (R-Lawton), allows bars and restaurants to purchase more spirits from a specially designated distributor, rather than through the three-tier system.  The bill, among other things, also allows for a temporary increase in discounts on spirits, refunds for outdated beer and wine, and allows for “two-for-one” drink promotion.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

The 6th Circuit Court of Appeals granted Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s request to stay a lower court ruling allowing gyms in Michigan to open.  In its decision, the court agreed with the governor that the executive branch should receive deference to manage emergency situations.

 

Gov. Whitmer issued several executive orders.  The first order allows professional sports to be played without a live audience.  The order is effective immediately.

 

The governor also issued an executive order extending the suspension of evictions until July 15.  In addition to extending the suspension, the order creates an eviction diversion program to allow renters to receive assistance or establish a payment plan.  Also extended was a previous order allowing administrative hearings to be conducted by phone or video conference.  All orders are attached.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • In a new FDA Voices, "FDA maintains the pace of meeting its goals on applications for medical products during the pandemic," FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn explains that one of the challenges facing the FDA during the COVID-19 pandemic is how to ensure the timely reviews of medical product applications despite a surge in volume of work and practical constraints that may impact the ability to conduct on-site inspections. 
  • The FDA is partnering with the Critical Path Institute (C-Path) and the NIH’s National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) on the CURE Drug Repurposing Collaboratory (CDRC)External Link Disclaimer. CDRC is a forum for the exchange of clinical practice data to inform potential new uses of existing drugs for areas of high unmet medical need, advancing research in these areas. CDRC will focus on capturing relevant real-world clinical outcome data through the FDA-NCATS CURE ID platform. In a pilot project focused on COVID-19, CDRC will use data collected via the CURE ID platform to aggregate global clinician treatment experiences to identify existing drugs that demonstrate possible treatment approaches warranting further study.
  • A Consumer Update, titled Getting Smarter about Food Safety: The Pandemic and Lessons Learned, explains that throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, the experts at the FDA have learned valuable lessons that will help shape our work to create a more digital and transparent, as well as safer, food system for you and your family. In the coming weeks, the FDA will unveil the blueprint for the New Era of Smarter Food Safety, which lays out how they will use technology and modern approaches over the next decade to strengthen the ways they approach the safety of the nation’s food supply.
  • On Thursday at 12:15 PM ET, the FDA hosted a virtual Town Hall for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2. The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for SARS-CoV-2. The next Town Hall in the series will take place on July 1st. 
  • Wednesday, FDA launched the first “FDA Insight” podcast, featuring FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and FDA Deputy Commissioner for Medical and Scientific Affairs Anand Shah discussing FDA's COVID-19 efforts, including the drug development process for a COVID-19 treatment. Future FDA Insight podcasts will feature Hahn, Shah, and other FDA leaders’ insights into issues facing the agency — including the COVID-19 pandemic and other emerging topics.
  • The HHS Office of Minority Health (OMH) announced the selection of the Morehouse School of Medicine as the awardee for a new $40 million initiative to fight COVID-19 in racial and ethnic minority, rural and socially vulnerable communities. The Morehouse School of Medicine will enter into a cooperative agreement with OMH to lead the initiative to coordinate a strategic network of national, state, territorial, tribal and local organizations to deliver COVID-19-related information to communities hardest hit by the pandemic.
  • U.S. Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue and FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn issued the following joint USDA-FDA statement regarding food export restrictions pertaining to COVID-19:
    • "The United States understands the concerns of consumers here domestically and around the world who want to know that producers, processors and regulators are taking every necessary precaution to prioritize food safety especially during these challenging times. However, efforts by some countries to restrict global food exports related to COVID-19 transmission are not consistent with the known science of transmission. There is no evidence that people can contract COVID-19 from food or from food packaging. The U.S. food safety system, overseen by our agencies, is the global leader in ensuring the safety of our food products, including product for export."
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details, and I highly encourage taking a look at the succinct answers provided to frequent asked questions. Over the last few days, the agency updated the FAQ form for youth sports programs, revised the available resources for Tribal Communities, and compiled the most recent information for health departments
  • HUD announced Wednesday that it is awarding $962,160 in funding to HUD Fair Housing Assistance Program (FHAP) agencies in New York, Louisiana, Rhode Island, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, California, Texas, Indiana, Florida, Nebraska, Hawaii, South Carolina, Maryland, Michigan, Connecticut, and New Jersey to support activities related to COVID-19. The awards to the nineteen organizations are part of $1.5 million in Partnership and Special Enforcement Effort funds being provided to FHAP agencies through the CARES Act. 
  • CMS announced the creation of the Office of Burden Reduction and Health Informatics to unify the agency’s efforts to reduce regulatory and administrative burden and to further the goal of putting patients first. The new office is an outgrowth of the agency’s Patients over Paperwork (PoP) Initiative. The announcement continues CMS’s burden reduction efforts from both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • The following COVID-19 hearings are slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Wednesday (6/24) 9:30 AM House Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impact of COVID-19 on mineral supply chains, focusing on the role of those supply chains in economic and national security, and challenges and opportunities to rebuild."
    • Wednesday (6/24) 10 AM Senate Homeland Security, "Hearings to examine the role of the strategic national stockpile in pandemic response."
    • Thursday (6/25) 2 PM House Ways and Means, "Hearing on Examining the COVID-19 Nursing Home Crisis."

 

Client News

  • This morning, the Detroit Regional Chamber held a tele-town hall with Mary Culler of Ford Motor Co.  A recording is available here.

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

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We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 60,618, including 5,818 deaths.  This includes 4,072 cases and 68 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Michigan Legislature

The House of Representatives passed legislation to provide interest-free property tax extensions.  HB 5761 and HB 5810, sponsored by Rep. Jim Lower (R-Cedar Lake), both received 106-0-3 votes.  In addition to extending the deadline to March 1, 2021, the bills would allow local governments to borrow funds to help with cash flow. 

 

The House of Representatives and Senate adopted resolutions denouncing Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s nursing home policies.  In a rare move, the House also held a record roll call vote on its resolution.  The House resolution, HR 276, was adopted on a 71-32 vote.  The Senate resolution, SR 125, was adopted on a 23-14 vote.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Whitmer extended a previous order allowing public bodies to conduct meetings remotely due to COVID-19 pandemic.  The order is now set to expire on July 31st and is attached.

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

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We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 60,393, including 5,792 deaths.  This includes 4,067 cases and 68 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the state of emergency until July 16th.  The state of emergency, which allows the governor to issue executive orders related to COVID-19, is set to expire Friday, June 19th.

 

Gov. Whitmer also extended a prior executive order.  The order contains health and safety requirements for grocery stores and pharmacies, including the use of face masks and allocation of shopping time for vulnerable populations.

 

Lastly, the governor issued an executive order to replace emergency rules issued by the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity in March.  The rules, and this order, establish a COVID-19 presumption for workers’ compensation.  The order also expands the presumption to employees who work in prisons.  All orders are attached.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) has asked committee leaders to invoke the chamber’s rule on decorum to prevent members who choose not to wear face coverings from taking part in hearings within the committee meeting rooms. House lawmakers are now required to wear masks during in-person committee meetings, but it will be up to the chairmen and chairwomen of those panels to decide on enforcement. The decision comes on the heels of updated guidance from attending physician Brian Monahan. 
  • Yesterday, the FDA published the Statistical Considerations for Clinical Trials During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Guidance for Industry. Clinical trials and development across investigational product areas have been impacted by public health measures to control the COVID-19 virus; this guidance shares recommendations on statistical considerations to address the impact of COVID-19 on meeting objectives of clinical trials. This guidance applies to clinical trials of human medical products and animal drugs.
  • The FDA posted a new web page, Adverse Event Reporting for Medical Devices Under Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) or Discussed in COVID-19-Related Guidance Documents. This page answers questions about adverse event reporting for medical devices distributed under EUAs or that are the subject of COVID-19-related guidance documents and points out a number of adverse event reporting-related resources.
  • The FDA posted template updates regarding the validation of molecular diagnostic tests for developers that intend their assay to be used for pooling patient samples or for screening asymptomatic individuals not suspected of having COVID-19.
  • Yesterday, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced a two-month extension of its foreclosure and eviction moratorium through August 31st, for homeowners with FHA-insured Single Family mortgages. This extension provides additional security and peace of mind to homeowners that they will not lose their homes while they are trying to recover financially from COVID-19.
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details. Yesterday, the agency updated information about how the virus spreads, added additional resources to guide decisions about errands and going out, and revised the contact tracing page to incorporate COVIDTracer: A spreadsheet-based tool that allows state- and local-level public health officials and policy makers to compare between three different contact tracing/monitoring strategies.
  • The Department of Education issued an interim final rule for institutions of higher education to determine which individuals attending their institution are eligible to receive emergency financial aid grants to students under the CARES Act.
  • The following COVID-19 hearings are slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Wednesday (6/17) 10 AM Senate HELP, "Hearings to examine telehealth, focusing on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic."
    • Wednesday (6/17) 11:30 AM House Energy and Commerce, "Health Care Inequality: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 and the Health Care System."
    • Thursday (6/18) 9:30 AM Senate Foreign Relations, "COVID-19 and U.S. International Pandemic Preparedness, Prevention, and Response."
    • Thursday (6/18) 4 PM House Homeland Security, "Climbing Again: Stakeholder Views on Resuming Air Travel in the COVID-19 Era.”

 

Client News

  • As reported in the Detroit Free Press, Ford Motor Company is offering 30,000 U.S. employees the option to work from home for the rest of the year.  The full article is available here.

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

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We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 60,189, including 5,790 deaths.  This includes 4,058 cases and 68 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Michigan Legislature

The House of Representatives and Senate passed SB 690, sponsored by Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), on 108-0-1 and 38-0-0 votes this evening.  Items included in the COVID-19 supplemental appropriations bill include:

 

  • $120 million for direct care worker pay increases
  • $100 million for hazard pay for first responders
  • $29.1 million for Unemployment Insurance Agency staffing and technology
  • $10 million in MIOSHA response grants
  • $25 million for devices and internet access for low income students
  • $18 million for grants to school districts for programming, assessments, and health and safety expenditures

 

The full appropriations bill is attached.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced that, as part of Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start plan, Michigan schools may resume in-person learning.  She is also expected to release a “Michigan’s Return to School Roadmap” and sign a related executive order on June 30th.

 

The governor also extended a previous executive order allowing pharmacists to provide early refills for up to 90 days’ supply of certain drugs.  The order is attached.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • HHS published a new fact sheet to help explain Operation Warp Speed. The goal, according to the sheet, is to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics (collectively known as countermeasures). 
  • The Administration for Community Living posted updates to their COVID-19 resources dashboard, which includes guidance for grantees and tools for hospital visits. 
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance documents and details. Yesterday, the agency updated information about how the virus spreads, added additional resources to guide decisions about errands and going out, and revised the contact tracing page to incorporate COVIDTracer: A spreadsheet-based tool that allows state- and local-level public health officials and policy makers to compare between three different contact tracing/monitoring strategies.
  • In an emailed statement yesterday, the FDA said they are not currently aware of any evidence to suggest that food produced in the U.S. or imported from countries affected by COVID-19 can transmit the virus. 
  • The FDA revoked the EUA of the Chembio Diagnostic System, Inc. (Chembio) DPP COVID-19 IgM/IgG System, a SARS-CoV-2 antibody test, due to performance concerns with the accuracy of the test. Antibody tests, a type of serological test, can help provide information on a person’s and population’s exposure to COVID-19.
  • Yesterday, HUD awarded nearly $40 million in housing counseling grants to help over one million individuals and families access HUD-approved housing counseling to help them avoid foreclosure and make more informed homebuying and rental choices. According to Acting Federal Housing Commissioner Len Wolfson, “In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, HUD-approved counselors are there to assist millions of homeowners and renters nationwide and help them keep a roof over their heads.”
  • The House committee overseeing the federal response to the coronavirus crisis is launching a sweeping investigation into the country's five largest for-profit nursing home companies, demanding details about their structure, executive compensation, and preparedness for COVID-19.
  • Rep. Tom Rice (R-SC) has tested positive for COVID-19. 
  • The following COVID-19 hearings are slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Tuesday (6/16) 10 AM Senate Energy and Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on the energy industry."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 12 PM House Financial Services, "Cybercriminals and Fraudsters: How Bad Actors Are Exploiting the Financial System During the COVID-19 Pandemic."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 12 PM House Energy and Commerce, “Reviving our Economy: COVID-19’s Impact on the Energy Sector.”
    • Wednesday (6/17) 10 AM Senate HELP, "Hearings to examine telehealth, focusing on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic."
    • Wednesday (6/17) 11:30 AM House Energy and Commerce, "Health Care Inequality: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 and the Health Care System."
    • Thursday (6/18) 9:30 AM Senate Foreign Relations, "COVID-19 and U.S. International Pandemic Preparedness, Prevention, and Response."
    • Thursday (6/18) 4 PM House Homeland Security, "Climbing Again: Stakeholder Views on Resuming Air Travel in the COVID-19 Era.”

 

Client News

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

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We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 60,064, including 5,772 deaths.  This includes 4,059 cases and 68 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Michigan Legislature

As work on the FY20-21 budget continues, legislative and executive branch officials have indicated that they expect to push back the July 1st statutory deadline for a budget to be sent to the governor.  While State Budget Director Chris Kolb previously indicated that the deadline would need to be moved, Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas (R-Midland) has now said that he is sponsoring legislation with Senate Appropriations Committee Minority Vice Chairman Curtis Hertel, Jr. (D-East Lansing) to extend the deadline for this year.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced today that it will mandate “regular testing” of nursing home residents and staff for COVID-19.  The order comes amid increased scrutiny into COVID-19 in nursing homes, as well as the reporting of data for those facilities.

 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted restrictions imposed by a prior executive order on overnight residential, travel, and troop camps.  The lifting of restrictions goes into effect on June 15th.  The order is attached.

 

The governor also lifted the freeze on deadlines for statutes of limitations.  Beginning June 20th, statutes of limitations should be calculated normally.  This order is also attached.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • The NIH has posted updated guidelines for COVID-19 treatment. Some of the key updates to existing sections include considerations for children and potential antiviral drugs under evaluation, and there are a few new sections on acute kidney injury and renal placement therapy and testing for the virus. 
  • Here is last week’s COVIDView from CDC, a weekly summary and interpretation of key indicators that have been adapted to track the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.
  • At its first full briefing in over three months, the CDC released new guidance regarding COVID-19. The agency is urging organizers of large gatherings to "strongly encourage" the use of face masks. The new guidance also provides information about how to reduce risk of illness during everyday activities. The audio recording of today's telebriefing is available here
  • The CDC updated its dashboard with 22 new guidance documents and details Friday. Most recently, the agency posted updated guidance for deciding to go out and going out, some additional considerations for gatherings, and update guidance on caring for your family
  • The Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at HHS issued guidance on how the HIPAA Privacy Rule permits covered health care providers to contact their patients who have recovered from COVID-19 to inform them about how they can donate their blood and plasma containing antibodies to help other patients with COVID-19.
  • We are now looking ahead to COVID-19 hearings slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Monday (6/15) 12 PM House Education and Labor, "Budget Cuts and Lost Learning: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Public Education."
    • Monday (6/15) 12 PM House Intelligence, "Impact of COVID-19 on Sub-Saharan Africa."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 10 AM Senate Energy and Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on the energy industry."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 12 PM House Financial Services, "Cybercriminals and Fraudsters: How Bad Actors Are Exploiting the Financial System During the COVID-19 Pandemic."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 12 PM House Energy and Commerce, “Reviving our Economy: COVID-19’s Impact on the Energy Sector.”
    • Wednesday (6/17) 10 AM Senate HELP, "Hearings to examine telehealth, focusing on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic."
    • Wednesday (6/17) 11:30 AM House Energy and Commerce, "Health Care Inequality: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 and the Health Care System."
    • Thursday (6/18) 4 PM House Homeland Security, "Climbing Again: Stakeholder Views on Resuming Air Travel in the COVID-19 Era.”

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

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We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 59,496, including 5,737 deaths.  This includes 4,040 cases and 70 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Michigan Legislature

The legislature released a revised session schedule with additional summer session days in July, August, and September.  Those calendars are attached.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended previous executive orders suspending evictions and protecting populations in jails and juvenile detention centers.  The suspension of evictions lasts until June 30th, while jail protections are now set to expire on July 9th.  Both orders are attached.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • FDA issued an FDA Voices, titled Rare Disease Therapy Development and Access Remain Top FDA Priorities During COVID-19, which explains that the FDA’s work to advance treatments for rare diseases and help ensure continuity of care for patients with those diseases continues to be a top priority during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance and details. Yesterday, the agency posted updated guidance for pets and other animals, travel recommendations by country, and staffing resources for strengthening the public health workforce. 
  • The FDA posted FAQs to address questions related to the design, evaluation, labeling, and marketing of hospital beds, stretchers, and mattresses during the COVID-19 public health emergency.
  • Education Sec. Betsy DeVos issued an emergency rule barring colleges from granting COVID-19 relief funds to foreign and undocumented students, including tens of thousands protected under DACA. Under the emergency CARES legislation, colleges were directed to use half of the roughly $12.6 billion they received to fund emergency grants for students affected by campus closures to pay for expenses like food, housing, child care, and technology. Sec. DeVos says those funds can only be used for students who would normally qualify for federal student aid funds. 
  • Agriculture Sec. Sonny Perdue announced a waiver that allows local partners, who have been working overtime serving meals to kids during the health crisis, the ability to continue serving free meals to all children – regardless of where they live – for the remainder of the summer.
  • The White House notified staff yesterday that they could expect to be making a gradual return to campus soon. 
  • We are now looking ahead to COVID-19 hearings slated to place in Congress next week:
    • Monday (6/15) 12 PM House Education and Labor, "Budget Cuts and Lost Learning: Assessing the Impact of COVID-19 on Public Education."
    • Monday (6/15) 12 PM House Intelligence, "Impact of COVID-19 on Sub-Saharan Africa."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 10 AM Senate Energy and Natural Resources, "Hearings to examine the impacts of COVID-19 on the energy industry."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 12 PM House Financial Services, "Cybercriminals and Fraudsters: How Bad Actors Are Exploiting the Financial System During the COVID-19 Pandemic."
    • Tuesday (6/16) 12 PM House Energy and Commerce, “Reviving our Economy: COVID-19’s Impact on the Energy Sector.”
    • Wednesday (6/17) 10 AM Senate HELP, "Hearings to examine telehealth, focusing on lessons learned from the COVID-19 pandemic."
    • Wednesday (6/17) 11:30 AM House Energy and Commerce, "Health Care Inequality: Confronting Racial and Ethnic Disparities in COVID-19 and the Health Care System."
    • Thursday (6/18) 4 PM House Homeland Security, "Climbing Again: Stakeholder Views on Resuming Air Travel in the COVID-19 Era.”

 

Client News

  • Ford Motor Company, in cooperation with the Department of Defense, is delivering 200,000 face shields to U.S. military bases and areas where U.S. troops are deployed.

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

 

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We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 59,278, including 5,711 deaths.  This includes 4,025 cases and 69 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  A graph of the overall case trends is available here.

 

Michigan Legislature

State tax revenues for the month of May were nearly $200 million lower than expected after projections for the fiscal year were lowered last month.  The House Fiscal Agency reported School Aid Fund revenues of $749.4 million, or $129.7 million lower than projections.  General Fund revenues were $680.8 million, or $64.6 million less than projected.  The House Fiscal Agency noted that moving tax payment deadlines was having a major impact on when revenues would come in.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended a prior executive order.  The order allows for continued expansion of access and capacity of child care services to essential workers through July 7th.  The order is attached.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • HRSA announced additional distributions from the Provider Relief Fund to eligible Medicaid and CHIP providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs. HHS expects to distribute approximately $15 billion to eligible providers that participate in state Medicaid and CHIP programs and have not received a payment from the Provider Relief Fund General Allocation.
  • HHS also announced the distribution of $10 billion in Provider Relief Funds to safety net hospitals. This payment is going to hospitals that serve a disproportionate number of Medicaid patients or provide large amounts of uncompensated care. The safety net distribution will occur this week and will be sent directly to these hospitals via direct deposit. More information about eligibility and the application process is available here
  • CMS released a guide for patients and beneficiaries as they consider their in-person care options. During the pandemic, many healthcare systems and patients postponed non-emergency, in-person care in order to keep patients and providers safe and to ensure capacity to care for COVID-19 patients. As cases of COVID-19 decline, CMS chose to provide these recommendations to ensure that non-emergency healthcare resumes safely and that patients are receiving needed in-person treatment that may have been postponed due to the public health emergency. Yesterday’s recommendations can be found here.
  • HUD Sec. Ben Carson announced the allocation of $2.96 billion in Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) funding to support homeless Americans and individuals at risk of becoming homeless because of hardships such as job loss, wage reduction, or illness due to COVID-19. This funding is in addition to $1 billion of ESG grants announced after the CARES Act was passed. View state and territory funding allocations here.
  • FDA published two new web pages to help the public access information: (1) Innovation to Respond to COVID-19 provides an overview of FDA’s innovative approaches to respond to COVID-19 as quickly and safely as possible and (2) Educational Resources provides links to FDA-produced COVID-19-related resources that help explain FDA’s work.
  • Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN), Chairman of the Senate HELP Committee, released a 40-page white paper titled “Preparing for the Next Pandemic.” In the paper, Sen. Alexander identifies five priorities: accelerating research and development of tests, treatments, and vaccines; expanding disease surveillance capability; rebuilding the Strategic National Stockpile; beefing up state and local public health departments; and improving coordination of federal agencies during a public health emergency.
  • The CDC continues to update its dashboard with new guidance and details. Yesterday, the agency posted updated guidance for those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, or caring for young children, new suggestions for youth and summer camps, and the most recent travel recommendations by country.
  • The GAO released a report titled 2020 Census: COVID-19 Presents Delays and Risks to Census Count, which discusses the setbacks the Census faced due to the pandemic. 
  • There are multiple COVID-19 hearings slated to place in Congress this week:
    • Wednesday (6/10) 10 AM Senate HELP: Hearings to examine COVID-19, focusing on going back to school safely.
    • Wednesday (6/10) 12 PM House Financial Services: The Rent Is Still Due: America's Renters, COVID-19 and an Unprecedented Eviction Crisis.
    • Wednesday (6/10) 12 PM House Oversight: No Worker Left Behind: Supporting Essential Workers.
    • Thursday (6/11) 1 PM House Administration: The Impact of COVID-19 on Voting Rights and Election Administration: Ensuring Safe and Fair Elections.
    • Thursday (6/11) 1 PM House Appropriations: Indian Health Service COVID-19 Response.
    • Thursday (6/11) 2 PM House VA: Assessing VA's Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic: 90 Days Later.

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 57,731, including 5,553 deaths.  This includes 3,965 cases and 70 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.  The 37 new deaths include 11 previous deaths identified during a vital records review.

 

Michigan Legislature

The House Appropriations Committee moved SB 690, sponsored by Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), to the floor today.  Changes to the legislation were made in committee, including the addition of $200 million for a small business restart grant program and $500 million to an unemployment insurance stabilization fund.  More details will be provided as they become available.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today recissions of several executive orders.  Executive orders being rescinded include extension of FOIA deadlines, suspension of requirements for emergency medical services, and prohibitions on some visitations in hospitals.  The recission is attached, along with an MDHHS order on healthcare facility visitations.

 

Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson is scheduled to testify remotely before the U.S. House Committee on Judiciary’s Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties.  The hearing is titled “Protecting the Right to Vote During the COVID-19 Pandemic.”  Secretary Benson’s prepared testimony is attached.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

  • NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins said in a blog post that warmer weather is unlikely to stop the spread of COVID-19. Dr. Collins emphasized that, while some lab experiments have suggested that increased heat and humidity might reduce the visibility of the virus in a similar way to other coronaviruses, COVID-19 is different. 
  • The CDC posted updated information for parents about Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) associated with COVID-19. 
  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the CDC issued guidance for recommended actions to protect agriculture workers from COVID-19 exposure. The guidance includes screening workers for virus symptoms, installing plastic barriers when distances of six feet between individuals are not possible, and encouraging workers to use cloth face coverings in certain circumstances.
  • FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn and Deputy Commissioner for Food and Policy Response Frank Yiannas published a piece in "FDA Voices" about food safety post-COVID. 
  • The FDA held a virtual Town Hall today at 12:15 PM for clinical laboratories and commercial manufacturers that are developing or have developed diagnostic tests for COVID-19. The purpose of this Town Hall is to help answer technical questions about the development and validation of tests for COVID-19. 
  • Please continue to check the CDC dashboard where they post updated guidance daily. 
  • The CDC and ASPR have developed five COVID-19 Pandemic Planning Scenarios that are designed to help inform decisions by modelers and public health officials who utilize mathematical modeling. The planning scenarios are being used by the Federal government. Models developed using the data provided in the planning scenarios can help evaluate the potential effects of different community mitigation strategies (e.g., social distancing). The planning scenarios may also be useful to hospital administrators in assessing resource needs and can be used in conjunction with the COVID-19Surge Tool.
  • There are multiple COVID-19 hearings set for this week:
  • Republicans have started putting together their priorities for the next COVID-19 supplemental appropriations bill. Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO) said it is unlikely that the Senate will move for another recovery package in June and will probably wait for July to act. 

 

Client News

  • Wayne State University announced the creation of a National De-escalation Training Center, with the headquarters on its campus.  The center will be used to train police officers in de-escalation methods.  More information is available here.
  • The governor announced appointees to the newly formed COVID-19 Return to School Advisory Council.  Members include Justin Michalak, assistant superintendent for special education for Macomb ISD, and Anupam Chugh Sidhu, instructional technology manager for Wayne RESA.

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

 

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 57,731, including 5,553 deaths.  This includes 3,965 cases and 70 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

Michigan Legislature

The House Appropriations Committee is expected to take up SB 690 tomorrow.  The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jim Stamas (R-Midland), appropriates coronavirus funds given to the state by the federal government.  The Senate Fiscal Agency analysis is attached.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gave testimony today to the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations.  During her testimony, the governor told members that the state’s efforts to test Michigan were being held back by supply issues with the federal government.  Issues have included inconsistent deliveries, as well as unreliable information on what would be included in deliveries.  The governor also indicated more federal assistance for state and local governments would be necessary.  Her full prepared testimony is attached.

 

The governor issued an executive order designed to protect migrant agricultural workers.  The order, among other things, requires that beds be spaced at least six feet apart and that separate isolation housing for COVID-19-positive workers.  The order is attached.

 

The Michigan Department of Treasury announced that limited bottle deposit operations would re-start on June 15th.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

 

Client News

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

 

Please reach out if you have any questions and we will continue to keep you apprised of further updates.

 

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Dear Clients and Friends,

 

We hope you and your families are managing well and doing your best to stay safe and healthy during this uncertain time.  The total number of cases in the state has risen to 57,397, including 5,491 deaths.  This includes 3,933 cases and 69 deaths within the Michigan Department of Corrections.

 

Michigan Executive and State Departments

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced today that she would be lifting the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order, and moving the state to Phase 4 of her “MI Safe Start” plan, effective immediately.  Regions 6 and 8 will be moved to Phase 5 later in the week.  Outdoor groups of up to 100 people will be permitted.  Several sectors of the economy would also be re-opened, including:

 

  • Effective June 4, retailers may begin to re-open with capacity limits.
  • Effective June 8, restaurants, bars, and children’s camps may re-open at 50% capacity indoors and six foot distancing outdoors.
  • Effective June 8, libraries and museums may re-open subject to rules governing retail stores.
  • Workers in office settings may return to work.
  • House cleaning and in-home services.
  • Drive-in movies.
  • Public swimming pools may re-open at 50% capacity.

 

The governor issued other executive orders as well.  Two orders extend existing health guidelines for grocery stores and pharmacies.  All orders are attached.

 

Gov. Whitmer is expected to testify tomorrow before a Congressional panel, where she will give more information on the state’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak.  The governor will appear remotely for a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee.  The hearing is titled “On the Front Lines: How Governors are Battling the COVID-19 Pandemic” and will begin at 11:30 a.m. on Tuesday.

 

The U.S. Department of Justice filed a statement of interest in support of a federal lawsuit against the governor.  The lawsuit, which was filed by seven businesses in the state, challenges the restrictions imposed by Gov. Whitmer through executive order.  The DOJ’s full statement is available here.

 

Federal

Our colleagues at Cornerstone Government Affairs in Washington, D.C. have highlighted some updates on the federal level:

 

 

Client News

  • The Historical Society of Michigan is working to raise funds for Museums damaged by flooding the Midland area.  More information is available here.

 

Other

 

As things develop involving the COVID-19 outbreak in Michigan, please continue to share with us your organization’s developments.  Let us know how we can assist with distributing both good news and important information to government stakeholders.

 

The state’s MI Safe Start Map dashboard is available here.  Subscribe to the State of Michigan’s COVID-19 website here.  The state is also operating a coronavirus hotline at (888) 535-6136.  The U.S. Centers for Disease Control updates information and resources here.

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