It took about three hours for the House of Representatives to vote on extending Michigan’s Emergency Declaration. This is because not all the members could enter the house at the same time due to COVID-19 restrictions. However the representatives were able to meet and the vote passed granting a 23-day extension to Governor Whitmer’s Emergency Declaration. The house will remain adjourned until April 16th. This was the first legislative session day since March 17th.
Rochester Hills company Prefix, is working to provide medical face shields for first responders and health care workers. Prefix usually focuses on concept vehicles, design mock-ups, and prototypes. But they’ve re-tooled and purchased over 6,000 pounds of materials. Their goal was to create a face shield with more durability, that could last longer in the field.
Governor Whitmer announced that Henry Ford Hospital and Beaumont Health will run out of N95 respirator masks by the end of the week. Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland counties have compromised 80% of the state’s confirmed coronavirus cases, and those numbers of cases are expected to peak this week. Face shields are expected to run out before the week ends, with surgical gowns and other PPE stock looking like it will dwindle in less than 10 days.
Officer Gail Jasak of the Troy Police Department has decided to try her hand at helping the local healthcare facilities by making masks. According to Jasak, “There’s been so many stories about healthcare workers and hospitals that needed theses masks. So I thought well I had some extra materials, I have fabric and elastic. I said why not try it out.” The Troy Police Officer is not alone in her endeavors as individuals and companies in the metro Detroit area are taking it upon themselves to try and stem the tide of extremely low PPE counts in the health care industry. The masks made by Gail Jasak were delivered to ER staff at Beaumont. Officer Jasak is an 11-year veteran at the department.
The majority of recreation areas, state parks, boating access sites, and state-managed trails have stayed open with modified services and some closed amenities. The DNR continues to monitor visitation of these areas and adherence to Governor Whitmer’s executive order. Closings and access limitations can and will happen if concerns build. Visit the michigan.gov/coronavirus page for more information.
John Fox, Beaumont Hosptials CEO, is reporting over 1,000 cases of COVID-19 patients in its facilities and urging other medical facilities to share more comprehensive data with each other and the general public. Mr. Fox confirmed that around half of the patients in the Beaumont Hospitals who are tested for coronavirus are testing positive. This stresses the need for accurate data, yet it is undoubtedly true that southeast Michigan is the state’s epicenter for COVID-19.
Dr. Anthony Fauci echoed the message delivered by Governor Whitmer and Dr. Khaldun, that social distancing and the stay-at-home order is working to slow the spread of coronavirus. He goes on to warn we all must remain committed to doing what we can to battle the virus and that we’re far from claiming victory over this enemy. Check out this article from the Detroit Free Press for full coverage.
By Independence Day of this year, Ford has promised to produce 50,000 ventilator units from their Rawsonville Plant. Their current production rate is two-per-day, and they plan on getting that to 7,000 per day. GM is also attempting to build ventilators and bringing back hundreds of workers. Multiple protective and safety measures are being put in place to protect the employees as they return to work to manufacture the much needed ventilator units.
Four planes took off from Oakland County International Airport en route to Muncie, Indiana. Their mission: pick up over 12,000 medical face shields for health care workers. The idea came from Michigan Seaplane flight school owner Cran Jones. Mr. Jones not only helped with the delivery of the medical supplies, he also helped develop the prototype and manufacturing of the face shields. The pilots flew the precious cargo from Muncie to Willow Run Airport in Ypsilanti so they can be distributed. You can read the full story here.
Only one week after Bill Ford announced that Ford Motor Company would mobilize as part of the “arsenal of health,” the Detroit automaker has manufactured and shipped 1,000,000 face masks to coronavirus hotspots around the country, including nearly 200,000 masks to New York and New Jersey. The full story is reported on WDIV’s clickondetroit.com.
West Bloomfield’s Stage Deli is open and taking orders for Seder, the Jewish holiday marking the beginning of Passover. In addition to Seder, Stage Deli is open for lunch and dinner. You can find Stage Deli in the Civic Center TV Carryout Club and read the interview with owner Steve Goldberg here on WXYZ.com.
To help beleaguered food banks deal with spikes in demand due to the coronavirus, the Michigan National Guard has deployed member to assist at locations in Ann Arbor, Pontiac, Comstock Park, Flint and, most recently, Royal Oak. Read the full article from MLive for complete details.
In his weekly column, appearing in the Detroit Free Press, Mitch Albom calls on all of us to find that one small idea that will keep us happy during the pandemic, and calls on everyone to be the best version of themselves during these most trying times.
Dr. Brix, of the White House coronavirus task force, announced Sunday that they expect Detroit to reach the peak of COVID-19 infections within six to seven days. Fortunately the White House believes a decrease is expected to follow the peak. Unfortunately Wayne and Oakland county have been the hardest hit in Michigan and will most likely be victim to the bulk of this week’s peak.
Yesterday evening Governor Whitmer held a town hall with Detroit’s three biggest TV stations. The broadcast was a state first and could be viewed on FOX 2 Detroit, ABC 7 Action News, NBC Local 4, CBS 62, and Detroit Public TV. The COVID-19 conversation included such topics as closing schools, dealing with city utilities, digital learning, the economy, coronavirus testing, and data analysis. Watch the full town hall conversation.
Researchers at Michigan State University seem to have found a way to decontaminate N95 masks used to protect against the coronavirus. The process involves “baking” the masks with forced heated air in commercial ovens, and according to researchers, seems to be working. This could have a huge impact in the health care community, considering the current country-wide shortages on masks. MUS executive vice president, Norman Beauchamp Jr says, “this process is a game-changer in that it can decontaminate masks for use at least 20 times, thereby increasing the mask supply by 20 times.”
If the federal government doesn’t have your direct deposit information you may have to wait until mid-August or later to receive your COVID-19 stimulus check. According to the House Ways and Means Committee, the IRS will directly deposit close to 60 million payments during the week of April 13th. They will begin issuing 5 million paper checks per week, starting the week of May 4th.
Yesterday late afternoon, Sheriff Bouchard held a tele-town hall to talk about COVID-19 in Oakland County. As of then there have been 119 deaths and 2,183 confirmed cases of the virus in our county. Sadly this number will continue to rise each day. Sheriff Bouchard said they will be relaxing some enforcement on traffic-related reasons because SOS offices are still closed.
Organizers all over Oakland County are hosting meal delivery and pickup locations during the outbreak. This article has a full list of where to find safe meals for seniors, vulnerable individuals, and children. As of now you can find these locations in Auburn Hills, Berkley, Birmingham, Bloomfield Hills, Clarkston, Farmington Hills, Holly, Madison Heights, Oxford, Pontiac, Rochester Hills, Royal Oak, South Lyon, Southfield, Troy, and Waterford. There are also a few restaurants helping out as well.
Michigan citizens keep getting placed on the help page and some have been trying for over a week to file for unemployment due to the COVID-19 outbreak. It is clear that the system is overwhelmed as the average amount of claims per week went from 5,000 to well over 100,000. It is recommended that you wait a few days, and try to access during off hours. Some measures are being planned to help remedy the situation.