• As new information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus) emerges, the Petoskey Chamber is working closely with Traverse Connect to share the most current updates for our community and businesses. As national and state legislative developments relevant to business emerge, we will share that information here. 

    As of Friday, March 13 President Trump declared a national emergency, opening access to up to $50B. On Tuesday, March 10 Governor Whitmer declared a state of emergency in response to two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan at the time. Through the declaration of a state of emergency, the state can maximize efforts to assist local governments to help to slow the spread of the virus.  As of February 3, the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center has also been activated and has been working diligently with local health departments, health systems, and medical providers throughout Michigan to make sure appropriate screening and preparations for COVID-19 are being made. 

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  • Summary of Latest Congressional Action on Coronavirus Response

    On March 14, the House of Representatives passed the U.S. Chamber of Commerce supported, Families First Coronavirus Response Act. President Trump has announced his support for the bill and it is expected to pass the Senate early next week. Secretary Mnuchin has announced that there will be additional technical corrections to the bill as soon as Monday.

    Below is a summary of the bill coverage.
    • Unemployment Compensation
    • Paid Sick Leave
    • Paid Family and Medical Leave
    • Provisions for Diagnostic Testing
    • Health Services
    • School Nutrition Programs, WIC, SNAP, Senior Food Programs
    • Medical Devices Liability
    • Discussion of Liquidity Impact for Small Businesses

    Download the full overview here.

  • Additional state response includes: 

    • The Governor issued an Executive Directive that all public bodies of departments and agencies of the state, including boards, commissions, committees, subcommittees, authorities, and councils must consider postponing public meetings that may be moved to a later time. Additionally, department and agency public bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act that must continue to meet must do so in a way that ensures adequate notice and access for all participants. This could include remote participation by conference call, real-time streaming, or other platforms, so long as public access and participation is preserved.
    • Starting at 5 pm on Friday, March 13 through Sunday, April 5, the Governor has prohibited the gathering of all assemblages of more than 250 people in a single shared space and all events of more than 250 people. Exemptions are given for industrial or manufacturing work, mass transit, or the purchase of groceries or consumer goods.
    • The Governor calling for the cancellation or postponement of large gatherings, conferences, and sporting events (e.g. events with over 100 people). (In nationwide COVID-19 news, some communities are encouraging individuals to avoid gatherings of more than 50.)
    • Starting Monday, March 16, all schools are ordered closed until April 5. 
    • As of Thursday, March 12, a supplemental budget bill that includes $25M in state COVID-19 response funding, and authorization to spend $50M in federal funds, is headed to the Governor.
    • Also on Thursday, March 12, the Governor announced that her administration will expand access to telemedicine by immediately allowing Medicaid beneficiaries to receive services in their home.
    • It should be noted that insurance plans like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Care Network of Michigan, Priority Health, Meridian, CVS Health, McLaren, and Health Alliance Plan also announced that they will cover and encourage the use of virtual care and telemedicine, as well as waive cost-sharing for COVID-19 testing. 
    • State Capitol tours and events are suspended until May 1.
    • Senate committee hearings are to continue as needed and after the week of 3/15, the Senate will weekly evaluate the need for session. 
    • Certain House and Senate staff, such as those over 60 and vulnerable individuals/those with underlying health conditions, may or are required to work from home.
    • Subscribe to Michigan Department of Health and Human Services updates on COVID-19 to stay up-to-date on the state’s response. 
    • Sign up for the Governor’s updates to stay current on Michigan’s response.
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