Covid-19 info

We are going through a generational event right now – which is impacting every aspect of our country, from the health of our families, to our healthcare system, to our economy. These changes have been new and difficult, and our office is committed to doing everything we can to ease the burden on 8th district families.

 

If you still have questions after reviewing tjhe below information, please feel free to contact our office by calling 517-993-0510 with questions about federal initiatives. For more information on state-level efforts and resources, please visit the state of Michigan COVID-19 page here. You can also call the Michigan COVID-19 hotline at 1-888-535-6136 or email COVID19@michigan.gov with questions or concerns. 

 

To receive COVID-19 resources by email, please subscribe to my e-newsletter.

To opt-in to our tele-town halls go to Slotkin.house.gov/live

 

The latest health guidance:

 

In order to deal with this unprecedented pandemic, an equally unprecedented response has been required at the local, state, and federal levels. Our state has taken significant and necessary steps to respond to the coronavirus outbreak, which you can read more about on the state of Michigan’s COVID-19 website

 

State agencies are leading the charge on implementing many of the federal initiatives that have been created or expanded to address the coronavirus outbreak. If you believe your employer is failing to take the proper precautions to protect employees from exposure to the coronavirus, you can learn how to file a complaint with the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA). 


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is constantly providing updated guidance on how to best protect you and your loved ones. To see the most up-to-date medical guidance, please visit the CDC’s coronavirus page here.

 

Resources on testing

To learn more about where testing is available, check out this online tool through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, that allows you to find a COVID-19 testing site near you.

 

Federal legislation:


To date, the federal government has signed five, major pieces of legislation into law to respond to the coronavirus outbreak:

(1) The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act (H.R. 6074), which provided $8.3 billion to address the country’s immediate needs such as funding for state and local health agencies, developing vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, and loans for small businesses.

(2) The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (H.R. 6201), which expanded emergency paid sick leave, emergency paid family leave, unemployment assistance, and nutrition assistance.

(3) The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (H.R. 748), which provided over $2.2 trillion dollars to address the financial hardship and economic fallout resulting from the coronavirus outbreak. 

(4) The Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act (H.R. 266), which provided $483 billion in additional funding to support the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) Program, COVID-19 testing efforts, and healthcare organizations providing diagnoses, testing, or care for individuals with COVID-19.

(5) The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act (H.R. 7010), which implements a number of changes to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that are critically important to business owners across our district.

 
The President has also signed multiple Executive Orders regarding COVID relief on the payroll tax, student loans, unemployment, and evictions
 

Additional proposals for COVID-19 Relief

As you may know, negotiations between the House, the Senate, and the White House have thus far failed to produce a sixth coronavirus relief package. Simply put, I believe the failure to reach a deal is unacceptable. When Americans elect their leaders, they expect them to be able to put party labels aside when the moment demands that they find common ground and reach a compromise. It is why I was proud to join the Problem Solvers Caucus and a group of Senators in unveiling a bipartisan, bicameral framework for emergency relief on December 1, 2020, to break the gridlock and push the sides back to the negotiating table. Our proposal provides:

 

  • $16 billion for vaccine development and distribution as well as testing and tracing, vital components of any plan to reopen the economy

  • $180 billion for state unemployment insurance that would restart a weekly supplement of $300 for four months

  • $288 billion to support small businesses by restarting the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), funding the Economic Impact Disaster Loan (EIDL), and providing assistance to restaurants and live venue stages

  • $82 billion to support students and maintain access to education as well as $10 billion specifically for childcare

  • $160 billion for state, local, and tribal governments to cover lost revenues as a result of COVID-19 

  • $35 billion to support healthcare providers as they adapt to the pandemic through tele-health and other methods

  • $45 billion for the transportation industry, including the airlines, airports, buses, transit systems, and Amtrak lines that Michiganders depend on

  • $26 billion for nutrition assistance and agricultural programs

  • $25 billion for rental and housing assistance

  • $10 billion to expand broadband internet access, an important provision for rural areas of our district

  • $10 billion for the United States Postal Service

  • $5 billion for opioid addiction treatment

  • $4 billion for student loan relief

 

Personal Protective Equipment:

One of Congresswoman Slotkin's top priorities has been ensuring that our healthcare and essential workers have access to the personal protective equipment (PPE) they so desperately need. Our nurses, doctors, first responders, and other essential workers are on the front lines of this crisis — and in the early days of the pandemic, too many were heading into battle without proper gear. At the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, our office was flooded by frantic calls and emails on a daily basis from essential workers begging for help. Our hospitals and frontline workers simply did not have the protective equipment necessary to keep them safe. Without protective gear, they were risking their lives to save others.

 

Unfortunately, our supply chains and the systems we need to get through this crisis have failed us. The Strategic National Stockpile, a repository of masks, gloves, gowns, and other equipment, was unable to handle the massive demand. When orders of PPE arrived from the strategic national stockpile the supplies were often expired and in some cases even molding. Over time, the complex medical supply chain we have in this country has been outsourced to other countries, and in mid-March, a state versus state bidding war had broken out that was exploited by price-gouging foreign companies selling critical medical supplies. Very quickly, Congresswoman Slotkin began doing everything she could to secure personal protective equipment for Michigan — calling dozens of mask manufacturers, negotiating with suppliers in China, and fighting for each and every shipment.

 

The experience of chasing down leads to secure PPE shook Congresswoman Slotkin to her core, and that’s why she got to work with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to draft comprehensive legislation to ensure that America is better prepared for the next pandemic –– or the next phase of COVID. My bipartisan bill, the Strengthening America’s Strategic National Stockpile Act, makes several important fixes to our national stockpile of medical supplies: it requires constant upkeep to make sure items aren’t expired and it helps reduce our dependence on foreign suppliers by incentivizing production of critical medical supplies right here in America.

 

Congresswoman Slotkin's bill was passed unanimously by the House on September 21, 2020 with bipartisan support, and she is continuing to work with partners in the Senate to help ensure it gets passed and signed into law.

 

 

Unemployment Assistance:

 

 

If you lose your job during the coronavirus outbreak, you can apply for unemployment assistance here or by calling (866) 500-0017. Both business owners and employees are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits. You can find a full, step-by-step guide to doing so here.

Self-employed workers, gig workers, 1099-independent contractors, and low-wage workers can apply for benefits here. If you have already applied for unemployment benefits and have been denied, you should login to your Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) account to complete the next steps. You should not file a new claim, as that may delay the time it takes to get your benefits. More information about expanded eligibility can be found here. Once you have filed a claim or scheduled a phone appointment, please note that incoming calls from a UIA agent will come from the number 866-500-0017.

 

 

Small Business Assistance:

 

 

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) call center stands ready to support businesses looking for assistance through other available state programs. For more information, visit MEDC’s website or call 888-522-0103. The Michigan Small Business Development Center has also compiled a list of resources on their website for small businesses impacted by the coronavirus, which you can access here.

In addition, Michigan small businesses and nonprofits experiencing a temporary loss of revenue due to COVID-19 may be able to obtain relief through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program on the Small Business Administration website. These loans are designed to assist businesses struggling to meet their financial obligations by providing up to six months of working capital to cover costs such as employee health care benefits, rent, utilities. 

Until the program expired on August 8, 2020, the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act provided vital funding for the SBA to guarantee loans to small businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). These PPP loans could be used to cover payroll costs, health care benefits, employee salaries, mortgage payments, rent, and more. The program also included a loan forgiveness component for businesses that retain their workers or rehire ones that were laid off as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. While the PPP program has expired, I am doing everything in my power to ensure that Congress reauthorizes this vital federal funding before Christmas, so that small businesses have clarity on the loan forgiveness process and the deductibility of forgiven PPP loan expenses. In the meantime, the EIDL program remains open and continues to accept applications on the SBA website.

 

Federal Nutrition Assistance Programs:

 

To apply for nutrition assistance, visit the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services SNAP webpage and the WIC webpage.

As the coronavirus outbreak continues to take an economic toll on Michigan families, I am committed to supporting the federal nutrition assistance programs that are so important to ensuring everyone in our district has enough to eat. That is why I am so proud that the Families First Coronavirus Response Act included over $1 billion in emergency supplemental funding for a number of federal nutrition assistance programs, and expanded eligibility under the SNAP program to include households with children who would have otherwise received free or reduced-price meals at school. In addition, the CARES Act authorized $25 billion in emergency funding for food assistance programs, with $18 billion specifically set aside for child nutrition to supplement school lunches and summer meals. 

 

Emergency Paid Sick Leave:

 

Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act, workers at companies with fewer than 500 employees are eligible to receive paid sick leave for issues related to the coronavirus, including adhering to quarantine requirements or medical advice, obtaining a medical diagnosis, and caring for an individual who is sick or in quarantine or for a child whose school or day care has closed due to coronavirus. Employees can request this sick leave from their employers if they meet the conditions listed until the program expires on December 31, 2020. Workers are required to be paid at least their normal compensation if they themselves are sick or two-thirds of their compensation if they are providing care to another individual or child. In exchange, employers will receive a tax credit to offset 100% of the costs associated with providing this paid sick leave, up to $511 per day if the employee themselves are sick and up to $200 per day if the employee is caring for someone else.

 
 

Emergency Paid Family and Medical Leave:

 

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act also created an emergency paid leave program that similarly expires at the end of the year. Workers at companies with fewer than 500 employees can request up to 12 weeks of job-protected leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). Employees who are adhering to quarantine requirements or medical advice, obtaining a medical diagnosis, caring for an individual who is sick or in quarantine, or caring for a child whose school or day care has closed due to the coronavirus are eligible for this paid leave from their employers. During this time, workers will be compensated at two-thirds of their normal compensation (after the first two weeks). Employers will receive a tax credit to offset 100% of the costs associated with providing this paid family leave, up to $200 per day. 

 

For more information about paid sick leave and paid family and medical leave tax credits for employers, you can visit the IRS webpage. Similarly, if you believe that you or someone you know is being denied these benefits, the Department of Labor has trained professionals that may be able to assist you if you call (313) 309-4500.

 
 

Student Loan Support:

The CARES Act automatically suspended payments on all federally-owned student loans throughSeptember 30, 2020. No interest will accrue on these loans during this suspension. All involuntary collection of federal student loan debt – including wage garnishment and tax refund offsets – was also suspended through September by the CARES Act. More recently, the president signed an executive order that extended this relief on student loan payments until the end of 2020. Lastly, you may be interested to know that the bipartisan, bicameral proposal released by the Problem Solvers Caucus and a group of Senators on December 1, 2020, would provide $4 billion in student loan relief.

 

Borrowers should check their accounts online to understand their eligibility. You can find more information about the provisions of the CARES Act that pertain to K-12 or secondary education here

 
 

K-12 Education

 

On June 30, 2020, Governor Whitmer released MI Safe Schools: Michigan’s 2020-21 Return to School Roadmap (The Roadmap). The Roadmap was developed by the Return to School Advisory Council, which included educators, administrators, elected officials, parents, students, and public health offices from across the state, and the COVID-19 Task Force on Education. The Roadmap lays out required and strongly recommended safety protocols to keep students, teachers, and communities safe during the school year based on the status of the coronavirus and the region of Michigan in which a school operates. It is important to note that many decisions about school reopenings are being decided at the local level in order to best suit the community’s needs. That being said, I recognize the need for federal education funding to supplement these efforts, and I am pushing for educational support and expanded broadband access to be included in any future coronavirus relief package.

 
 

Additional Resources

 

Renter and homeowner protections:

Homeowners with certain types of mortgages – including  FHA, VA, USDA, and 184/184A mortgages or mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac – will be protected by a four month moratorium on foreclosures and are eligible for up to a year of forbearance on their mortgage payments if they are experiencing financial hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Missed payments must still be paid at the end of this forbearance, so borrowers are encouraged to continue paying as usual if they are able to do so. For more information, visit the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau website.

Governor Whitmer has signed an executive order temporarily suspending evictions during COVID-19. More information on this order can be found here. Governor Whitmer has also partnered with Michigan’s financial institutions to address the needs of residential mortgage loan borrowers. You can find out more about the MI Mortgage Relief Partnership, including a list of participating financial institutions and the types of relief being offered, by clicking here.

The Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency has a HUD-certified counselor on staff and is continuing to provide housing counseling services for resident of Oakland and Livingston counties via phone and internet. If you would like assistance understanding your mortgage options during this crisis, please contact OLHSA’s Housing Counseling department by email at housingcounseling@olhsa.org, or by leaving a message on our intake phone at 517-546-8500 x4104. Please keep in mind that all calls will be returned, as staff is not in the office to answer directly.

 

Utilities

DTE is extending shut-off protections and offering billing assistance. Call 1-800-477-4747. 

Consumers Energy has suspended shutoffs for non-pay for low-income and senior customers beginning through April 5, 2020. (That time frame could be adjusted depending on the spread and severity of the virus.) Senior citizens and qualified low-income customers already enrolled in CE’s Winter Protection Program have already had their end dates extended through May 3, 2020, without any additional actions required on their part. All customers who need help paying their energy bill should call 1-800-477-5050 to discuss their options.

Lansing Board of Water Light (BWL) has suspended ALL electric and water shutoffs until further notice. The Customer service number is 517-702-6006

 

 

For veterans:

The VA is recommending that veterans call the closest VA medical facility if they have symptoms or request a telehealth appointment through the VA’s website.

Contact information for 8th district veterans services:

  • Lansing South VA Clinic: 1 (517) 267-3925
  • Ann Arbor VA Medical Center: 1 (734) 769-7100
  • Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency: 1-800-642-4838
  • Ingham County Veterans Affairs: (517) 887-4331
  • Livingston County Veterans Services: (517) 546-6338
  • Oakland County Veterans Services: (248) 858-0785
  • Volunteers of America - Supportive Services for Veterans and Families
  • John Eynon: 1 (517) 899-6002 - jeynon@voami.org
 

For seniors

A number of resources are dedicated to serving seniors in our district. If you live in Livingston or Oakland County, you can contact the Area Agency on Aging at 800-852-7795 or by visiting them online here. If you are a senior living in Ingham County, you can contact the Tri-County Office on Aging at 517-887-11440 or by visiting them online here. Both agencies can connect seniors with Meals on Wheels, among other services.

Contact information for organizations serving seniors:

  • Livingston County Senior Nutrition Program: (888) 886-8971 or (810) 632-2155
  • Older Persons’ Commission: (248) 608-0264. Service area: Northeast Oakland County, including: Addison Township, Auburn Hills, Brandon Township, Clarkston, Independence Township, Lake Angelus, Leonard, Oakland Township, Orion Township, Oxford Township, Rochester and Rochester Hills.
  • Western Oakland County Meal On Wheels: (888) 886-8971 or (810) 632-2155. Service area: Bloomfield Hills, Bloomfield Township, Commerce Twp., Groveland, Highland, Holly, Keego Harbor, Lyon Township, Village of Milford, Milford Township, Northville, Novi, Orchard Lake, Rose Township, South Lyon, Springfield Township, Sylvan Lake, White Lake, Walled Lake, West Bloomfield, and Wixom
  • Greater Lansing Area Meals on Wheels: 517-887-1460Service Area:  Lansing, East Lansing, Haslett & Okemos
  • Rural Ingham Meals on Wheels: 517-676-2775. Service Area: Holt, Mason, Williamston, Webberville, Stockbridge, Leslie, Dansville and Onondaga

 

Grocery Delivery

The North Oakland Transportation Authority (NOTA) is offering free pick-up service of groceries/essentials that have been paid for using store pick-up services at the Meijer in Oxford, at Kroger stores on Lapeer Rd. (M-24), and at Waldon and Baldwin roads in Orion Twp. Please note: Must be a resident of Oxford, Addison, or Orion townships, or Villages of Oxford, Leonard, or Lake Orion. NOTA will not be shopping for, or paying for, any items, only picking up and delivering. Call (248) 693-7100

 

Mental health

As we focus on keeping physically healthy during this crisis, we cannot forget about the need for mental health support in our community. MDHHS has stood up a statewide mental health “warmline” for anyone who needs support during this time. Call 888-PEER-753 (888-733-7753) to be connected to a certified peer support specialist.

 

Individuals in crisis are urged to contact the Disaster Distress Helpline 24/7 at 800-985-5990 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 800-273-8255.

 

 

 

Consumer information:

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order on March 15 to protect consumers against price gouging during the crisis. You can report potential price-gouging to the Michigan Attorney General online or by calling 877-765-8388

 

For constituents and visitors:

Congresswoman Slotkin’s offices in Washington, Rochester and Lansing are on enhanced telework policies to help reduce the risk of spreading coronavirus, but they are still working full time to serve you. See how to contact Congresswoman Slotkin at https://slotkin.house.gov/contact

 

Because of coronavirus, tours of the U.S. Capitol have been halted and access to some areas of the Capitol complex is restricted.

 

Newsletters and tele-town halls:

We have been holding tele-townhalls to provide updates on the coronavirus and answer your questions. We will continue to hold tele-town halls in the coming weeks, so stay tuned for opportunities to join our next call. If you would like to be first to know about our next town hall, sign up here. If you weren’t able to join for our latest call, you can listen to a recording of it here. If you want to sign up for our email updates with resources, click here
 
 

How to volunteer:

There are many volunteer opportunities to join the fight against COVID-19. If you have time to help your fellow Michiganders, the state has also set up an online portal –– michigan.gov/fightcovid19 –– with volunteer opportunities. You can also find out how to make financial or material donations and how to donate blood.

 

Past resources: