Michiganders Must Work Together to Defeat COVID-19

Michiganders Must Work Together to Defeat COVID-19



August 28, 2020

Media Contact: [email protected]


Governor Whitmer: Michiganders Must Work Together to Defeat COVID-19 as State Reaches 100,000 Cases


LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer released the following statement after the State of Michigan recorded it’s 100,000th confirmed case of COVID-19:


“Since the first cases of COVID-19 were recorded in March, the vast majority of Michiganders have done their part to protect themselves and their loved ones. And because we took some of the most aggressive actions against this virus in the nation, Michigan is faring far better than other states in terms of new cases and deaths, and our economy is moving closer to where it was in March. The same cannot be said for other states that closed down late and reopened early – states like Florida and Texas. Michigan has shown the rest of the country what it means to take aggressive action against COVID-19, but our work is far from over. The COVID-19 pandemic is still a very real threat to our families, our brave frontline workers, and our economy.


“For nearly six months now, families across Michigan have been losing loved ones – parents, grandparents, siblings, children, and friends. Our frontline workers in hospitals, child care centers, grocery stores, and more have worked grueling hours and put their lives on the line to protect us. We owe it to all of them to continue working around the clock to protect one another. I will continue to do my part, follow the data, and work with medical experts to save lives and slow the spread of COVID-19. But I can’t do it alone. All of must do our part.


“We still need the president, Mitch McConnell, and the U.S. Senate to put partisanship aside and pass a bipartisan recovery package that will help us save lives and get people back on their feet. Michigan families, frontline workers, and small business owners are counting on the federal government to do the right thing and work together on their behalf.


“This virus demands to be taken seriously. Youth will not protect you from this virus. This virus will not go away when we get tired of it. We must continue to fight back against COVID-19. That means wearing a mask, practicing safe physical distancing, and doing everything in your power to protect you and your loved ones. And as we approach the 2020-2021 flu season, make sure you get your flu vaccine. Stay smart, and stay safe. Michiganders are tough. We will get through this together.”

Whitmer Lowers Flags to Honor Captain Joseph Liedel  



August 30, 2020

Contact: [email protected]   


Governor Whitmer Lowers Flags to Honor Captain Joseph Liedel 

All United States and State of Michigan flags should be raised to full-staff following the flag honors.

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags within the State Capitol Complex and upon all public buildings and grounds across the state of Michigan to be lowered to half-staff on Monday, August 31, 2020, to honor the life and service of Monroe Charter Township Fire Department Captain Joseph “Joe” Liedel, who passed away while responding to an emergency call. The flag honors will coincide with his funeral.


“Our state mourns the loss of Captain Joe Liedel, who dedicated his life to the type of service and duty that we look for in great public servants,” said Governor Whitmer. “In everything he did, Joe never gave up the fight, and we saw that on full display as he battled this injury. My thoughts are with his family during this tremendously difficult time as they lay him to rest.”


Captain Joe Liedel was a member of the Monroe Charter Township Fire Department for 28 years. Joe followed in his father’s footsteps when he joined the department as a member of its Fire Explorer program, working his way through the ranks to become captain in 2019. Joe traveled with the Monroe Charter Township Fire Department to Ground Zero in New York City after the 9/11 attacks to assist with the recovery efforts.


On July 31, Captain Joe Liedel suffered a brain bleed and collapsed in his driveway while responding to an emergency call. He spent the next month fighting for his life at ProMedica Toledo Hospital. On August 23, Joe passed away after succumbing to his injuries. He is survived by his parents and brothers.


The State of Michigan recognizes the duty, honor and selfless service of Captain Joseph Liedel by lowering flags to half-staff. Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.


To lower flags to half-staff, flags should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff position. The process is reversed before the flag is lowered for the day.


Flags should be returned to full-staff on Tuesday, September 1, 2020.

Michigan recognizes Overdose Awareness Day

MDHHS banner with logo no names

Press Release


CONTACTS: MDHHS, Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112, SutfinL1@michigan.gov
MAAS, Laura Biehl, 248-921-5008, [email protected]

Michigan recognizes Overdose Awareness Day and launches
new partnership with EMS to provide more overdose antidote kits
Naloxone leave-behind program aims to reduce overdose deaths

LANSING, Mich. – In honor of Overdose Awareness Day, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is launching a new program with emergency medical services (EMS) providers to further prevent opioid overdose deaths. EMS providers will give overdose survivors extra naloxone kits – the medication that reverses opioid overdoses.

In 2018, overdoses killed 2,599 Michiganders. Nearly 80 percent of those deaths involved opioids, continuing an epidemic that has devastated countless families. Overdose Awareness Day memorializes the individuals whose lives have been lost to an overdose, and marks an occasion to offer support to the family, friends and communities impacted by this epidemic. The observance provides a call to action for continued bold steps to address the opioid crisis.

“Far too many Michiganders die from opioid overdoses and tragically the opioid crisis has only gotten worse during the pandemic,” said Robert Gordon, MDHHS director. “That’s why MDHHS is proud to work with the state’s EMS providers to give Michigan families another resource to prevent overdose deaths. It is more urgent than ever that we take decisive action to prevent overdose deaths and dismantle the stigma around addiction.”

Opioid overdose is a preventable cause of death. Michiganders can take steps to prevent overdose deaths by carrying naloxoneoffering support to family and friends who use substances; and ending the stigma that surrounds substance use disorders.

These actions are even more urgent today as overdoses have surged during the COVID-19 pandemic. MDHHS data shows that EMS responses for opioid overdose increased by 33 percent from April to May 2020, and still remain elevated. From April through July 2020, EMS responses for opioid overdose were 22 percent higher than the same period last year.

MDHHS, in partnership with EMS agencies, is launching the EMS Naloxone Leave Behind Program to address these urgent needs and get naloxone into the hands of people who need it most. This program will allow first responders to leave behind extra naloxone kits with the patient, family and friends, or bystanders at the scene of a non-fatal overdose. Survivors are at high risk for repeated overdoses, so providing naloxone to these individuals and their loved ones is particularly important. Each kit will include naloxone and instructions on overdose response.

“Michigan’s EMS providers are standing by 24/7 to treat medical emergencies including helping prevent overdose deaths,” said Jack Fisher, Michigan Association of Ambulance Services (MAAS) president and executive director of Medic 1 Ambulance in Berrien County. “We look forward to having this extra resource to combat the serious overdose problem in our state, but still urge Michiganders to call 911 in all emergencies, even if naloxone has already been administered.”

Michigan’s EMS providers have been carrying and treating overdoses with naloxone for more than 30 years, according to MAAS. Going forward, local jurisdictions will determine whether to adopt the new leave-behind program. MDHHS has developed protocols for the program – local EMS governing boards, called Medical Control Authorities, will determine whether to adopt the program in each local jurisdiction.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in the number of EMS-treated overdose patients that have declined transport to an emergency department. This indicates that EMS staff may be the only healthcare providers many individuals interact with following an overdose and underscores the urgency of this new naloxone leave behind program.

MDHHS continues to use every available tool to combat the opioid epidemic during this challenging time, including ensuring continued access to Syringe Service Programs (SSPs) and treatment programs, as well as increasing access to naloxone. For individuals who are not ready to access treatment, MDHHS also recommends safer drug use to prevent further injury and death due to overdose. MDHHS urges Michiganders to use the following treatment and safer drug use resources:

If you or someone you know uses opioids:

If you or someone you know would like to seek treatment for opioid use:

  • Treatment centers are still open during COVID-19 and many are offering telemedicine services.

If you or someone you know is in recovery:

  • Reach out with a phone call, text or email to let him or her know you are there. Model good coping behaviors yourself.
  • Share the COVID-19 hotline number (888-535-6136) and tell them to press “8” for free emotional support counseling.
  • Direct them to Michigan.gov/StayWell for a list of other help lines, including a peer “warm line” for individuals in distress who want to talk to someone who understands substance use disorders, the National Disaster Distress Helpline at 800-985-5990 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.
  • Call 211. Anyone struggling or seeking resources for substance use treatment services can call this free service that connects Michigan residents with health resources in their communities.

For more information about overdoses and resources for prevention and treatment, visit Michigan.gov/opioids.

Oxford/Orion FISH pantry: Meijer Simply Give double Match Days

Oxford/Orion FISH pantry: Meijer Simply Give double Match Days


The Simply Give Meijer double match days are Sep. 11 and 12. During those two days, Meijer will double match all Simply Give donations made by its shoppers, turning the purchase of a $10 donation card into a $30 donation to the FISH pantry.

The FISH pantry will use these donations to purchase food for the 200+ shoppers who use our food pantry to help feed their families.

Please help FISH on Sep. 11 and 12 and donate to the Simply Give program. The Simply Give cards truly make a difference! Thank you for your support!!



Governor Maintains Protections for Michigan Workers

Governor Maintains Protections for Michigan Workers

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic


August 27, 2020

Media Contact: [email protected]


Governor Whitmer Maintains Protections for Michigan Workers During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Governor’s order ensures protections for workers who stay home when they’re sick, clarifies principal symptoms


LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-172, which prohibits employers from discharging, disciplining, or retaliating against employees who make the responsible choice to stay home when they or their close contacts are sick. The order, protecting employees who stay home when sick from retaliation, comes at a critical time when unemployed and underemployed workers face uncertainty after the Trump Administration allowed the $600 pandemic unemployment benefit to expire. The governor’s order clarifies when a worker has the principal symptoms of COVID-19 so that workers who have a known medical or physical condition causing their symptoms need not stay home.


“Every hardworking Michigander should feel empowered to make the responsible choice and stay home if they or someone they have been in contact with is sick,” said Governor Whitmer. “COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our families, our frontline workers, and our economy, and it’s crucial that anyone who experiences any of the symptoms of this virus stay home. These protections will help to slow the spread of the virus and save lives, but we still need the federal government to work together in a bipartisan way to expand unemployment benefits and provide support for our workers and their families.”


Under Executive Order 2020-172, employers must treat employees who stay home when they are sick as if he or she were taking medical leave. Any and all Michiganders who test positive for COVID-19 or who display one or more of the principal symptoms should stay home. Executive Order 2020-172 clarifies that a worker should stay home if they have any one of the following not explained by a known medical or physical condition: a fever, an uncontrolled cough, and shortness of breath; or at least two of the following not explained by a known medical or physical condition: loss of taste or smell, muscle aches (“myalgia”), sore throat, severe headache, diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal pain.


Individuals must remain home until 24 hours have passed since the resolution of fever without medication or 10 days have passed since their symptoms first appeared or were tested positive.


As a rule, if an individual has a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 or has had close contact with a confirmed positive case they should only leave their home for essential trips, to obtain food, medicine, or medical care. Additionally, they may leave to partake in an outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity consistent with remaining at least six feet from others.


To view Executive Order 2020-172, click the link below: