Nessel Joins Effort to Pass Extension for CARES Act

Nessel Joins Effort to Pass Extension for CARES Act

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Media Contacts:

Ryan Jarvi
(c) 517-599-2746

Monday, Nov. 30, 2020

Nessel Joins Effort to Urge Congress to Pass Extension for CARES Act Funding as Pandemic Impacts Economy

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel has joined a bipartisan coalition of attorneys general representing 43 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories urging Congress to extend the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economy (CARES) Act funding until the end of 2021.

The coalition sent a letter today to Congress urging members to extend the Dec. 30, 2020, deadline.

“The CARES Act has provided needed financial support to our communities during this particularly difficult period in our nation’s history, and given the current status of the pandemic, that assistance will be needed well into the new year,” Nessel said. “As our country continues to face the challenges presented by COVID-19, we must make every effort to work together toward recovery, and Congress has the opportunity to do exactly that by extending this deadline.”

With several pending measures, including bipartisan extension measures in both the House and Senate, the attorneys general urge Congress to pass one of these measures to give states and local communities additional time to utilize the COVID-relief resources.

COVID-19 has negatively impacted nearly every facet of American society. In anticipation of unprecedented costs and economic disruption stemming from the pandemic, Congress passed the CARES Act in March. The move provided more than $2 trillion in economic stimulus to state and local governments in an effort to combat the impacts of the pandemic.

One of the restrictions placed on the funding, however, limits the money’s use to expenses incurred between March 1, 2020, and Dec. 30, 2020.

“This time frame likely made sense in late March when the CARES Act was passed, but we have learned a great deal about COVID-19 in the past seven months,” the letter states. “Among other things, we know that the pandemic will continue to challenge communities well beyond December 30, 2020 – a deadline that now seems unreasonable.”

As the pandemic continues to set record infections, states and local communities will continue to incur COVID-related expenses next year. By extending the deadline, communities nationwide will be able to be more strategic with the use of CARES Act funds, the attorneys general said.

In signing the letter, Nessel joins the attorneys general in: Alaska, American Samoa, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Georgia, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

DNR: News Digest – Week of Nov. 30, 2020

DNR: News Digest – Week of Nov. 30, 2020

News Digest – Week of Nov. 30, 2020

digest header

Use one of these wonderful winter scenes from the DNR for your next virtual meeting.

Here’s a look at some of this week’s stories from the Department of Natural Resources:

See other news releases, Showcasing the DNR stories, photos and other resources at

PHOTO FOLDER: Larger, higher-res versions of the images used below, and additional ones, are available in this folder.

Take advantage of December pheasant and ruffed grouse seasons

pheasantExplore Michigan’s winter wonders in December while hunting for ruffed grouse or pheasants. Beginning Tuesday, the late ruffed grouse season and Zone 3 pheasant season will be open through Jan. 1, 2021.

The December pheasant hunting season is open only in select portions of Zone 3 (see the map on page 55 of the 2020 Hunting Digest) and pheasant hunters may bag two male pheasants a day. Pheasant hunters need a free pheasant/sharp-tailed grouse endorsement on their hunting license, unless hunting pheasant only on hunting preserves.

Want to become a ruffed grouse and American woodcock cooperator? Download the cooperator report and tell us about days spent afield and what flush rates were like. This information provides an indicator of the hunting season and population trends for grouse and woodcock.

For more information on the 2020 pheasant and ruffed grouse season regulations and dates, see the 2020 Hunting Digest available at

Questions? Contact Rachel Leightner at 517-243-5813.

Heading out? Join a winter bird count!

cardinalWhether you’re at home or visiting a nearby natural area, wintertime provides plenty of opportunities to observe birds across Michigan. Our open lakes and rivers have turned into a cornucopia of waterfowl and water bird activity. Northern finches, sparrows and owls are descending upon forests and suburbs, and woodlands and grasslands provide winter cover and seeds for birds like the dark-eyed junco, white-throated sparrow and American tree sparrow.

You can contribute to community science, too, by joining a bird count this winter. With bird populations in decline since the 1960s, it is increasingly important that scientists and land managers understand all aspects of a bird’s life cycle. Winter bird counts help scientists track bird movements, assess bird population health and guide meaningful conservation action. There are a few ways to get involved in a winter bird count near you:

cardinalParticipate in Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count

The CBC is the longest running community science bird census in North America. For more than a century, birders and volunteers have braved snow, wind and occasional rain to take part in this early-winter bird census. Join a local count, which will take place over a 24-hour period between Dec. 14 and Jan. 5. Explore the interactive CBC map to join a Christmas Bird Count near you!

Keep in mind that the COVID-19 pandemic will affect CBC participation. Pending local restrictions, many counts will be done under the COVID-19 guidelines sent to compilers, while others likely could be canceled. See the map for current information.

Join a Winter FeederWatch Count

If you have a bird feeder visible from a window at your home or office, you’re ready to participate in a winter feeder survey, taking place now through April 2021. Monitor your bird feeder as often as you’d like. Participation is easy, and all age levels and birding skills are welcome.

MI Birds is a public outreach program presented by Audubon Great Lakes and the DNR, aimed at increasing all Michiganders’ engagement in the understanding, care and stewardship of the public lands that are important for birds and local communities. Follow along on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

Questions? Contact Erin Rowan at 313-820-0809.

Zooming in a winter wonderland

zoom bgA snowy, lantern-lit trail, a cardinal’s crimson plumage, ice-bejeweled berries and more – these scenes, found in the DNR’s collection of virtual videoconferencing backgrounds, can brighten the backdrop for your next virtual call. They’ll add some charm and beauty next time you’re meeting by screen with friends, family or colleagues.

With these new additions, you can enjoy the wonders of winter while remaining cozy indoors – or get inspired to go out and try a new winter activity like snowshoeing, winter hiking or fat-tire biking. Browse the gallery, which is available at in the Photos and Videos section.

In addition to their visual appeal, virtual backgrounds serve a practical purpose. When you’re meeting online with people outside your immediate contacts, security experts recommend using virtual backgrounds to obscure details of your home and surroundings. Steps to enable and upload backgrounds in a Zoom account are available on the Zoom virtual background support page. The high-resolution images should be compatible with other virtual meeting platforms, too, and can be used as computer backgrounds.

Questions? Contact Beth Fults at 517-284-6071.

ICYMI: #ADA30 and the growth of accessible recreation

track chairThis year marks the 30-year anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The landmark civil rights legislation – which the U.S. Department of Justice said prohibits disability discrimination and guarantees that people with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else to participate in the mainstream of American life – was patterned after the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination based on color, race, sex, religion or national origin.

In case you missed it, to commemorate the signing of this important legislation, the DNR recently released a video exploring the expansion of accessible recreation in Michigan and capturing testimonials from officials, staff and residents about these evolving opportunities and the hard work and drive that got us to this point. Read the full Showcasing the DNR story for more information.


Though many of our winged friends are heading south, there are still plenty of birds to peep this winter. Check out winter birding opportunities to get started.


Too early to think about Memorial Day camping? We don’t think so! The six-month window for reservations is open, so start thinking ahead and book your favorite spots soon.


If you’re having a great deer season and want to support hungry families, share part of your harvest with Michigan Sportsmen Against Hunger or make a donation.

DNR COVID-19 RESPONSE: For details on affected DNR facilities and services, visit this webpage. Follow state actions and guidelines at

MDHHS adds new data to website

November 24, 2020
Contact: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112


LANSING, Mich. To help provide additional information about COVID-19 testing, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has added testing turnaround time data to the website.

COVID-19 Testing Turnaround Time (TAT) provides data for the past 14 days on the average time it takes for a diagnostic COVID-19 laboratory test to be reported to the state health department. MDHHS receives results from commercial labs, hospitals and public health labs. Total turnaround time is calculated by subtracting the date of the sample collection date from the date the laboratory results are received by the state and is provided in days.

Transport time is calculated by subtracting the date and time of specimen collection from the date and time that the laboratory received the specimen for analysis and is also provided in days. One tenth of day is approximately equal to 2.5 hours.

“We continue to work hard to expand COVID-19 testing across our state and want Michiganders to get timely test results. Nearly 900,000 test results were reported to the state in the last 14 days with test results averaging less than three days,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health. “We continue to urge Michiganders who wish to be tested to find the testing site nearest to them. This data will help people understand how quickly they may receive results, depending on which lab the site is using.”

Test results may be available to patients and/or providers sooner than the date they are received at MDHHS. Factors that may impact turnaround times:

  • Method of reporting by labs (i.e., electronic reporting versus manual data files).
  • Reporting specifications used by labs (i.e., standard versus non-standard reporting templates).
  • MDHHS capacity processing time during extreme volume report days; this can result in some lag between submission and receipt.

TAT data will be updated weekly on Thursdays, other than on certain holidays. MDHHS has announced its holiday schedule for all data posting. Data will not be updated on the website on Thanksgiving, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day to allow MDHHS staff to celebrate the holidays with their households.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and

new drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations

new drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations

Oakland County announces new drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations

Pontiac, MI – Oakland County’s drive-thru COVID-19 testing locations are relocating beginning Monday, Nov. 30 in order to provide shelter from winter weather. The new locations will be in the communities of Holly, Rochester, Southfield, and Pontiac.

The new testing locations will be open by appointment only from 9am to 5pm as follows:

Mondays: Old Holly Fire Station,
  • 313 S. Broad St, Holly
Tuesdays: Rochester Fire Station,
  • 277 E. Second St, Rochester
Wednesdays: Southfield City Hall Employee Parking Deck,
  • 26000 Evergreen Rd, Southfield
Thursdays: Pontiac Fire Station,
  • 348 South Blvd, Pontiac

COVID-19 tests are available for anyone age 4 years and over. Children age 17 years and under must have COVID-19 symptoms and be a resident of or attend school in Oakland County to be tested. There is no charge for tests and no prescription is needed; however, appointments are required. Please call Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533 to make an appointment. A fifth location in Oakland County may also open soon.

When a vaccine becomes available, Oakland County will distribute it utilizing these sites.

There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. The best way to prevent infection is to avoid being exposed to the virus. The spread of COVID-19 can be reduced with masks, social distancing, and staying home when sick except to get medical care.

For more information on COVID-19, visit Call Nurse on Call at 800-848-5533, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. with health-related questions. For all other COVID-19 questions, contact the COVID-19 Help Hotline at 248-858-1000 or [email protected]. For up-to-date public health information, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter.

Attachment: New Testing Sites Poster