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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
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.

MDHHS adds new data to website

MDHHS adds new data to website

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
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 Michigan.gov/Coronavirus 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 Michigan.gov/coronavirus 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 Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

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 www.oakgov.com/covid. 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 hotline@oakgov.com. For up-to-date public health information, follow @publichealthOC on Facebook and Twitter.

Attachment: New Testing Sites Poster

MDHHS and Liquor Control Commission issue citations

MDHHS and Liquor Control Commission issue citations

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 25, 2020
MDHHS Contact: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112
MLCC Contact: Jeannie Vogel, 517-204-6052

LANSINg, Mich. – Today, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued citations and the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) suspended liquor licenses to establishments that are in violation of the recent public health order issued on Sunday, Nov. 15, which was put in place to control the spread of COVID-19 and protect public health by establishing restrictions on gatherings, including prohibiting gatherings of patrons in food service establishments.

The MLCC issued emergency suspensions of the liquor licenses and permits held by Michigan businesses in Fremont, Newaygo and Fenton. Licensees’ multiple violations of the current MDHHS Emergency Order include:

  • Allowing non-residential, in-person gatherings.
  • Providing in-person dining.
  • Failure to require face coverings for staff and patrons.
  • Failure to prohibit patrons from congregating.

“Our office is working closely with the Commission as it exercises its duties and we are prepared to prosecute these summary suspensions,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel. “Although none of us wants to take such actions, the deliberate and blatant defiance of the state emergency public health orders by these owners put their businesses at risk. While we are heartbroken at the toll these closures invariably have on the businesses affected, first and foremost the state has an obligation to protect the lives of our residents.”

MLCC Commissioners ordered emergency suspensions of the liquor licenses and permits held by:

  • Cory’s Restaurant, Inc. d/b/a Jimmy’s Roadhouse located at 8574 S. Mason Dr., Newaygo. The Commission ordered an emergency suspension of its licenses and permits: Class C and SDM liquor licenses with a Specific Purpose Permit (Food), Outdoor Service Area Permit, Sunday Sales (P.M.) Permit, and Dance Permit on Nov. 24, 2020.
  • M.B. and D., LLC d/b/a Brew Works of Fremont, located at 5885 S. Warner Ave., Fremont. The Commission ordered an emergency suspension of the Class C/Specially Designated Merchant (SDM) and Brew Pub licenses, and permits for an additional bar, Dance-Entertainment, Catering, Sunday Sales (P.M.), Outdoor Service, Specific Purpose (Food), Specific Purpose (Golf), and Specific Purpose (Bowling) on Nov. 24, 2020.
  • The Meeting Place LLC, located at 3600 Owen Rd, Fenton.  The Commission ordered an emergency suspension of the Class C and Specially Designated Merchant licenses, and permits for Sunday Sales (A.M. and P.M.) and Outdoor Service on Nov. 25, 2020.

A virtual hearing before an Administrative Law Judge is scheduled on Dec. 4, 2020, for each of the above-named licensees via Zoom to determine whether this summary suspension should continue, or other fines and penalties should be imposed.

In addition, citations were issued by MDHHS to the following establishments, with penalties of up to $1,000 for each violation or day that a violation continues:

  • Big Boy of Sandusky, 422 West Sanilac, Sandusky ($5,000)
  • Café Rosetta,102 Fifth Street, Calumet ($1,000)
  • Woodchips Barbecue, 315 West Nepessing Street, Lapeer ($1,000)
  • The Meeting Place, 3600 Owen Road, Fenton ($1,000)

Information was received by MDHHS from local health departments and local law enforcement regarding non-compliance with the order. The civil fines are due within 30 days of receipt of the citations. Additional establishments are slated to be cited.

“The vast majority of restaurant and bar owners are doing the right thing and they have temporarily closed their indoor service to help prevent the spread of the virus,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “We know this is not easy for anyone, this is not an action we take lightly, but the sooner we can mitigate the spread of COVID-19 the sooner we can all get back to doing the things we enjoy.”

“Cases of COVID-19 are incredibly high across the state, and these orders are in place to help prevent the spread of the virus, save lives, and protect our frontline workers,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS. “We need to do everything we can to alleviate the stress on our hospitals and health care workers. Food service establishments like restaurants and bars can help play a critical role by following the order and most of them are doing their part.”

To date, there have been more than 320,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, resulting in more than 8,600 deaths. Michigan’s COVID-19 daily death average has quadrupled in the last five weeks.

The public can report any suspected non-compliance issue at an establishment directly to the MLCC online or by calling the MLCC Enforcement hotline, toll-free, at 866-893-2121.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Further Cost Reductions for Michigan Drivers

Further Cost Reductions for Michigan Drivers

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

November 25, 2020

Media Contact: Laura Hall, (517) 290-3779, halll17@michigan.gov

Consumer Hotline: 833-ASK-DIFS, autoinsurance@michigan.gov

 

Governor Whitmer, Department of Insurance and Financial Services Applaud Further Cost Reductions for Michigan Drivers Under Auto Insurance Reform

 

LANSING, MICH — Governor Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) today applauded further cost reductions drivers will see under the state’s new auto insurance reform law as the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association (MCCA) announced a reduction in its annual assessment charged on auto insurance policies. The 14% savings per vehicle to the assessment reflects a further reduction in costs achieved through the historic, bipartisan auto insurance reform that Governor Whitmer signed into law in 2019.

 

“It is clear that the new auto insurance law is putting more money in the pockets of Michiganders. The reduction in the MCCA annual assessment is another example of how the reform is helping to reduce costs and provide savings for Michigan families,” said Governor Whitmer. “In these difficult times, it is more important than ever that Michiganders see rate relief. I’m pleased that these reforms are continuing to result in greater savings than required in the law.”

 

The reduced assessment announced today to $86 per vehicle will take effect July 1, 2021. This is the second time the assessment has been reduced due to cost reductions under Michigan’s new auto insurance reform law, with a drop from $220 per vehicle to $100 per vehicle that took effect July 2, 2020.

 

Under Michigan’s old auto insurance law, each driver had to purchase unlimited Personal Injury Protection (PIP) medical coverage and pay the MCCA assessment, which reimburses insurers for catastrophic medical claims. Under the new law, Michigan drivers can still choose unlimited medical coverage but can now also choose the level of PIP medical coverage they want when they start or renew a policy, and only drivers who choose unlimited PIP medical coverage pay the MCCA assessment, as long as the fund  does not have a deficit.

 

“Drivers are continuing to benefit from the new choices and new protections from Michigan’s new auto insurance law,” said Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II. “Today’s announcement is one more reminder that there has never been a better time to get car insurance in Michigan, as drivers can choose the coverage that’s right for them and see real savings.”

 

“This reduction in the MCCA annual assessment is a direct result of the new law, and in our role as a consumer protection agency, it is our priority to ensure these savings continue to be passed on to drivers,” said DIFS Director Anita Fox. “Drivers who would like to see additional savings should shop around and talk to an insurance agent or company to learn about the coverage options available to them.”

 

“Michigan residents have been seeking auto insurance rate relief for quite some time. My constituents in Detroit, Dearborn and Melvindale have frequently spoken with me about insurance rates being one of their top economic issues that negatively impacts their household budgets, and their families’ health and well-being,” said Sen. Sylvia Santana, D-Detroit. “No one should have to be forced to choose what bills to pay, and I am pleased to see that the Michigan Catastrophic Claims Association has decreased their rates. This is a welcome relief to Michiganders and a reaffirmation that promises made are promises kept.”

 

Prior to today’s announcement, under the new auto insurance reform law the average statewide PIP medical reductions had already exceeded the statutory requirements. Additional key provisions, including the PIP medical fee schedule, will take effect in 2021. In addition to promoting choice and reducing costs while maintaining benefits, the new auto insurance law also provides for increased consumer protections. The new law prohibits insurance companies from using certain non-driving factors when establishing premiums, provides stronger anti-fraud protections, and increases fines and penalties on insurance companies, agencies, and licensed agents.

 

DIFS continues to offer monthly virtual town halls to answer drivers’ questions about the new auto insurance law, and operate its dedicated, no-fault hotline with calls being answered Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Drivers can call 833-ASK-DIFS (275-3437), email autoinsurance@michigan.gov, or visit www.michigan.gov/autoinsurance for more information.

 

The mission of the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services is to ensure access to safe and secure insurance and financial services fundamental for the opportunity, security, and success of Michigan residents, while fostering economic growth and sustainability in both industries. In addition, the Department provides consumer protection, outreach, and financial literacy and education services to Michigan residents. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/difs or follow the Department on FacebookTwitter, or LinkedIn.

Urgent Alert of Unemployment Benefits Scam 

Urgent Alert of Unemployment Benefits Scam 

Attorney General Dana Nessel

Media Contacts:

Ryan Jarvi
(c) 517-599-2746

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Wednesday, Nov. 25, 2020

AG Nessel Issues Urgent Alert to Warn Residents of Unemployment Benefits Scam

LANSING – Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel today issued an important alert advising residents to be aware of a current scam taking advantage of claimants who are collecting unemployment benefits.

Claimants are receiving an email from a Gmail account that appears to be from the Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) asking for personal information. The scammer is also attaching what looks like an actual communication from the UIA in an apparent effort to strengthen the credibility of the email.

“There is no government agency, state or federal, that uses Gmail for official purposes,” Nessel said, noting the scammer’s email address. “Michigan residents should always examine the full email address if the sender is requesting their personal information.”

If you received this email, do not respond. UIA would never ask you to reply to an email with your personal information. Responses to ID verification requests from UIA should only be uploaded through your secure Michigan Web Account Manager (MiWAM) account online at the UIA’s website, where you can also learn more about protecting yourself from identity theft.

Anyone who has fallen for this scam should immediately Report Fraud or Identity Theft with the UIA. They should also monitor their banking and account information each time they certify for benefits.

“Bad actors are increasingly sophisticated in their efforts to deceive people into giving away personal information,” said Nessel. “This is one of the cruelest scams I’ve ever seen because it targets vulnerable residents who are desperate to receive their UIA benefits – so desperate that they may not inspect the email address to confirm its validity.”