Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Expanding Disaster Relief Child Care Services

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Expanding Disaster Relief Child Care Services

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March 18, 2020


Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Expanding Capacity for Disaster Relief Child Care Services for Essential Workforce


LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-16 to expand the capacity for child care services for health care workers, first responders, and other members of the essential workforce providing critical infrastructure to Michiganders during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. The order provides temporary and limited relief from certain regulatory restrictions regarding child care services and facilitates the use of certain property for child care services.


Executive Order 2020-16, effective immediately, authorizes the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) to issue expedited provisional licenses to expand capacity for child care services. It also allows employers, like hospitals, to operate a disaster relief child care center for their employees. Finally, it allows both public and nonpublic school facilities to be utilized for the purposes of maintaining a disaster relief child care center focused on providing services for members of the essential workforce.


“Our health care workers and everyone who’s providing emergency medical services are doing incredible work to help us fight COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer. “That’s why I’m taking action to expand capacity for child care services for these critical frontline workers. By expanding our ability to care for our children, we are allowing them to continue working and protect public health and safety. Child care services are essential to our collective effort, particularly while schools are closed. To all child care providers who are able and willing to remain open in Michigan, I thank you for your service and sacrifice during this time.”


The Governor has asked intermediate school districts to help mobilize and coordinate these efforts in partnership with local education agencies, employers, early childhood educators, private or community-based child care centers, and licensed in-home providers. Governor Whitmer has also asked all relevant state agencies to collaborate and align resources to support disaster relief child care centers, including financial, operational, and other technical assistance resources.


To ensure essential child care services are safe, all disaster relief child care centers authorized under the order must perform a health evaluation of all individuals who enter the facility each time they enter, and they must deny entry to those individuals who do not meet the evaluation criteria.


Additionally, all child care providers must continue following the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines to prevent the spread of the virus. Disaster relief child care centers that begin to operate must comply with certain LARA-imposed requirements that insure the safety and well being of children. At a minimum the requirements must include:

  • Follow the safe sleep guidelines, including appropriate sleeping equipment for children under 12 months of age;
  • Follow LARA’s guidelines for diapering, handwashing, and sanitizing;
  • Provide porta-cribs, cots, or mats for children older than twelve months to sleep or rest; and
  • Have awareness of, and communicate with parents and guardians regarding, a child’s: medicine; allergies, including food allergies; and other special needs.

Those included in the essential workforce providing critical infrastructure to Michiganders includes health care workers, home health workers, direct care workers, emergency medical service providers, first responders, law enforcement personnel, sanitation workers, child care workers, personnel providing correctional services, postal workers, public health employees, key government employees, court personnel, and others providing critical infrastructure to Michiganders.


In addition to the new provisions named in the executive order, LARA has also announced the following administrative guidance:

  • LARA encourages trusted neighbors to help each other in providing care for children. The Child Care Organizations Act allows for people to provide unlicensed care for six or fewer children for a period of up to four consecutive weeks in a calendar year.
  • LARA will allow currently licensed centers to extend their operations to additional buildings after LARA has inspected and approved the new locations to assure the safety of the children in care.
  • LARA will expedite the licensing process for current and new applicants for provisional licenses, including faith-based and other community organizations. LARA will apply flexibility and follow reasonability given the COVID-19 emergency situation.


This is a rapidly developing situation and LARA, the Michigan Department of Education, and MDHHS will continue to provide additional guidance as new information and supports are available.


All child care providers should continue to practice mitigation strategies, such as washing your hands, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces thoroughly, and social distancing to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

Intermediate school districts, the Early Childhood Investment Corporation, and Michigan 2-1-1 are working together to mobilize and coordinate these efforts. If you are a member of the essential workforce, go to and your information will be routed to someone in your community who can help you find care.


For licensed child care providers are who willing to remain open or re-open during this emergency, please complete a short survey to provide information about your program’s ability to serve the children of the essential workforce:

Everyone is encouraged to continue the steps below to best prevent the spread of COVID-19:

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.


Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath


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


To view executive order 2020-16, click the link below:


Lansing: Executive Order Allowing Public Bodies to Meet Electronically

Lansing: Executive Order Allowing Public Bodies to Meet Electronically

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March 18, 2020
Contact: Tiffany Brown,

Gov. Whitmer Signs Executive Order Allowing Public Bodies to Meet Electronically

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-15 to order a temporarily change to the Open Meetings Act to allow public bodies to conduct their meetings electronically, while also facilitating public participation, until April 15, 2020 at 11:59PM.

“We are taking every measure we can to mitigate the spread of coronavirus and protect Michigan families, but recognize that public bodies still have an obligation to conduct business as usual,” Whitmer said. “During this crisis, we must ensure that public officials can do their job to meet the needs of residents, while also ensuring that meetings remain open, accessible and transparent to the public.”

Under Executive Order 2020-15, public bodies that are subject to the Open Meetings Act, including boards, commissions, committees, subcommittees, authorities, councils, and nonprofit boards, can use telephone- or video- conferencing methods to continue meeting and conducting business during the coronavirus (COVID-19) public health crisis, so long as they follow certain procedures to ensure meaningful access and participation by members of the public body and the general public.

In order to maintain the level of transparency that Governor Whitmer has sought under previous executive actions taken during her first month in office, public bodies must meet the following criteria when holding a public meeting electronically:

  • Ensure two-way communication for members and the public to hear and address each other.
  • Provide adequate notice to the public of the meeting.
  • Post a public meeting notice on their website.
  • Permit participants to record or broadcast the public meeting.
  • Allow participants to address the public body during a public comment period.

The order also temporarily authorizes public bodies, departments, and agencies to use technology to enable remote participation in public comment and hearings, and temporarily excuses school boards from monthly meeting requirements.

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.

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

This press release will be translated and made available in Arabic and Spanish at

To view Executive Order 2020-15, click the link below:

MDOT: COVID-19 Message

MDOT: COVID-19 Message

Talking Michigan Transportation: COVID-19 and the effect on transportation in Michigan


On this week’s Talking Michigan Transportation podcast, how COVID-19 is affecting mobility, how MDOT is supporting relief efforts, and the 2020 construction season.

First, Scott Greene, manager of MDOT’s Utility Coordination and Permits Services section, talks about the decision to exempt from seasonal weight restrictions trucks hauling food and vital supplies for relief efforts.

Following MDOT’s decision to waive the restrictions for specific vehicles, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order ordering those same exemptions for local road agencies as well as MDOT. The order also requires all road agencies to expedite the permitting process for non-seasonal load restrictions.

The governor’s order also requires road agencies to suspend restrictions on the noise and timing of deliveries that meet immediate needs related to relief efforts.

Next, Jean Ruestman, director of the MDOT Office of Passenger Transportation, talks about the effect on public transit services and how agencies are adjusting. The largest operators of public buses in Metro Detroit are waiving fares for riders in response to the crisis as are some other agencies around the state.

While the health crisis is thinning crowds on public transit across the country, Ruestman talks about the vital role these services play in getting people to and from work, doctor’s appointments, and retail outlets for food and medicine.

To see what’s going on at various transit agencies across the state, access their home pages.

In related news, Amtrak has made several service changes. In Michigan, these include suspending passenger rail service on the Pere Marquette between Grand Rapids and Chicago and reduced service on the Wolverine line, connecting several Michigan cities with Chicago.

Finally, Gregg Brunner, director of MDOT’s Bureau of Field Services, joins the podcast to talk about whether the health crisis will have any effect on the coming construction season.

Listen now at

Stay connected by subscribing to Talking Michigan Transportation e-mail updates.

FDA Food Recall Notice

FDA Food Recall Notice

FDA Recall,

Allergy Alert Issued for Undeclared Milk in Green Chile Chicken Tamales Sold at Whole Foods Market Stores in Multiple States

MDARD food inspectors should conduct recall audit checks during routine inspections or as directed.


Company Announcement Date:
FDA Publish Date:
Product Type:
Food & Beverages
Reason for Announcement:
Undeclared Milk
Company Name:
Whole Foods Market
Brand Name:
Whole Foods Market
Product Description:
Green Chile Chicken Tamales

Company Announcement

Whole Foods Market is voluntarily recalling select Green Chile Chicken Tamales from stores across 24 states because they contain undeclared milk. People who have an allergy or severe sensitivity to milk run the risk of serious or life-threatening allergic reaction if they consume these products.

The affected products were sold at Whole Foods Market stores in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and Wisconsin. The tamales were sold in plastic containers and in family-style meal kits with Whole Foods Market scale labels. They were also available on the self-serve hot bar and from the chef’s case. The affected products can be identified by the following information. No allergic reactions have been reported to date.


Product Product Code
(begins with)
Best by date
Green Chile Chicken Tamale Family Meal 224401 3/7/2020
Green Chile Chicken Tamale, Chef’s Case 237593
Green Chile Chicken Tamale, Packaged 237597
Green Chile Chicken Tamale, Frozen 272435 3/31/2020
Green Chile Chicken Tamale, Hot Bar NA 3/1/2020

Customers who purchased this product at Whole Foods Market can bring a valid receipt into stores for a full refund. Consumers with additional questions can call 1-844-936-8255 between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. CST, Monday through Friday, or 8:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Saturday through Sunday.

Company Contact Information

Rachel Malish
Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Expanding Disaster Relief Child Care Services

Whitmer Pleased With Federal Court Ruling

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic


March 3, 2020

Contact: Bob Wheaton, MDHHS,, (517) 241-2112


Gov. Whitmer pleased with federal court ruling that preserves health care coverage for tens of thousands

Ruling throws out Healthy Michigan Plan work requirements.


LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is praising a federal court judge’s ruling today that found Healthy Michigan Plan work requirements unlawful.


The ruling came just days after the Whitmer administration filed a motion asking the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia for a quick decision.


“I am pleased that the court has taken action that will help Michigan provide affordable, high-quality access to health care,” Whitmer said. “This is great news for Michiganders, although it is not surprising given a previous federal court decision regarding Medicaid work requirements in Arkansas. While it’s unfortunate that Republicans in the Legislature created confusion and wasted tens of millions of taxpayer dollars by pressing forward with implementation of requirements that were clearly going to be thrown out by the courts, I look forward to working with the Legislature on a better way to promote work while protecting coverage.”


Whitmer asked the Legislature to pause work requirements on Dec. 3, 2019, after an oral argument before a federal court of appeals, where the judges expressed deep skepticism about similar work requirements in Arkansas. When legislators did not do so, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) was required to mail 238,000 notices to individuals subject to reporting their work activities and continued with implementation at a cost of approximately $1 million a month.


The federal court of appeals ruled Friday, Feb. 14 in the Arkansas case, striking down the work requirements. After that ruling, the governor again asked the Legislature to pause work requirements and the state asked for a summary judgment applying the court of appeals ruling in the Arkansas case to Michigan. The U.S. Department of Justice, led by Attorney General William Barr, did not oppose the state’s motion.


“MDHHS has spent more than $30 million implementing requirements that created anxiety and churn for Healthy Michigan Plan enrollees and have now been deemed unlawful, said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “We look forward to returning our team members’ focus to work that improves the health and wellbeing of Michiganders.”


The work requirements had taken effect in January. Prior to the court ruling, an estimated 80,000 people were at risk of losing their health care coverage because they had not reported work activities that met the requirements. MDHHS will now notify those individuals that they no longer have to report their work activities.


“We are grateful for Judge Boasberg’s swift decision today, which will ensure that Michigan won’t be throwing away taxpayer money to enforce unlawful requirements and cause confusion and concern for tens of thousands of Michigan beneficiaries whose health care coverage was in limbo,” said Attorney General Dana Nessel.


More than 650,000 receive coverage under the Healthy Michigan Plan, the state’s highly successful Medicaid expansion that had bipartisan support.


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