Pure Michigan Invites Fans to Experience the State Virtually

Pure Michigan Invites Fans to Experience the State Virtually

Contact: Kathleen Achtenberg achtenbergk@michigan.org

Pure Michigan is going virtual. From live cams featuring beautiful beaches to virtual tours of unique exhibits, Pure Michigan is helping bring the state’s educational, outdoor and cultural experiences to life at home through its new #VirtualPureMichigan campaign. New virtual experiences will be posted regularly across Pure Michigan’s FacebookInstagram and Twitter channels in the coming weeks as people are being encouraged to Stay Home and Stay Safe to combat the continued spread of COVID-19.

 

“During these extraordinary times, we want to continue to do what Pure Michigan does best – inspire people – while offering alternative ways to experience the stay at home and follow social distancing guidelines,” said Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “By sharing the tremendous virtual offerings our travel partners across the state have available, we are hoping that individuals can enjoy, learn and explore our beautiful state from the comfort of their own homes as they look ahead to future adventures.”

 

Organizations around the state are offering virtual experiences for all to enjoy, including:

  • Pure Michigan is providing live web camera viewings for people to take a peek at destinations including Alpena, Holland, Frankenmuth, West Michigan and the Mackinac Bridge.

 

  • The Ann Arbor Film Festival is going virtual now through March 29. The entire festival will be live-streamed for free, including all submitted films and follow up discussions with participating filmmakers. The full festival schedule can be found at aafilmfest.org/live-stream-schedule.

 

  • The Henry Ford Museum of American Innovation is an internationally recognized cultural destination that immerses visitors in the stories of ingenuity, resourcefulness and innovation that helped shape America. In addition to exploring the digital collections made available on the museum’s website, virtual visitors can now explore the Mathematica exhibit online.

 

 

 

  • The Michigan History Museum offers information about Michigan’s rich past, from the time of the state’s earliest people to the late 20th century. The five-floor museum offers a virtual tour for folks to explore and learn about Michigan’s first people, the Anishinaabe and ending at the mid-20th century.

 

  • The Michigan Science Center  offers a virtual tour for kids of all ages to explore and makes for an educational experience adhering to STEM guidelines, which many schools practice. Kids can explore the health and wellness gallery to learn about the human body, the lunar and space gallery to learn about space travel and more.

 

  • The Menominee Range Historical Museums in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula encompasses three different museums for guests to explore. Each museum offers a virtual tour including The Menominee Range Historical Museum, which features more than 100 exhibits depicting local history from Native American inhabitants through the early years of the 20th century; The World War II Gilder and Military Museum, which features one of only seven fully-restored CG-4A gliders in the world, as well as extensive displays highlighting military service in the area; and the Cornish Pumping Engine and Mining Museum, which showcases the largest steam-driven pumping engine built in the United States.

 

  • Paddle out into the St. Mary’s River from Voyager Island and Rotary Park in Sault St. Marie on this 360 virtual guided tour. This water trail gives you a front row seat to Great Lakes freighters passing through the channel on their way to and from the Soo Locks.

 

  • PBS television program Under the Radar Michigan features the people, places and things that make Michigan a great place to be. Michiganders can check out episodes that feature Michigan’s Museums, stories from the U.P., downtown Detroit and more.

 

The michigan.org website continues to be a resource for future trip planning, featuring unique destinations throughout the state, road trip and itinerary suggestions and the ability to order the free Pure Michigan Summer Travel Guide – also available digitally. Additionally, michigan.org is now featuring ways to Travel Michigan Virtually While Planning Your Vacation.

 

In the coming days and weeks, the Pure Michigan social channels will be posting virtual experiences all across the state using the #VirtualPureMichigan hashtag. Follow along, or share your favorite Virtual Pure Michigan experience, on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

 

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

Governor Whitmer Orders Temporary Expansions in Unemployment

Governor Whitmer Orders Temporary Expansions in Unemployment

GW Header Image

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 25, 2020
Contact: BrownT56@michigan.gov

Governor Whitmer Orders Temporary Expansions in Unemployment Eligibility and Cost-Sharing

LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-24, clarifying how the expansion of eligibility for unemployment benefits during the COVID-19 will work.

The order:

  • Suspends the requirement for an individual seeking unemployment to request a registration and work search waiver from their employer;
  • Allows anyone with an active unemployment claim to receive up to a six-week benefit extension.
  • Expands cost-sharing with employers. Any benefit paid to a claimant that is laid off or placed on a leave of absence will not be charged to the employer’s accounts, but instead will be pooled and assumed by the Nonchargeable Benefits Component of employer accounts. Employers who unlawfully misclassify their workers and have underpaid their unemployment tax do not get the benefit of this enhanced cost-sharing.

“These are challenging times that all Michiganders are facing, and no one should be worried about how to make ends meet if they cannot work because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to contracting the coronavirus,” said Governor Whitmer. “I will continue to take action that protects public health, while also ensuring that working families have the support they need during these hard times.”

Executive Order 2020-24 takes the place of Executive Order 2020-10.

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 Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

To view Executive Order 2020-24, click the link below:

This press release will be translated and made available in Arabic and Spanish at www.michigan.gov/whitmer

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Easing Restrictions on Pharmacists

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Easing Restrictions on Pharmacists

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

For Immediate Release

March 25, 2020

Media Contact: BrownT56@michigan.gov

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Easing Restrictions on Pharmacists, Increasing Access to Prescriptions

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-25, which will allow pharmacists to dispense emergency refills of prescriptions for up to 60 days’ worth of supply for patients and require insurers to cover these emergency refills during the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The order will also allow pharmacists to dispense COVID-19 treatments according to government-approved protocols.

Executive Order 2020-25 takes effect immediately and ends on April 22 but could be renewed as needed.

“No Michigander should be worried about running out of critical medications during the COVID-19 pandemic, which is why I signed this Executive Order authorizing pharmacists to refill up to 60 days of medication for their patients and easing restrictions on pharmacists so they can continue to help their patients during this crisis,” said Governor Whitmer. “Residents who are limiting their time in public places and practicing social distancing shouldn’t have to fear running low on their prescription drugs during these trying times.”

The Executive Order only applies to non-controlled substances. Pharmacists will also have the discretion to substitute therapeutically equivalent medications without prescriber approval if there are critical shortages.

“This Executive Order will ease a burden on seniors and families worried about maintaining a supply of medication for themselves or their children,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “We continue to urge Michiganders to practice social distancing if they are out in public and to wash their hands with soap and water or use hand sanitizer regularly to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

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 are experiencing symptoms of 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 Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

To view executive order 2020-25, click the link below:

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Extending Deadline to Complete Canvass of March 10 Primary

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Extending Deadline to Complete Canvass of March 10 Primary

Governor Gretchen Whitmer Banner - headshot with bridge graphic

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 

March 20, 2020

Media Contact: BrownT56@michigan.gov

Governor Whitmer Signs Executive Order Extending Deadline to Complete Canvass of March 10 Primary

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-22, which extends the deadline to complete the canvass of the March 10 primary to April 24.

As counties do their part and practice social distancing guidelines, some will not complete the canvass for the March 10 primary election by the statutory deadline. The counties remain in the best position to complete the count, and this executive action will ensure that happens. Without action, state employees would have to restart the count, wasting time and resources during this critical moment during the COVID-19 crisis.

“This important Executive Order ensures county canvassers have extra time to complete their work following the March 10 Presidential Primary and that state resources remain focused on addressing this public health crisis,” Governor Whitmer said. “The health and safety of seniors, families and children across the state remains our top priority and I urge residents to stay home and stay safe, continue practicing social distancing if they must leave their home, wash their hands for at least 20 seconds and avoiding touching their face to help stop the spread of COVID-19.”

“I am grateful to Governor Whitmer for ensuring our democracy will remain robust during this public health crisis,” said Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson. “Providing more time to canvass the recent election will provide certainty for Michiganders that our elections are accurate and worth everyone participating in.”

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 are experiencing symptoms of 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 Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

To view executive order 2020-22, click the link below:

Oakland County Parks Offers a Breath of Fresh Air for Free

Oakland County Parks Offers a Breath of Fresh Air for Free

Oakland County Parks and Recreation Offers a Breath of Fresh Air for Free

Oakland County, Michigan – Itching to get out of the house and wondering where you can go safely – without opening your wallet – now is the time to visit an Oakland County Parks and Recreation park.

Until April 30, all park entrance fees have been waived, allowing anyone to enjoy the splendor of the Oakland County day-use parks and dog parks at no charge. The waiver was announced jointly by County Executive Dave Coulter, the County Board of Commissioners and the Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Our park system is an incredible county asset and the Oakland County Health Division says getting fresh air during a pandemic can be beneficial,” Coulter said. “It is vital, however, that those who visit a county park or go outdoors for any reason continue to practice safe practices such as social distancing, hand washing and take along hand sanitizer.”

The Oakland County Parks system offers nearly 80 miles of trails and encompasses 7,000 acres. The parks system has trails for walking, hiking, mountain biking and equestrian riding. OCPR’s website oaklandcountyparks.com features detailed information about each location. The normal charge for the day-use park is $5 per car for Oakland County residents and $12 regular rate.

“We understand the value that parks provide to Oakland County residents,” Parks Executive Officer Dan Stencil said. “For 54 years, our parks have been a place to relax, revitalize and recreate. In light of COVID-19, the Oakland County Parks are now an even more valuable place to walk, hike, and get outdoors.”

Coulter strongly recommended park visitors follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines to prevent the spread of infectious diseases including: avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; cover mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze; and most importantly, staying home if you feel sick.

The parks and dog parks that are open include:

  • Addison Oaks County Park, 1480 West Romeo Road, Leonard
  • Catalpa Oaks County Park, 27735 Greenfield Road, Southfield
  • Highland Oaks County Park, 6555 Milford Road, Highland
  • Independence Oaks County Park, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston
  • Independence Oaks County Park-North, 10089 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston
  • Lyon Oaks County Park and Dog Park, 52251 Pontiac Trail, Wixom
  • Orion Oaks County Park and Dog Park, 2301 W. Clarkston Road, Lake Orion
  • Red Oaks Dog Park, 31353 Dequindre, Madison Heights
  • Red Oaks County Park, 30300 Hales Street, Madison Heights. The nature center is closed, but the trails are open.
  • Rose Oaks County Park, 10501 Buckhorn Lake Road, Holly
  • Waterford Oaks County Park, 1702 Scott Lake Road, Waterford.

All playgrounds, park buildings and restrooms are closed. However, portable restrooms are provided at all locations. A complete listing of portable restroom locations is also posted at oaklandcountyparks.com.

On Monday, modern restrooms will be open at Addison Oaks, Independence Oaks, Orion Oaks and Waterford Oaks county parks. Park staff will maintain clean and healthy facilities in accordance with CDC guidance.

These locations will also be listed on OaklandCountyParks.com.
“Be sure to bring water bottles to keep hydrated,” Stencil said. “And share your outdoor adventures on our social media pages for those who may be unable to leave their homes. Experiencing nature uplifts everyone’s spirit.”

For information on the parks system, visit OaklandCountyParks.com. Join the conversation onFacebookInstagram and Twitter.

UIA Offers Update on Unemployment System

UIA Offers Update on Unemployment System

Contact: Jason Moon 517-282-0041

The State of Michigan’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) today provided updated information for workers affected by COVID-19. Workers are encouraged to apply online at Michigan.gov/UIA or over the phone at 866-500-0017, but due to the tremendous call volume, certain callers may receive a busy signal.

“The UIA is working hard and fast to handle the influx of applications for unemployment benefits as we deal with the COVID-19 crisis. While an unprecedented number of calls and clicks has challenged the system, particularly during peak hours, we want to assure Michiganders that the system is providing emergency financial relief,” said UIA Director Steve Gray. “Our website may be operating a little slower, and phone queues are full resulting in busy signals for some callers, so the UIA is urging patience and recommending that workers go first to the online system at Michigan.gov/UIA.”

In addition, applying online in off-peak hours will expedite the process. The 24-hour website operates faster when there are fewer people on the site at any given time. The UIA also urges Michiganders using the website to expect longer load times. It may take several minutes for a page to load at this time. Users are asked to be patient and not click more than once to reload a page. Filing online remains the fastest way for Michiganders to apply for unemployment benefits.

Off-peak hours: 8 p.m. to 8 a.m.

Applicants with questions can also access information on the website Michigan.gov/UIA, including frequently asked questions about the process and current challenges due to COVID-19.  Checking the website for answers may help alleviate pressure on the phone line. A downloadable handout on the filing process can be found here.

“Though it is best to file your claim as efficiently as possible, and we understand residents are eager to receive their checks quickly, the UIA wants to remind Michiganders that the eligibility window to apply has been increased from 14 to 28 days from the date of their work stoppage,” added Gray. “The UIA is shifting as many resources as possible to handle the increase in applications and is exploring further solutions to help Michiganders get the assistance they need as soon as possible. We appreciate your patience during this unprecedented time.”

Gov. Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-10 on March 16, 2020 to expand unemployment benefits to eligible workers:

  • Sick Workers: Workers who are sick, quarantined, or immunocompromised and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off.
  • Workers Caring for Loved Ones: Workers who have an unanticipated family care responsibility, including those who have childcare responsibilities due to school closures, or those who are forced to care for loved ones who become ill and who do not have access to paid family and medical leave or are laid off

The governor’s order also extends access to benefits for unemployed workers:

  • Increased Weeks: Benefits will be increased from 20 to up to 26 weeks.
  • Longer Application Time: The application eligibility period will be increased from 14 to 28 days.
  • Fewer Requirements: The in-person registration and work search requirements will be suspended.

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