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Debbie's Blog

Coronavirus update: May 18, 2020

Washington, May 18, 2020
Here is an update for May 18th.

Thought of the day: The last of the human freedoms: to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way. —Victor Frankl

Over the weekend, Michigan confirmed 638 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the cumulative total cases to 51,142 according to state data and 4,891 deaths. There is more testing available and people should be using it. This virus is still out there and the only way we continue to mitigate its spread is to practice physical distancing, wear masks and wash hands regularly.

The slow reopening of the auto industry begins today. New protocols are in place that are designed to keep workers safe. It’s up to everyone involved to follow prescribed protocols— management and workers. Working jointly with the UAW, the companies have worked for the past several weeks to implement a comprehensive, multilayered programs but it requires everyone following them. They include undergoing a temperature check, completing a health self-certification, and donning personal protective equipment, including a face mask. This matters if we aren’t going to see peaks again.

We are the only industry left in America that manufactures product with thousands of parts and can turn on a quick dime in a matter of weeks to produce vital equipment for our country. It would take some companies years to undertake this effort. Our domestic automakers and key suppliers went from producing vehicles to making equipment desperately needed to save lives of severely sick patients and protect front-line workers combating the COVID-19 pandemic. American ingenuity and grit made this happen, and it was led by Michigan know-how and innovation. As things slowly begin to start back up, we cannot forget it was American manufacturing in Michigan that helped our country so much.

May is Mental Health Month and reminds us that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. The coronavirus, quarantine, and many other factors are a lot for everyone to handle. Confidential emotional support counseling is now available 24/7 at no cost to Michiganders who call the state’s COVID-19 hotline. Michigan Stay Well counselors are available any time, day or night, and language translation is available for non-English speakers. Call 888-535-6136, and press 8 when promoted to speak to a Michigan Stay Well counselor.

On Friday, Governor Whitmer signed an Executive Order to create the Return to Learn Advisory Council. The council will provide recommendations on how to safely, equitably, and efficiently return to school in the fall. This is a discussion that we must take seriously and figure out the best way to help our kids return to school. We must make sure they’re not being left behind. If you’d like to serve on the council, apply here.

Team Dingell is here seven days a week and wants to listen and help. It isn’t as smooth as we want on some issues, but we will never stop fighting for you. Call our office at 313-278-2936 or contact us through Facebook or our webpage.
 
New information becomes available every day. Below is a list of resources and information that can be helpful during this time. Please share this information with your family, friends, and colleagues. Remember, stay home, stay safe, save lives.

Coronavirus information

File for unemployment

Small Businesses can apply for low-interest disaster loans

Navigating Social Security Benefits
 
School Based Food Service Interactive Map
 
Food Banks and Kitchens in Michigan's 12th Congressional District
 
Contact numbers for people looking for information are:
• Centers for Disease Control, cdc.gov/coronavirus, 1-800-CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).
Michigan.gov/coronavirus, or 888-535-6136.
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