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Published 4/4/2020
1:01am

Rep. Frederick Requests More COVID-19 Transparency from State

Frederick: Available Data Is Valuable But More Is Needed

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State Rep. Ben Frederick has issued a formal letter to Michigan Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh S. Khaldun requesting necessary information relevant to the state of coronavirus in Michigan.

“The situation we are in is unprecedented and the more data the Legislature has to make informed decisions to improve conditions for our hardworking medical personnel the better,” said Frederick, of Owosso. “We will get through this season if we work together and I am urging the administration to release more detailed information related to coronavirus in our state. While the data presently available to the public regarding confirmed cases and mortality rates is valuable, it doesn’t allow for a full picture of healthcare capacity and need.”

Frederick’s letter requests the following information be available to better inform the public, and to afford the Legislature the ability to assist as necessary with legislative, budgetary and facilitative actions:

• Bed capacity and availability numbers by hospital

• Hospitalizations due to COVID-19 by hospital

• Average length of stay for a COVID-19-patients in hospitals

• Aggregate data on the age and health conditions of patients prior to contracting COVID-19

• Number of medical ventilators by hospital

• General information related to personal protective equipment supplies by hospital

To date, the Legislature has approved a total of $150 million for COVID-19 response, including $50 million for immediate needs such as virus monitoring and testing, $50 million for critical health care providers to expand capacity for coronavirus response, and $50 million to keep in reserve for when necessary.

COVID-19 cases have reached nearly 11,000 as of April 3, causing a dramatic shift in resources and creating a significant strain on Michigan’s healthcare providers. Frederick emphasized within his letter that timely and region-specific data is critical in ensuring resources flow to where they are most needed.

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Update 4/5/2020

Benteler Automotive Corporation in West Michigan will lay off 1,000 employees.  The company notified the state of the temporary layoffs due to global impacts on the supply chain.

Cease and desist letters were sent to three non-essential Upper Peninsula businesses for remaining open when only essential businesses should be open.  Auto Credit Center, Grow Masters Indoor & Outdoor Gardening Supplies and Holy Smokes Tobacco Shop, all in Menominee County, were hand-delivered the letters by Michigan State Police.

Michigan State University is launching virtual courses aimed at anyone interested in gardening.  The Cabin Fever Conversations series features a different guest speaker each week.

Meijer is now conducting health-screenings of employees before each shift.  The West Michigan-based retailer joins other companies taking extra steps to keep employees and customers safe.

The Treasury Department has announced that Social Security recipients will automatically receive the direct payment being made to Americans as part of the CARES Act, Congressman John Moolenaar said, noting that he supported the initiative. Social Security recipients who normally do not file a tax return, do not need to file one to receive the payment.

Lansing Police are asking for help locating a missing teen.  Demasio Nino Perez is 14 years old, 6'1 and 155 pounds, police say, and was reported as a runaway/missing person last seen in the 500 block of Riley Street in Lansing.  He was wearing black and grey sweatpants and a grey t-shirt.  Call 517-483-4600 with information.

Saginaw parks and playgrounds have closed to vehicle access effective immediately.  Anyone wishing to utilize a city park will have to enter on foot until further notice.

The MHSAA has cancelled the remainder of the 2019-2020 winter and sports seasons.  This marks the first year since 1942-1943 that finals will not be played.  World War II forced the cancellation of many final sporting events.

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