Dealing with COVID-19 in Michigan
To say that the Coronavirus pandemic has completely disrupted society is a huge understatement. Everybody is experiencing changes in their life to some degree, whether it’s simply by working at home instead of in the office or not being able to attend an event you had been looking forward to. Unfortunately, many people are no longer able to work at all right now.
Regardless of how the outbreak is directly impacting your life, one thing we all have in common right now is that we’re all facing a lot of uncertainty. We all have questions about what’s going on. Everything is changing so quickly that it’s hard to keep up with the news. If you’re a Michigan resident, here are a few important things you should know while we work through this difficult time.
Where to Get Tested for Coronoavirus in Metro Detroit
The number of confirmed Coronavirus cases in Michigan continues to grow, so one of the biggest questions people have right now is where they can get tested if they are showing symptoms. Several hospitals in the Metro Detroit area are now offering drive-thru testing, including Beaumont’s locations in Royal Oak, Troy, Farmington Hills, and Dearborn. McLaren Macomb Hospital in Mount Clemens and Henry Ford Health System hospitals in several locations also have curbside testing available. Testing may also be available in other locations, so if there is another Metro Detroit hospital you would prefer to visit, contact them to find out if they have curbside testing available.
Because of the high demand for testing, contact your primary care physician to see if they think testing for Coronavirus is advisable. If you don’t have a primary care physician or health insurance, you can find a free clinic near you or find a Federally Qualified Health Center who can help you.
How to Report Price Gouging in Michigan
Certain types of products are in very high demand right now. We’ve all seen the pictures of empty grocery store shelves where things like hand sanitizer, cleaning products, and paper products should be. Unfortunately, some stores will see this and take it as an opportunity to significantly raise prices on those types of products. In response, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Attorney General Dana Nessel have announced crackdowns on stores that engage in price gouging. Menards, for example, recently received a cease-and-desist order over price increases to things like bleach and face masks.
If you believe you have found a store engaging in price gouging, take a picture showing the product on the store shelf with the marked price visible. If you buy the product anyway, be sure to keep your receipt. You can make a complaint by calling (877)765-8388 or online at michigan.gov/agcomplaints.
Changes to Michigan Unemployment Benefits
Due to the large number of people who are unable to work at this time, eligibility for Michigan unemployment benefits have been temporarily expanded. Through April 14, 2020, unemployment benefits are now available to people in the following circumstances:
Workers who are unable to work because they need to care for their family. For example, because they have children who cannot be unsupervised at home while schools are closed.
Workers who are sick, under quarantine, or are immunocompromised and have either been laid off or don’t have access to paid medical/family leave.
First responders who become sick or need to be quarantined after exposure to COVID-19.
During this time, unemployment benefits have been extended from 20 to 26 weeks and the eligibility period has been changed from 14 to 28 days. The work search requirements and in-person registration have also been waived. If you are eligible to apply for unemployment benefits, you can do so online or by calling 1-866-500-0017.
Things are hard right now. The best things we can all do to help are to stay diligent about washing your hands, engage in social distancing, and avoid buying excessive amounts of items at the grocery store. Remember, people with Coronavirus can be contagious even if they aren’t showing symptoms, so if it’s possible for you to stay home, it’s the best place for you to be.
Image Credit: iStock / inkoly