Coronavirus Resources and Updates

News Items

Message From the Bureau of Community Action and Equal Opportunity:

As you know, a global outbreak of a respiratory disease named coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) started in China in late 2019. The virus has been detected in more than 90 countries, including the U.S. There are currently two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. 
The state of Michigan has been working with federal and local partners to monitor the situation, develop and expand laboratory testing, educate and raise awareness, and prepare for COVID-19 in Michigan.
  • On February 3, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services activated the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center to support state and local response.
  • On February 28, Governor Whitmer activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate state-government resources.
  • On March 3, Governor Whitmer announced the creation of four task forces to combat the spread of coronavirus and assess the impact it may have on Michiganders’ day-to-day lives.
Today, the overall threat to the general public and in the U.S. remains low, but we are approaching this emerging threat to public health with an abundance of caution. As member of Michigan Community Action, we want you to have appropriate information on what individuals can do to protect themselves.

Use good hygiene practices to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other respiratory diseases.
  • Stay home if you are sick, and advise others to do the same.
  • Always cover coughs or sneezes with a tissue or sleeve.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and warm water are not available.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces (computers, keyboards, desks, etc.).
  • It’s not too late to get your flu shot! While the influenza vaccine does not protect against COVID-19 infection, it can help keep you healthy during the flu season.

Review travel advisories before planning travel.
Always review travel advisories from the federal government when planning personal and business travel. Review CDC.gov/Travel for destinations with risk of community spread of COVID-19

Take action to prepare your organization.
Community spread of COVID-19 in Michigan could impact routines and daily operations. Employers should consider creating or updating their infectious disease outbreak response plan including:
  • Identify work-related exposure and health risks to employees.
  • Review human resources policies to make sure policies and practices are consistent with public health recommendations.
  • Explore policies and practices for flexible worksites or hours to increase physical distance between employees.
  • Identify essential business functions to maintain operations if interruptions to supply chains or increased absenteeism occur.
The CDC has provided guidance for preventing the spread of COVID-19 in communities including businesses, community- and faith-based organizations, and childcare organizations and schools.

Share accurate information.
Always share accurate information about a virus and how it spreads. It is important to remember that stigma and discrimination occur when people associate an infectious disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality. COVID-19 does not target people from specific populations, ethnicities or racial background. Suspected discrimination can be reported to the Michigan Department of Civil Rights.
This is a rapidly evolving situation. For the latest information frequently visit, Michigan.gov/Coronavirus or CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

Additional Resources (Please check back for updates):

From Community Action Partnership:

• CAPLAW recently issued guidance  for our network on managing employees, providing services and planning events. CAPLAW will be regularly updating its newly created coronavirus web page with funding source information and upcoming webinars.

• NCAF is in discussions with the CDC regarding interpreting guidance for Community Action Agencies, and NCAF is also exploring legislative opportunities to support CAAs given the likely increase in community need. In order to advocate effectively on behalf of our network, NCAF will continue to collect information on your arising obstacles and needs - please continue to respond when NCAF reaches out to you for information, and please do not hesitate to contact NCAF at 202-842-2092 or [email protected].

• The Partnership will be sending regular e-newsletters with information focused on the response and links to service-specific information as it becomes available. The Partnership has also created a web page that will have updated information and will share information through our social media channels. The Partnership board meets next week and the coronavirus will be a key discussion point. Staff contact list is here if you have questions/concerns you'd like to share.  

• NASCSP is supporting state CSBG and WAP offices as they work to respond to the emerging needs of their state networks and follow state level directives coming out of governors' offices and state departments of health. NASCSP is also in direct contact with federal staff at the Office of Community Services (OCS) and Department of Energy (DOE) in order to monitor and quickly disseminate federal guidance for state grantees. NASCSP will continue to work closely with the national partners and state associations to ensure it provides the critical information and services needed in our network during this time. NASCSP is here to help - for anything related to WAP state offices please contact Amy Klusmeier, and for CSBG state offices please contact Maribeth Schneber-Rhemrev, or visit NASCSP's website .

As NCAF's David Bradley will tell you, even Congress is unsure of the totality of the response needed. As information continues to evolve, we recommend that each agency appoint a staff member to stay up-to-date on coronavirus guidance and become the point person for your local and state health department. Guidance will likely vary by region, and your local health department continues to be an important resource.