By Charles Sercombe
As the coronavirus continues to spread in Michigan – and in Wayne County especially – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer continues to take action.
Hamtramck, like most communities seems like a ghost town. There is hardly anyone on the streets, which is a good thing considering that the governor’s directive to stay at home as much as possible is still in effect.
As of Thursday, the day The Review went to press, there were 23 known COVID-19 cases in Hamtramck – up from nine last week. Mayor Karen Majewski said there has been one death from the disease, a 90-year-old man who was being treated at a hospital in Livonia.
On Thursday, before The Review went to press, Gov. Whitmer announced that she cancelled the remainder of the school year.
Despite her spat with President Trump, Whitmer’s request for Trump to declare Michigan a “Major Disaster” was granted.
That move opens the way for the state to work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and take advantage of various FEMA programs.
“This is a good start, and it will help us protect Michiganders and slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Whitmer a press release. “I’m hopeful that the president will review my request for individual assistance programs that would provide meals to families who need them, and rental assistance and temporary housing for families. I look forward to the federal government’s continued partnership as we work to fight this virus.”
Other actions Whitmer has taken include:
Requiring cities that disconnected water service to any household immediately restore that service.
Whitmer has set up a $2 million “Water Restart Grant Program” to help communities with restoring water service.
Again, in a press release, Whitmer said:
“This is a critical step both for the health of families living without a reliable water source, and for slowing the spread of the Coronavirus.
“We continue to work to provide all Michiganders – regardless of their geography or income level – the tools they need to keep themselves and their communities protected.”
City Manager Kathy Angerer said there were no recent water shut-offs, but she was not sure how many households had no water service to begin with.
The state is assisting communities that are holding special elections on May 5 with mailing absentee voter ballots to all registered voters.
Hamtramck had a school bond proposal on the May 5 ballot, but the public school district decided to postpone it, and instead will piggyback the proposal on the August primary election ballot.
No one likes paying income taxes, but the state did the next best thing: The deadline to submit state and local income taxes is now July 15, instead of April 15.
The federal government has also extended the tax filing deadline to July 15.
Pharmacists in the state are now allowed to fill emergency prescriptions for up to 60 days. That directive from the governor runs through April 22, but it could be extended.
The governor’s directive for people to stay home is still in effect through April 13. During this shut-in period, only folks who have what are termed “essential jobs” can go to work.
Otherwise, you can go to grocery stores, medical facilities – and a number of other businesses — as well as enjoy recreational activities outside. The public must observe social distancing – keeping at least 6 feet apart from one another while out in the public.
For those who don’t obey the ban, they could be fined up to $500.
Non-essential businesses must also remain closed.
Posted April 3, 2020