The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA) is providing the following information as it relates to the state’s Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) preparedness and response. Please feel free to share this communication with your colleagues and contacts:
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. However, the situation is rapidly evolving and it is likely we will see more cases across the U.S.
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 (MDHHS) activated the Community Health Emergency Coordination Center (CHECC) to support state and local response.
- On February 28, Governor Whitmer activated the State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) 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 our partner, 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.
LARA’s scheduled meetings and hearings will proceed as scheduled. Check our website regularly for updates in the event that board meetings, work group meetings, or case hearings are changed or rescheduled based on new developments
MARCH 12, 2020 UPDATE:
Dear Licensees & Stakeholders:
Thank you for being a valuable partner in our efforts to combat the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Following the announcement of the state’s first presumptive positive cases of COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) are providing recommendations designed to help prevent the spread of the virus.
These recommendations apply at the individual, organizational, and community levels. They apply to businesses, workplaces, schools, community organizations, health care institutions, and individuals of all ages, backgrounds, and health profiles; everyone has an important role to play. Please take a moment to review the Interim Recommendations to Mitigate the Spread of COVID-19 (March 11, 2020).
Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs