In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Michigan is providing information and resources to help older Michiganders and those caring for them protect themselves from the virus and help prevent it from spreading to others.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced June 1 she is lifting the stay-at-home order, says restaurants and bars can open June 8 at 50 percent capacity, and people may gather in groups of up to 100 as long as they socially distance.
Retailers may reopen without appointments, but with capacity limits.
Workers can return to office settings if working remotely is not possible. Employees who can should telecommute.
Day camps for children and outdoor swimming pools can open with reduced capacity on June 8. Libraries and museums can open June 8, also with capacity restrictions.
But schools, gyms, barber shops and hair salons, indoor theaters, casinos and tattoo parlors must remain closed.
Businesses considered essential to health and safety -- including grocery stores, pharmacies, banks and credit unions, gas stations and auto repair shops -- have been open.
The Governor encouraged Michiganders to continue to socially distance at least 6 feet apart and to work masks in enclosed areas.
"We're taking a big step forward today in Michigan, but stay smart, stay safe and if you fit the criteria, get tested," Whitmer said.
For more details about what is open and closed and other information about the order, go to Michigan.gov/coronavirus.
AARP coronavirus resource information:
From the Michigan Aging and Adult Services Agency:
Coronavirus hotline with menu option for older adults to speak with senior specialist: 888-535-6136 or e-mail COVID19@michigan.gov
- Virtual statewide food drive partnering with Michigan Food Bank Council, asking the public to donate and fund Quarantine Boxes for older adults: https://www.fbcmich.org/virtualfooddrive
- Older adults can request services including home delivered meals, delivery of food packages and friendly reassurance: https://newmibridges.michigan.gov/s/request-meal-delivery-reassurance?language=en_US
- Volunteers to can support an older adult or senior services (delivering meals, packages, or friendly reassurance): https://newmibridges.michigan.gov/s/aging-services-volunteer?language=en_US
Do you have symptoms?
If you have coronavirus symptoms, call your health care provider or local public health department to figure out if you could — and should — get tested. Signs of the virus are a dry cough, fever and shortness of breath. You can also use the CDC's Coronavirus Self-Checker to check your symptoms. (Read more about coronavirus and how to stay safe.)
The first step to pursue testing for the novel coronavirus is to call your doctor, as recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you don’t have a doctor, the state of Michigan has a hotline specifically for people who suspect they may have the coronavirus. That number is 888.535.6136.
Or, contact your county health department.
Up-to-date state and local health information:
- The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services offers updates on those infected, plus tips for prevention, public resources and contact information. Go to Michigan.gov/coronavirus for details and updates, or call 888-535-6136.
- For medical, food and recovery services and information, call your local 211.
- If you know of someone that may have been impacted by the subsequent layoff due to COVID-19, please advise them that 2-1-1 has resources available to them. The caller must inform the call specialist that they are experiencing a financial crisis due to COVID-19, and the call specialist may be able to locate a program that can help. If they live in the Clinton, Eaton or Ingham County area the Capital Area United Way has set up an Emergency Relief Fund which could assist them if deemed eligible. This ERF will pay up to $500.00 on a one time basis for rent, mortgage, or utilities. They can also provide the caller with information regarding food pantries within their zip code as well.So far over 230,000 individuals have applied and they are either approved or pending payments of over $100,000.00 going directly to the landlord, mortgage company or utility companies.
For stress and anxiety relief
- Michiganders can access science-backed, evidence-based guided meditations, along with at-home workouts to help address rising stress and anxiety. Available at www.headspace.com/MI an internet connection is the only thing that is needed to access these tools while you stay home and stay safe.
Food assistance, information and resources:
If financial difficulty is a barrier to food, consider these resources and programs with assistance programs in your area.
- Contact 2-1-1 for local information and emergency food services.
- Food Banks in Michigan
- Find Meals on Wheels program near you.
- The Michigan National Guard is offering support at the South Michigan Food Bank in Battle Creek. Approximately five Airmen from the 110th Wing, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base, started serving at this site beginning April 17. The South Michigan Food Bank in Battle Creek will be the sixth food distribution site supported by the Michigan National Guard across the state. Since March 30, Michigan National Guard members have been serving at food bank locations in Comstock Park, Ann Arbor, Pontiac, and Flint.
- Many public transportation providers are providing are taking on new roles, like Charlevoix County Transit delivering groceries, prescription medications, and food pantry packages. Check with your local provider for more information.
- Reach out to your local Area Agency on Aging for a variety of resources, from food and prescription delivery to assistance with application for SNAP benefits.
- Eldercare Locator for additional resources in your area.
- Grocery stores to know about:
- Kroger grocery stores are open from 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. and have exclusive shopping for seniors 60 years of age and older on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, from 7-8 a.m. Pick up and delivery options may be available.
- Meijer grocery stores are open an hour early on Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 7-8 a.m. for senior shoppers. Follow this link for more information about delivery and pick up services.
- Walmart will open its doors one hour before stores open on Tuesdays for seniors, between March 24 and April 28. Pick up is available for free or schedule delivery for a fee. Visit walmart.com for more information.
- Whole Foods stores are open an hour early every day, from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m., for senior shoppers. Check for pick up and delivery options here.
- Pharmacies to be aware of:
- CVS pharmacies now offer free delivery of prescriptions and other essentials. Click this link to learn more. In-store hours vary by location.
- Rite Aid pharmacies open one hour early every day, 9-10 a.m. for shoppers 65 years of age and older.
- Most Walgreens are open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. and open one hour early for senior shoppers on Tuesdays. They offer free shipping on prescription refills and same day delivery is available in select locations through Postmates.
- Shopping and delivery services (fee-based or membership) to consider:
Health assistance, information and resources:
- Dental, eye care/vision and medical appointments: A temporary order has been issued to postpone all non-essential appointments and procedures. Check with your care provider to reschedule your appointment. In the event of an emergency, call 9-1-1.
- Don't underestimate the impact of anxiety and stress on your well-being. Click here for helpful tips and resources.
- If you or someone you know is living with persistent mental health challenges, such as depression, anxiety and trauma, contact the Warmline at 888-733-7753 to speak with a certified peer support specialist.
- If you or your loved one is in crisis, contact the Disaster Distress Hotline 24/7 at 800-985-5590 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 24/7 at 800-273-8255.
- Find testing locations near you with the COVID-19 Test Site Finder.
- For assistance with making health benefit decisions, changes to health insurance due to unemployment or job loss, Medicaid, and Medicare, contact the Michigan Medicare Medicaid Assistance Program (MMAP) at 800-803-7174.
- Contact your local health department for additional resources and information.
- For the latest Michigan-specific information on COVID-19, visit Michigan.gov/coronavirus
Information and Resources for Caregivers
- The Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program is available to assist with questions or concerns regarding long term care facilities. They may be reached at 866-485-9393.
- Click the link for more practical tips for caregivers.
- Is your loved one in a nursing home? Follow this link for 6 questions you should ask.
- Check out the AARP Michigan Caregivers Guide for information and resources.
Small business disaster relief:
- Learn here about how to apply for small business economic disaster loans: https://sbdcmichigan.org/small-business-covid19/
- Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II teamed up with former Lt. Governor Brian Calley to launch a new statewide website, MIpaycheckprotection.com, to provide businesses with key resources to assist with the PPP application and loan process and ensure the greatest amount of federal funding is able to be used by small businesses for economic relief efforts throughout the state.
Financial resources and unemployment benefits:
- Whitmer’s executive order extends unemployment benefits to workers who have an “unanticipated family care responsibility,” including child care responsibilities because of school closures. It also covers workers who are sick, quarantined or immunocompromised but do not have paid medical leave or are laid off, along with first responders who become ill or are quarantined because of the exposure to COVID-19. Online applications are recommended at michigan.gov/uia because of recently increased call volumes, but those seeking to file a claim for benefits can also call 1-866-500-0017 to apply, Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or visit the nearest local unemployment office.To file a claim, you need:
- Your Social Security Number, driver's license number, state identification or MARVIN PIN (if you have one)
- If you are not a U.S. citizen or national, you will need your alien registration number and the expiration date of your work authorization.
- Names and addresses of employers you have worked for in the past 18 months, including quarterly gross earnings and the last date of employment with each.
Your application for benefits will be evaluated to determine whether you are eligible for benefits and how much money you may receive.
- Economic impact payments (stimulus checks) are being processed as a result of the passage of H.R. 748. Social Security recipients are also eligible. Know how much you can expect and when by following this link.
- Federal, state and local individual income tax filing deadlines have been extended to July 2020. For more information about federal income tax deadlines, visit this link. Specific information related to state and local deadline extensions may be found here.
Information and resources for veterans, military and their families:
- Visit this AARP page for resources available during the COVID-19 outbreak.
- Find additional information and resources in the AARP Military Caregiving Guide.
Additional resources and activities available while social distancing:
- Lessons from the Home Front.docx
- 8 tips to keep parents and kids sane and safe during Michigan's coronavirus outbreak.
- Check out MLive's compilation of virtual experiences to be enjoyed from the comfort of your home.
- Smithsonian Magazine offers links to ten museums to experience online.
- We may be apart, but we don't have to be alone. Give Help. Get Help with AARP Community Connections.
- Michigan's state parks and trails remain open. Visit the website for the latest updates and information.
- Want to learn how to play a guitar? Fender is offering beginner-level classes online.
- Brush up on your cooking skills with these free lessons, Master the Basics from the NY Times.
- Interested in honing your photography skills? Here are 12 free photography courses and online content to keep you busy during quarantine. Professional Photographers of America is also offering more than 1,100 online courses for free until the end of May.
- The Shows Must Go On!: Watch select Broadway productions by Andrew Lloyd Weber for free, every Friday beginning at 2:00 pm EST from April 3 - May 22. Each production will be available for 48 hours.
- Need some good news? Check out the New Positive Podcast on the Good News Network.
- And don't forget to complete the Census!
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