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Michigan nears 1,800 confirmed COVID-19 cases

LANSING — There are 1,791 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, according to the latest counts from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
The figures also show 24 confirmed deaths in Michigan from Holland COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.
There were 463 new cases and nine new deaths from Monday, March 23. Ottawa County is up to 15 confirmed cases, while Allegan County still has one confirmed case.
Tuesday marked the beginning of a “stay home, stay safe” executive order issued by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The order mandates that all non-essential employees stay home until at least April 13.
School employees had already been directed to stay home, as Whitmer originally ordered the closure of schools from Monday, March 16 to April 6. That timeframe has been extended to match the stay-at-home order. Holland News

Employees of businesses affected by the coronavirus have been flooding the state’s unemployment benefits system. Over 130,000 people in Michigan filed for unemployment during the week of March 16, compared to a normal average 5,100 people during the same time in a normal year.
WOOD TV-8 reported that despite the overwhelming number of people filing for unemployment, the state says it’s still processing all claims, albeit at a slower rate than usual.
“The increase in claims shows the system is working,” Jason Moon, communications director for Michigan’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity, told WOOD. “We ask folks to remain patient during this time as the system may be running a bit slower at peak times. The system has experienced a tremendous increase in claims. Holland Medical News
“The data shows the system is performing, and that this emergency financial relief is being (provided) to Michigan families.”

Senate negotiations coming to a close?

In Washington, talks over a relief bill for employees and businesses appear to be progressing. Sen. Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, said talks were “at the two-yard line,” over a multi-trillion dollar stimulus package. Holland Political News
The Senate measure would provide a quick, one-time stipend of about $1,200 per individual, $2,400 for couples, and $3,000 for a family of four. The money would cut off at higher income levels.
It would also establish a new, much more generous unemployment benefit by adding $600 per week to normal state benefits for up to four months and provides an additional 13 weeks of benefits to 39 weeks of regular unemployment insurance through the end of 2020 if they are sidelined by the outbreak. The coverage would be retroactive to Jan. 27. Extends coverage to “gig” workers and independent contractors. Holland Distribution Service

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