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Michigan legislators pass statewide COVID-19 protection bills after 'second wave' warning

Officials change COVID testing advice, bewildering experts
Posted at 6:43 AM, Oct 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-14 06:43:09-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Coronavirus cases are on the rise in Michigan, and legislators in Lansing took action overnight to add several COVID-19 protection measures statewide.

While most Michiganders were sleeping, lawmakers in Lansing passed a number of bills replacing some of the governor’s executive orders that were overturned earlier this month.

With school in session and people heading outdoors, cases of COVID-19 in Michigan are on the rise.

“Cases are up, hospitalizations are up, sadly fatalities are up," said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Director Robert Gordon.

After Governor Whitmer's executive orders were overturned by the state Supreme Court, the state health department, along with local cities and counties passed their own restrictions on wearing masks and dining capacity.

"People can still do things that make them happy, they just have to be safe and smart," said MDHHS Director Gordon.

Legislators passed a number of bills to replace previous orders by the governor, among them a bill expanding unemployment, extending expiration for driver's licenses and registration, allowing for virtual open meetings, and creating care and recovery centers in nursing homes.

"If we wear masks, if we socially distant, those are the things that are going to help us bend the curve down," said Gordon.

If there’s a positive to take from all this, Gordon says Detroiters are holding strong, doing what's necessary to keep COVID-19 at bay.

"Detroit has bent the curve as much as anyone in the state and is really succeeding right now, so we just got to keep at it, that’s the most important thing," said Gordon.

Some of these bills passed unanimously, and now all they need is the Gov. Whitmer's signature to take effect.

View all three bills below:

Senate Bill 0886 entitled "Michigan Employment Security Act"

2020-SNB-0886 by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

Senate Bill 0911 entitled "State Employees' Retirement Act"

2020-SIB-0911 by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd

House Bill 6192 entitled "Michigan Vehicle Code"

2020-HCB-6192 by WXYZ-TV Channel 7 Detroit on Scribd