By state Rep. Diana Farrington of Utica
These are unprecedented times in Macomb County.
We have seen cases of coronavirus rise steadily in recent days as more testing continues to occur. It is likely that as the number of administered tests rises, so will reported positives. Southeast Michigan, including Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties, has been especially hard hit. My thoughts are with all who are struggling and those who have lost loved ones.
I was supportive of a recent order by the governor asking people to stay at home and I agree with the message. Staying spread apart will limit this virus’ ability to spread, and we must do our best to adhere to what medical professionals and experts at both the national and state level have recommended.
I get that in practical terms, committing to staying at home is not the easiest thing to do. The weather is getting warmer after months of Michigan’s traditionally unrelenting winter. Our kids want to go out and play with their friends. We want to go out and take in a ballgame, play a round of golf or go to the shopping mall with our close friends or family. But committing to this practice will get Michigan closer to its apex of cases faster. It keeps everyone safer.
The governor’s order will continue through April 13 and allows for a segment of essential business and activity to proceed. This is important for our grocery stores and local markets that are working hard to keep shelves stocked during this challenging time. We owe immense gratitude to these employees. They are putting their health at risk every single day they report to work.
Through my position as a state Representative, I will continue to work with state experts and local officials to stay on top of this public health emergency. I recently supported a pair of emergency state funding measures to help mitigate spread and position resources. The plan set aside $150 million to assist in monitoring and testing, infection control and expanded capacity for health care providers. A $50 million portion of this total will be kept in reserve – as this is an evolving situation which requires flexibility in response. This vote was a proactive step to reduce risk and provide help to people who need it.
There are other challenges to address moving forward, such as the impact these steps will have on our school days or the state’s vital small business sector. We continue to have discussions, weigh our options and plan as this situation unfolds. First and foremost, we are making every effort to keep people safe and our health care system – along with medical workers who are on the front lines of this battle – from being overwhelmed. That starts with you, and it starts right at home.
Rep. Diana Farrington, of Utica, is in her second term in the Michigan House serving residents in the 30th District, which includes the city of Utica and parts of Sterling Heights and Shelby Charter Township.
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