By state Rep. Sarah Lightner of Springport
The world, our country and state are truly in unprecedented times as we face the rapidly evolving challenges of a global health pandemic.
A lot has transpired recently, including reported coronavirus cases in both Jackson and Eaton Counties, as well as Michigan’s first confirmed deaths as a result of the virus. While I know this somber news causes great concern, it’s important for us to remain resilient and stand united as a community.
Both state and local health departments are working around the clock to contain COVID-19 and help protect Michigan families. Just like our health care professionals, law enforcement, first responders and employees at our neighborhood grocery stores and gas stations – at the risk of their own health – continue to provide essential labor to keep our communities functioning.
In the midst of uncertain times, these community members are truly unsung heroes. They’re spending long days and nights to support us, and we must return the favor by supporting them.
In order to flatten the curve and stop the spread of the virus, it’s on all of us in the coming weeks to be mindful of our decisions. That means taking necessary, preventative steps to avoid exposure and adhering to the advice of medical experts. The health of our communities depends on it.
Ensuring the safety of Eaton, Jackson and Lenawee county families and residents throughout the state is my top priority. I recently cast my vote for an emergency budget plan to help with mitigation efforts. The plan allocates $150 million in state funds to assist in virus monitoring, testing and infection control. This was a proactive step to provide swift aid to those on the front lines combating COVID-19.
I will continue to closely monitor the situation working with state and local officials, school leaders and local businesses to ensure they have the resources they need to respond to this health crisis.
In the meantime, I urge everyone, regardless of their age or statistical risk, to make a habit of washing their hands thoroughly, sanitizing belongings often, and practicing social distancing.
For questions about COVID-19, residents can call 1 (888) 535-6136. The hotline is open every day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. If the hotline is busy, written correspondences can be emailed to [email protected]. Reliable information about coronavirus can also be found by visiting www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus and www.CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
There is certainly more work to be done legislatively to bolster the state’s response to this pandemic. I remain committed to taking aggressive action to keep our communities safe moving forward. We can and will get through this if we continue to work together and support one another.
As always, please do not hesitate to reach out to my office with questions or concerns at (517) 373-1775 or [email protected].
Rep. Sarah Lightner – a member of the Michigan House Appropriations Committee – helped lead the Legislature’s approval of a new state budget overcoming the financial challenges posed by COVID-19.