State Rep. Joe Bellino and a group of House Republican lawmakers this week announced a plan aimed at giving the people of Michigan more certainty and control by allowing for data-driven COVID-19 responses that reflect conditions in local communities.
The plan relies on science-based, county-level data to guide decisions to keep people healthy and determine appropriate COVID-19 restrictions.
“People are growing frustrated with the state’s one-size-fits-all approach to COVID-19,” said Bellino, of Monroe. “Our plan offers certainty and hope by taking politics out of our response, relying on clear and science-based data, and giving local communities goals to strive toward together.”
The plan was created by a work group formed to develop refinements to existing plans after the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling striking down Gov. Whitmer’s executive orders as unconstitutional. The plan builds upon themes first championed by House Republicans in April.
When the data supports it, local public health experts will have the option to modify their COVID-19 policies at the county-level – potentially loosening state limits on gathering sizes, restaurant capacity and other measures that would remain in place in other counties. Health thresholds allowing local decision-making would be based on five clear scientific metrics:
- Case rate. The number of confirmed community spread cases over a 14-day period is below 55 cases per 1 million people.
- Positivity rate. The rate of positive tests related to community spread over a 14-day period must be below 5 percent.
- Surge and hospital capacity. Hospitals must be able to handle a 20 percent surge in admissions or patient transfers, and they must be below a 25 percent hospitalization increase in the previous 14 days.
- Sufficient PPE supply. Local health facilities must have at least a two-week supply of personal protective equipment on hand.
- Ability to test for COVID-19. Counties must be able to test 15 people per 10,000 residents per day and turn around test results in three days or less.
If the data indicates a county is no longer meeting these COVID metrics, intervention strategies would immediately go into effect.
Bellino said the plan was put together by looking to best practices in other states in consultation with Michigan medical and science professionals, several of whom joined lawmakers to express support for the goals of the proposal and a willingness to work together on further refinements as it moves through the legislative process. Among those in attendance were Brian Long, President/CEO of Memorial Healthcare in Owosso, and Dr. Justin Grill, Chief Medical Officer of Mercy Health Muskegon.
State Rep. Joe Bellino, of Monroe, today said he is strongly opposed to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s recent order to shut down Line 5 by May 2021, saying this will harm thousands upon thousands of Michigan families. “Michigan’s energy security is no place for political games,” Bellino said. “And regardless of the environmental risks the governor […]
“This was a major step in the right direction for Michiganders throughout the state,” Bellino said. “My colleagues and I stand ready to work with the governor in the best interests of our families, from Wayne and Monroe counties all the way to the Upper Peninsula. We are strong here in Michigan, and we will get through the rest of this pandemic together.”
Serving the families of Wayne and Monroe counties is a position I am honored to have and a role I take very seriously. For the past two years, I’ve been fighting to improve the lives of people in our community and throughout all of Michigan.
Since Michigan students were sent home at the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March, the question arose: What would fall look like for our schools? What would students and teachers face in a new academic year? It was a question in Michigan and all across the country.