The State Emergency Operations Center (SEOC) activated the Michigan Joint Information Center (JIC) Tuesday to coordinate state agency communications efforts in response to the potential spread of Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The JIC is a virtual space that allows responding public information officers across the state to post and access and share the latest verified information online.
There have been no confirmed cases reported yet in Michigan, but 63 people in the state that meet symptom criteria for the disease and 24 tests are currently pending according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) website.
Deputy State Director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security Captain Emmitt McGowan says that the JIC is also used to track important information and provide it to the public.
“Timely and accurate communication is key to ensuring the safety of Michigan’s residents,” said McGowan.
The activation of the JIC follows the creation of four task forces that aim to prevent the spread of COVID-19 if it were to appear in the state as reported by the Advance.
In addition, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer last week announced that the Michigan Medicaid program is waiving all co-pays and cost-sharing for testing and health care treatment related to COVID-19.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), there are more than 113,000 confirmed cases and 4,000 deaths linked to COVID-19. In the United States, there are now 472 confirmed cases and 28 deaths linked to the disease.
Senate adopts resolution on free testing
The Michigan Senate adopted a resolution on Tuesday that urges the federal government to fund the medical costs associated with testing and mandatory hospital stays for coronavirus.
Senate Resolution 107 was introduced by state Sen. Mallory McMorrow (D-Royal Oak) last week.
“Being prepared is critical to control the spread of COVID-19 and to keep all of our residents safe. Viruses do not discriminate — and we need to ensure that everyone has access to testing and care for both themselves and to contain the spread to their community-at-large,” said McMorrow in a media statement.