Michigan gets $45 million from FEMA for COVID-19 response

The Detroit News

Federal officials announced Monday nearly $45 million in federal funding is headed to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services for costs related to the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency and Michigan State Police's Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division said the money has been made available under the federal disaster declaration of March 27, 2020. It reimburses the health department for eligible costs related to providing COVID-19 testing and reporting between July 1, 2021, and Sept. 30

People wait for COVID-19 tests at the Get Well Urgent Care in Madison Heights on Dec. 30. Cases of COVID-19 have jumped in the state.

Approximately $8.1 million of the grant covered virus testing and reporting for residents at long-term care facilities, while $36.8 million covered testing and reporting for inmates, prison staff and visitors at the Michigan Department of Corrections facilities, authorities said in a statement.

“COVID-19 has not only taken a physical and mental toll on Michiganders, it has cost the state millions of dollars as we work to ensure everyone’s health and safety,” Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said. “This federal assistance is a big step toward helping our state agencies recoup some of those costs."

Col. Joe Gasper, state director of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and director of the Michigan State Police, added: “Our state agencies have worked around the clock to protect the well-being of all Michigan residents, and their work is not done yet." 

FEMA provides a 100% federal share of eligible reimbursable expenses for the projects.

“FEMA’s Public Assistance program is an important resource for state and local governments, jurisdictions, and eligible private non-profits to cover eligible COVID-19 expenses,” said Moises Dugan, acting regional administrator, FEMA Region 5. “The state’s actions protected the health and safety of Michigan residents and helped reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.”

News of the funding came the same day Michigan set a record for the highest number of patients hospitalized with the virus since the pandemic started.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services reported 4,581 adults were hospitalized with infections. 

The inpatient tally Monday broke the previous record set on Dec. 13, when the state health department reported 4,518 adults were hospitalized with confirmed virus infections.

Michigan on Monday added 44,524 confirmed cases of COVID-19 over three days and 56 deaths from the virus, including cases from Saturday and Sunday. The latest additions bring state totals to 1,681,135 confirmed cases and 27,878 deaths since the pandemic began in March 2020.