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Allies not opponents: physicians and small businesses working together to reopen Michigan safely

April 28, 2020

Reopening Michigan cannot be about lives vs. the economy, it must be about both, the Michigan State Medical Society and Small Business Association of Michigan together stressed today.

“COVID-19 has had devastating human and economic effect in Michigan and though we seem to be headed in a more positive direction, it’s clear that we will have to get used to a “new normal”,” said MSMS President S. Bobby Mukkamala, MD. “We need to remember that now more than ever, we’re in this together and need each other to get through this.”

Michigan physicians and small businesses are standing together because public health and economic health are both essential and must be approached that way to move the state forward. The organizations, which represent 15,000 physicians and 28,000 small businesses in Michigan, respectively, believe a thoughtful and careful approach must be taken that prioritizes both public health and workers’ opportunity to feed their families.  

“Reopening Michigan won’t and can’t be like flipping on a light switch,” said SBAM President Brian Calley. “Public health and the economy must be considered together for us to truly recover from this crisis. Doing so will help restart our economy and protect the health of Michiganders, which will benefit us all.”

The “new normal” will require:

  • Continuing social distancing and other mitigation strategies for the foreseeable future.

  • Work that can be performed at home, should still be performed at home, for the time being.

  • Wearing masks in public, in addition to proper use of personal protection equipment, especially for those in roles that require public interface.

  • A routine of daily health screenings for employees and regular sanitation and hygiene schedules for washing of hands, tools, surfaces.

Physicians and small businesses support reopening the economy in a phased-in, regional approach that allows the state to evaluate and health providers to address any negative public health outcomes that may result. Using a regional, risk-based approach will help the economy while limiting the risks to the health of Michigan residents.

MSMS and SBAM are encouraging the state to make sure plans for reopening Michigan always pair public health and economic needs together.

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