I hope you have all had a chance to enjoy the warm spring weather we have been having this week. As we continue to enjoy all our community has to offer this spring, please remember to continue to protect yourself and your family from the spread of COVID-19.
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Please do not hesitate to call my office at (517) 373-0990 or reply to this email if you have any questions or need assistance.
Working for you,
NEW TOOL AVAILABLE TO HELP LOCATE COVID TREATMENTS
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has announced a new tool for Michigan residents and health care providers to help locate COVID-19 treatments across the state.
Users may search to find sites and locations that have therapeutic options available including monoclonal antibodies, oral antivirals, and Evusheld, a preventative treatment for those who are moderately to severely immunocompromised. The site provides phone numbers, operating hours, and information about which therapeutics are available.
Retail chain pharmacies that have oral antivirals in stock include Meijer, Walgreens, Rite-Aid, and CVS, in addition to select independent pharmacy locations. It is important to contact your health care provider as you must present a prescription from a physician, or advanced practice clinician to pick up medication at the pharmacy.
All individuals who test positive for COVID-19 should talk to their doctor to see if they are eligible to receive one of the COVID therapeutics. Don’t delay, as treatment must be started early to work.
For more information on therapeutics, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus/Resources.
BEWARE OF SCAMMERS VIA TEXT AND CALL
Smishing is when scammers send text messages pretending to be from trusted sources. Their goal is to get targets to respond with personal information such as passwords and credit card details and/or click on links that will install malware on the victim’s device. Smishing is similar to phishing, which is the same practice but through email.
A scam text may read like the following” “Verizon Free Msg: Latest bill processed. Thanks, [Your Name]! Here’s a little freebie for you: fismk.exy/XXXXX”
Attorney General Dana Nessel has announced that smishing attacks are on the rise. She has provided tips on how you can protect your number and other personal information:
If you are an AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, Sprint, or Bell subscriber, you can report spam or smishing texts to your carrier by copying the original text and forwarding it to 7726 (SPAM), free of charge.
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Robocalls are also a prevalent problem in Michigan, and across the country. Not only are they annoying, but they can also be harmful to those who are scammed by them. AG Nessel has been working tirelessly to pursue these scam artists, but she needs our help.
If you are contacted by a robocall, getting as much information from them — where they are located, what business they are calling for, the reason for their call, and the phone number they are calling from — can help immensely in holding these people accountable. Even if you are unable to get all that information, some of it can also help.
If you pick up a robocall, or they leave a voicemail, please fill out this form from the Robocalls Crackdown Team with as much information as you can. You may also put your number on the National Do Not Call Registry from the Federal Trade Ccommission’s (FTC) official Do Not Call website.
Note: By putting your number on the Do Not Call Registry, other types of organizations may still call you. Please read the FTC’s FAQ’s for more information.
PREPARE FOR FUTURE EDUCATION COSTS
If you are facing college in the future for children or grandchildren, now is a great time to explore all the options the State of Michigan offers to help families save and prepare for education costs.
The cost of savings for future education continues to be one of the biggest concerns for families. Each year, that worry gets larger as the cost of tuition continues to increase. According to U.S. News & World Report, since 2002, tuition and fees at public National Universities have grown 211%.
The State of Michigan offers several plans to help save for the cost of education. Michigan offers two direct-sold Section 529 savings plans, the Michigan Education Trust (MET), and the Michigan Education Savings Program (MESP):
In addition, Michigan strives to help families prepare and save with their Student Scholarships, Grants and Outreach Division and MiABLE 529(A) plans. Information on these programs can be found at Michigan.gov/mistudentaid.
MICHIGAN RELEASES 2022 EAT SAFE FISH GUIDES
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has released the 2022 regional Eat Safe Fish Guides. These guides can help Michiganders plan their fish consumption to minimize exposure to chemicals that can build up in fish, while still getting all the health benefits of eating fish.
Unlike the Michigan Department of Natural Resource’s Michigan Fishing Guide, the MDHHS Eat Safe Fish guidelines are not laws or regulations, and no one is required to follow them. Instead, the guides are a free resource for those who would like information about which fish, and how many of those fish, are healthy to eat from various bodies of water across the state.
Chemicals in fish are a worldwide problem that is not limited to Michigan and other Great Lakes states. The chemicals most found in fish are mercury and PCBs. However, PFAS, including PFOS, have also been found in fish from certain bodies of water in Michigan.
It is important to note that fish from some areas in Michigan are more contaminated than others. By using the Eat Safe Fish Guides, Michigan consumers can be confident that they are making informed choices about eating the fish they catch from their local lake or river.
For more information on how to buy, eat or prepare safe fish, or to get the 2022 Eat Safe Fish Guide for your region, visit Michigan.gov/EatSafeFish and click on Find Your Area or call 800-648-6942.