Here is a roundup of the latest news concerning the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to announcements from local, state, and federal governments, as well as international channels. To share a business or nonprofit story, please send us a message.
State Picks Deloitte to Assist Unemployment Agency
The state of Michigan has selected Detroit’s Deloitte to assist its Unemployment Insurance Agency as it continues to respond to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Deloitte, a nationally recognized professional services organization, will help the UIA with financial operations, investigations into imposter claims, and a forensic review to help identify fraudulent activity that can be quickly turned over to law enforcement for prosecution.
“As the UIA works to improve its systems to enhance customer service, data transparency, payment systems, and fraud prevention, we’re glad to have Deloitte on our team,” says Steve Gray, director of UIA. “The Deloitte team’s skills and experience help us protect Michiganders and provide unemployment benefits to our working families.”
Deloitte will review the programs and systems at the UIA and assist with the investigation of imposter and fraudulent claims. Deloitte has extensive experience with state unemployment and workforce systems across the country and will provide valuable financial and systems knowledge as the UIA continues to process a historic number of claims during this health and economic crisis. Deloitte also will bring additional capacity to help the state identify potential cybersecurity vulnerabilities and take action to mitigate identified risks.
“Consistent with our commitment to our clients and our communities, Deloitte is pleased to bring our deep understanding of unemployment insurance systems and our broad capabilities in cybersecurity and forensic assessment to support the state of Michigan’s efforts to protect the integrity of their complex systems,” says David Parent, Michigan managing principal at Deloitte.
Downtown Detroit’s Shinola Hotel Restaurants Reopening
Shinola Hotel in downtown Detroit, which began its phased reopening last month, is now fully open with the Chef Andrew Carmellini’s restaurants, including the southern Italian San Morello, again serving guests.
“Now more than ever we’re seeing the importance of food in fostering connections and refuge from people’s daily lives,” says Carmellini. “In this reopening phase, we are excited to once again be providing just that and doing what we love for our guests in a safe and comfortable environment.”
San Morello reopened July 14 for 4-10 p.m. dinner service five days a week (Tuesday-Saturday). It will begin its weekend brunch on Saturday and Sunday, July 25 and 26 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with dinner service being reintroduced on Sundays that evening as well. The restaurant will continue to offer to-go and delivery order service.
The Brakeman will return to serving Midwest craft brews on Wednesday, July 22 with a five-day 5 p.m.-midnight schedule (Wednesday-Sunday).
Penny Red’s, the casual venue adjacent to The Brakeman also will reopen July 22 with a five-day 4-11 p.m. schedule (Wednesday-Sunday). It also will continue to offer to-go and delivery order service.
Hotel and restaurant officials say they are adhering to stringent health and safety protocols for the protection of guests and staff.
Upon arrival, hotel guests are greeted with complimentary wellness kits that include masks, gloves, individual sanitizing wipes, and Emergen-C packets. The hotel also features expedited mobile check in to skip the line in the lobby, convenient Safe Space Scanners to provide automatic non-contact temperature checks for all guests, and a discount for choosing to self-park instead of valet their car.
The Living Room, the venue that serves as the heart of the hotel, now will be available exclusively to hotel guests and capacity will be limited to 15. In-room dining also will be limited contact, as tables will be delivered outside the room doors and team members will maintain a 6-foot distance from guests.
The hotel says it is continuing to use “top-of-the-line cleaning products” and CDC Level 2 encasements for bedding offering full protection of pillows, mattresses and duvets and conducting a deep clean between every stay. Guest luggage also is sanitized as soon as it is in a team member’s possession and again after being placed in the room. Team members are pre-screened, receive temperature checks throughout the day and will be equipped with masks, gloves, and other necessary PPE.
As a thank you to the area’s frontline pandemic workers, the hotel is offering “Essential Stays for Essential Workers” package, offering a one-night VIP experience at a rate of $99 (normally more than $300). The offer extends to health care workers, firefighters, paramedics, postal workers, city transportation drivers, delivery service drivers, and others.
For more information, visit here.
National Tech Training Program Bringing Virtual Learning Program to Detroiters
NPower, one of the country’s largest free tech training programs, is recruiting Detroit residents for its next remote learning semester, beginning Sept. 8.
Camille Walker Banks, executive director of NPower in Michigan, says NPower will provide free tech training to underserved 18-25 year old people throughout the Detroit region, students who otherwise wouldn’t have a chance to launch a career in tech.
“NPower’s mission is to arm the youth of Detroit with the skills needed to fill the growing tech talent pipeline,” says Banks. “Our free 23-week program allows students to master the basics of IT with real-world application and credentials. Students are also assigned mentors and have an opportunity to earn paid internships at regional tech companies.”
Some 80 percent of NPower graduates are employed full-time after the six-month program, according to Banks, who adds, “there are more than 4,000 open tech jobs in Detroit and with the high unemployment of young adults, this is an opportunity to bring both sides together.”
Applications are considered on a rolling basis until the class is filled. The Detroit site currently only serves young adults ages 18-25. To apply or learn more about this program, visit here.
Beaumont Teen Health Centers to Offer Curbside Vaccinations
Beaumont Health will be offering curbside vaccinations at its Teen Health Centers in River Rouge and Taylor, from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., on July 30 and Aug. 5, respectively.
All public-school children must have vaccinations even if classes are conducted online and not in person, and the state reports a 44.5 percent decrease in immunizations during the pandemic. Parents must call their center of choice to register for an assigned, staggered appointment time. Availability is limited. More than one child per vehicle is okay.
The River Rouge location is part of River Rouge High School, 1460 W. Coolidge Highway. Call 313-843-1639 to register.
Golden Nugget and Ojibwa Casino Bringing Online Betting to Michigan
Michiganders who desire to place legal bets online soon will be able to do so thanks to Golden Nugget Online Gaming Inc. and the Ojibwa Casino, located south of Houghton in the Upper Peninsula.
The Texas-based casino operator is partnering with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community to offer the Golden Nugget Online Casino in Michigan. The state’s sports bettors also will be able to utilize the Golden Nugget Online Sportsbook.
“We are excited to partner with Golden Nugget to bring Online Casino and Sports betting to the state of Michigan,” says Chris Swartz, president of the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community. “Working with a strong brand will be a perfect complement to our brand-new casino in Marquette as well as our casino in Baraga.”
Dossin Great Lakes Museum to Reopen to Public July 24
After closing in mid-March in response to the COVID-19 public health emergency, the Dossin Great Lakes Museum on Belle Isle plans to reopen to the public on Friday, July 24 at 10 a.m. Detroit Historical Society members will be able to visit the museum on July 23.
Once open, the museum will then operate with abbreviated hours (Thursday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 1-5 p.m.), with enhanced health and safety measures, including:
- One-way entry and exit procedures.
- Restricted visitor capacity in all galleries.
- Guests ages 5+ must wear masks at all times inside the building.
- Frequent cleaning and disinfection of public areas and hand sanitizing stations throughout the museum.
- Posted guidelines for social distancing.
- Cashless and touchless transactions wherever possible.
Advance ticket reservations are strongly recommended (free with a suggested $5 donation), which can be acquired here.