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January is National Radon Awareness Month
Remind your customers to test their homes.
Radon is an odorless, colorless gas that can seep into a home from underground. If radon accumulates, it may lead to lung cancer – in fact, radon is the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. According to Gina McCarthy, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation, radon can be found in every state in the country, and elevated radon levels occur in as many as one in 15 homes.
"Testing for radon is an easy and important step in protecting the health of your family," McCarthy stressed.
EPA offered information on how residents can protect themselves from radon:
Test. EPA and the U.S. Surgeon General recommend that all homes, both with and without basements, be tested for radon. Affordable do-it-yourself radon test kits are available at home improvement and hardware stores and online. A qualified radon tester also can be hired.
Fix. EPA recommends taking action to fix radon levels above 4 Picocuries per Liter (pCi/L). Addressing high radon levels often costs the same as other minor home repairs.
Save a Life. Testing and fixing elevated levels of radon in the home can help prevent lung cancer while creating a healthier home and community.
Read Full Article Here
The ACIP Votes on COVID-19 Vaccination Phases 1b and 1c
MIACCA's Executive Director, M.J. D'Smith, attended The Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) Hearing on Sunday, December 20th regarding proposed allocation of the COVID-19 vaccinations.
MIACCA submitted this letter requesting that the committee move HVACR workers to Phase 1b, however they did not. Phase 1a is already underway providing vaccinations to Health Care Providers and Long Term Care Facility seniors ages 75+.
Important highlights are summarized below, however, you can view the complete presentation here
THE PASSED VOTE
THE APPROVED PHASES
ACCA Town Hall Meeting
A virtual, post-election town hall event for ACCA members to learn about the political landscape heading into 2021 as well as the issues that ACCA has been working on over the past year. BIPAC's Senior Political Analyst Jim Ellis will be joining to discuss the election results and what they mean for small business owners. ACCA members will also have the opportunity to make their voices heard and let ACCA know what issues matter most to them. The event will be hosted by ACCA President and CEO Barton James.
Dec 15, 2020 11:00 AM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
MIACCA's Efforts on Bill, Which Would Allow Contractors Reasonable Work Experience Credit, Passes House of Regulatory and Reform Committee and is in the House of Ways and Means Committee
SB 827 was passed by Senate roll call on September 30th with 38 yeas and 0 nays It was passed through the House Regulatory Reform Committee and is at the House of Ways and Means Committee..
This bill is important to the HVAC industry as it will continue the long standing safety practice of having employers attest to an applicant's mechanical work experience; and provide for a reasonable work experience credit for those who go to school to learn a skilled trade and successfully completes a recognized HVAC trade school, community college, or university program.
MIACCA encourages you to reach out to these House of Ways and Means Committee Members, in your district and let them know you support this bill and would like to see it passed into law by the end of this year.
Brandt Iden (R) Committee Chair, 61st District
Jim Lilly (R) Majority Vice-Chair, 89th District
Eric Leutheuser (R), 58th District
Beth Griffin (R), 66th District
Roger Hauck (R), 99th District
Bronna Kahle (R), 57th District
Luke Meerman (R), 88th District
Rebekah Warren (D) Minority Vice-Chair, 55th District
Wendell Byrd (D), 3rd District
Kevin Hertel (D), 18th District
Kyra Bolden (D), 35th District
Sunday night, the MDHHS issued a new epidemic order that establishes a targeted three-week pause on indoor social gatherings and other group activities in an effort to curb rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates starting later this week. The order is intended to save lives and protect our frontline heroes.
It is absolutely critical that every resident do their part by following these orders and taking precautions such as wearing a mask, physically distancing and washing hands frequently. That is why we need your help.
Here is a link to Sunday's press release as well as a link to MDHHS Director Robert Gordon's slide from last night's press conference. Below you will find three graphics—a quick guide to the order, ideas to reduce risk associated with two-household gatherings and tips to stay protected in your social "pod." Please share on social media, on your website, in newsletters and more. We can and will get through this together.
New order limits indoor and outdoor gatherings where COVID-19 is more likely to spread from person to person
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2020
Contact: Lynn Sutfin, 517-241-2112
LANSING, MICH. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) issued a new emergency order today that enacts a three-week pause targeting indoor social gatherings and other group activities in an effort to curb rapidly rising COVID-19 infection rates.
Under this order, indoor residential gatherings are limited to two households at any one time. However, MDHHS strongly urges families to pick a single other household to interact with over the next three weeks, consistent with new guidance released by the department. The order is aimed at limiting residential and non-residential gatherings where COVID-19 spreads rapidly. Bars and restaurants will be open for outdoor dining, carry-out and delivery only. Gyms will remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures in place. Casinos, movie theaters and group exercise classes will be closed. Professional and college sports meeting extraordinary standards for risk mitigation may continue without spectators, however all other organized sports must stop. Colleges and high schools may proceed with remote learning, but must end in-person classes.
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To: LARA Licensees & Stakeholders
LANSING, MICH. – As part of the state's continued efforts to slow the increasing spread of COVID-19, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan Department of Technology, Management and Budget (DTMB) yesterday announced the statewide rollout of the COVID-19 exposure notification app MI COVID Alert.
The anonymous, no cost and voluntary app, piloted in Ingham County and on the campus of Michigan State University last month, lets users know whether they may have recently been exposed to COVID-19. Users can confidentially submit a positive test result into the app and alert others in recent proximity that they may have also been exposed to the virus.
"COVID cases and deaths are now rising fast," said Robert Gordon, director of MDHHS. "Using MI COVID Alert on your cell phone is a simple, safe step that everyone can take to protect themselves and their loved ones. It's free, it's easy, and it protects your privacy."
Every Michigander is encouraged to download MI COVID Alert. Research from Oxford University found a potential to reduce infections and deaths, even if just 15% of a population uses an exposure notification app like MI COVID Alert. In the initial weeks of the MSU-Ingham County pilot alone, 46,704 people downloaded the app. The number is the equivalent of approximately 23% of Ingham County residents ages 18- to 64-years-old and nearly 16% of the total Ingham County population.
"This app has the potential to provide the kind of early exposure notification that is critical to preventing the spread of the virus," said Michigan State University Executive Vice President for Health Sciences, Dr. Norman J. Beauchamp Jr. "In addition to wearing a mask, social distancing and getting tested, downloading the app is one of the most important steps we can take to help keep our communities safe."
When a person tests positive for COVID-19, they receive a randomly generated PIN from the local health department or State of Michigan case investigators that allows them to share their test results anonymously on the app. MI COVID Alert uses randomly generated phone codes and low energy Bluetooth technology instead of GPS location to protect privacy while looking back in time to determine close contact with other phones that have the app. If someone was in close contact with another person who submitted a positive COVID-19 test result, the close contact will receive a push notification once the positive test result is entered into the system. A notification means the app user was possibly within six feet for at least 15 minutes of someone who tested positive. Michigan worked with Apple and Google to make MI COVID Alert compatible with similar apps in other states. The app works in conjunction with traditional contact tracing, mask-wearing, hand washing and social distancing, but is not a replacement for these precautions or participation in contact tracing.
People who are exposed to COVID-19 should get tested and consider quarantining, including watching for symptoms for 14 days from the date of possible exposure. Individuals in need of testing may visit the COVID-19 website to find a testing location near them. They may also contact the Michigan COVID-19 hotline by calling 888-535-6136 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, or dialing 2-1-1 on their mobile phone to locate and schedule an appointment at a nearby, off-campus testing location.
The exposure notification feature included in recent iOS and Android operating system updates only works with a companion app like MI COVID Alert. The app is available in the Apple and Google app stores.
Other states, including Virginia, Arizona, New York, Alabama and New Jersey, recently launched similar exposure notifications apps statewide. Additional states have apps in development.
Information around the COVID-19 outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
Cost-Effective Solutions for Mid-Pandemic Workplace Controversies
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 (12:00 PM CT)
60 minutes | Complimentary | Advance registration required
In this webinar, we will identify seven types of challenges and recurring problems that employers face today, and we will discuss cost-effective solutions your organization can implement to reduce risk while preparing for year-end and for 2021. We'll offer practical tips and resources, and will answer questions at the end of this webinar.
HEPA FIlter Rebates
Consumers Energy is offering HEPA Filter rebates through our Business Instant Discount Program to help with State of Michigan funded HVAC Assistance Program for K-12 Schools.
See Michigan.gov program details here: https://www.michigan.gov/climateandenergy/0,4580,7-364-85453_85455_85516_85523-539583--,00.html
Current incentive available up to $80 per qualifying filter at participating distributors. For a list of participating distributors and current instant rebates visit consumersenergy.com/instantdiscount
With temperatures dropping and Daylight Savings Time to turn back the clocks on Nov. 1, Michiganders are encouraged to take action in preventing carbon monoxide poisoning.
To bring more attention to a potentially life-threatening issue, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has declared Oct. 26 – Nov. 1, 2020 as Carbon Monoxide Safety Awareness Week.
Symptoms of carbon monoxide overexposure can include headache, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, nausea and confusion. High levels of carbon monoxide can cause death within minutes.
If you suspect you may be experiencing carbon monoxide poisoning, or your detector alarm sounds an alert, immediately get to fresh air by going outside, then call 911.
"Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur almost anywhere and I hope Michiganders take this time to prepare and prevent this life-threatening issue," said Governor Whitmer. "Awareness about carbon monoxide safety is a top priority, and Michiganders are encouraged to learn about this poisonous gas and ensure homes and appliances are maintained to protect themselves and loved ones against possible poisoning."
"To prepare for winter weather, Michiganders should make sure their heat sources and carbon monoxide detectors are in good working order," said Orlene Hawks, director of the Dept. of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. "Being aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and having a working carbon monoxide alarm is essential to keeping your family safe."
Every year, about 140 people are hospitalized with carbon monoxide poisoning in Michigan. Across the United States, thousands are poisoned and at least 430 people die from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.
In 2017, the latest year data is available from the MDHHS Michigan Environmental Public Health Tracking Program (MiTracking), 126 people were hospitalized.
"Working carbon monoxide detectors save lives," said State Fire Marshal Kevin Sehlmeyer. "Only 1 in 8 families in the United States have a functioning carbon monoxide detector. Michigan residents should install a detector today to protect our loved ones from the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a colorless, odorless, tasteless and poisonous gas known as the 'Invisible Killer; it requires an electronic sensor to detect."
Hospitalizations for carbon monoxide poisoning are preventable so long as people are prepared.
To protect yourself and your family from carbon monoxide, MDHHS recommends following these safety tips:
·Make sure you have working carbon monoxide detectors. Detectors on every level of your home, including the basement, are strongly recommended. Detectors can be purchased at most hardware and big box stores. Daylight Savings Time is a good time each year to replace the batteries in your detector and push the "Test" button to be sure it's working properly. Replace your detector every five years or according to manufacturer's instructions. Use a battery-powered detector where you have fuel burning devices but no electric outlets, such as in tents, cabins, RVs and boats with enclosed cabins.
· Have your furnace or wood-burning stove inspected annually. Hire a professional to make sure it is functionally sound and vents properly outside the home.
· Never run a gasoline or propane heater or a grill (gas or charcoal) inside your home or in an unventilated garage. Any heating system that burns fuel produces carbon monoxide.
· Generators should be run at a safe distance (at least 20 feet) from the home. Never run a generator in the home or garage or right next to windows or doors.
Never run a car in an enclosed space. If a vehicle is running, you must have a door open to the outside.
In addition, Michiganders are reminded to install smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on every floor in your home, push the button to test them regularly, change all alarm batteries every 6 months, and replace alarms after 10 years.