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Karmanos Cancer Institute Office of Cancer Health Equity & Community Engagement COVID-19 Resource Guide

Last updated:  March 31, 2020

We know managing your health care needs is hard in the best of times. To help you navigate through the current Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, we put together a list of resources that are available to help you in your region and state. We wish you good health and look forward to seeing you all in-person as soon as it is safe.

Karmanos Resources

To help answer your questions about COVID-19 signs, symptoms, screening measures and treatment or receiving care at Karmanos Cancer Institute and/or at the McLaren Health System, Karmanos Cancer Institute has created its own resource guide to help members of the community. Included is also a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Karmanos COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).

Wayne State University

Wayne State University is making general and research information regarding the Coronavirus from scientific publications, governments, and news sources available to the public.

University of Michigan Pandemic COVID-19 Resource Guide

The University of Michigan recently released a comprehensive Michigan Pandemic COVID-19 Resource Guide. This guide provides specific information on how to access programs aimed at supporting Michiganders during the coronavirus outbreak. The programs in this guide are supported by the state, private companies, and nonprofits that serve most Michigan residents, plus there is a special section for programs serving Detroit residents.

Local COVID-19 Resource Guides

The City of Detroit and Genesee County have also created their own comprehensive Coronavirus Resource guides that are specifically designed to meet the unique needs of their communities.

Federal Government:

The federal government has launched to answer many of your questions, with links to many of the resources folks need during this time. Some of the topics covered include information about travel, resources for households, seniors, small business owners, schools, health professionals, and the latest news.

Latest News from the State of Michigan

Governor Whitmer issues daily updates. Below are some highlights. You can check the State of Michigan and Bridge websites for current information.

State Financial Resources

  • State Income AND Federal Income Taxes deadline now extended to July 15, 2020.
  • All eviction notices in Michigan are suspended until April 17, 2020.
  • The State of Michigan Tax Foreclosure deadline has been extended from March 31, 2020 to May 29, 2020 or 30 days after the state of emergency that was declared is terminated, whichever comes first.
  • The State of Michigan provides instructions on how to apply for unemployment for those who have recently lost their jobs.
  • The Detroit Free Press is maintaining a list of employers in Southeast Michigan and across the state who are currently hiring.

Federal Financial Resources

  • Additional assistance may be available from other lenders including mortgage, credit card, and automobile financing institutions.

Symptoms and What to Do If You Think You Have Coronavirus (COVID-19)

  • An online COVID-19 assessment tool is available to determine how to respond to concerns of risks and symptoms. It is intended to offer general instructions on whether to stay home, how to care for yourself and family members who are ill, whether risk factors or symptoms warrant medical attention or emergency care, and more.
  • You may be concerned that you or a loved one may have contracted the Coronavirus. Here is a guide for what steps you should take if you believe you have COVID-19.

Resources for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers:

  • Having cancer puts a person at greater risk for serious illness from any infection, including COVID-19. The best way to prevent exposure to the Coronavirus is to stay home and practice good hygiene, such as frequent hand washing. Since COVID-19 is so new, researchers and doctors are still determining how this virus affects cancer patients.
  • Comprehensive information on how to prepare for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) if you have underlying medical conditions, such as cancer, are pregnant or breastfeeding from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • If you are currently receiving cancer treatment or are a cancer survivor, call your health care provider and ask for their specific guidelines. If you are a cancer patient or survivor who is part of a clinical trial, call your clinical trial research team for updated information. There are significant challenges in providing care to patients during this time. For general information regarding cancer care specific guidelines visit the National Cancer Institute (NCI).
  • Individuals living with cancer or who are going through cancer treatment may already be practicing social distancing and dealing with health-related anxiety, so the current Coronavirus guidelines might not be anything new. Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has great advice from researchers, clinicians and cancer patients regarding how to maintain your mental health during this unprecedented time.
  • Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, plus (LGBTQ+) people are more vulnerable to COVID-19 due to high rates of tobacco use, HIV, and cancer in their communities. The LGBTQ+ population also has lower rates of health insurance and access to health care services. To learn more about how to protect LGBTQ+ individuals visit the National LGBT Cancer Network.
  • Comprehensive information on caregiver tips for protecting older adults; pharmacy and grocery stores adjusted hours and policies for older and immunocompromised shoppers; details on how veterans can get tested for the virus; and more is available from the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).

Resources for Cancer Survivors and Caregivers Continued:

  • For tips and talking points on how to discuss this virus and its impact with kids, please look at Zero to Thrive or visit PBS.
  • SHARE offers free online support groups, in addition to a Coronavirus Hotline for cancer patients. The hotline offers the support of peers who have been there for women facing breast, metastatic breast, ovarian or uterine cancer and for caregivers of women affected by these cancers. Call 1-844-ASK-SHARE (1-844-275-7427).

  • Gilda’s Club of Metro Detroit has switched all their support groups to a virtual platform. View the calendar for a list of events. Support groups are free to the public.

Mental Health

Fear and anxiety during the time of a crisis can be overwhelming and debilitating. If you or a loved one are experiencing these feelings, please reach out to one of the following resources:

  Mental Health Services  
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration Links to treatment centers and hotlines for mental health services
Disaster Distress Crisis Hotline 24/7/365 service from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration provides crisis counseling for people going through both natural and human-caused disasters. It’s free, multi-lingual and confidential. 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Call if you are feeling alone and lost 1-800-273-TALK or text TALK to 741741
Veterans Crisis Line Connects veterans in crisis (and their families and friends) with qualified, caring Department of Veterans Affairs responders through a confidential, toll-free hotline, online chat, or text 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or
Alcoholics Anonymous Links to existing online meetings and instructions to start your own
Alzheimer’s Online Support Groups Dial-in support groups are available throughout the month of April. Check the link for details. Please note all times are listed in Central Time Zone. 800-272-3900 for help or more information.
National Sexual Assault 24- Hr. Hotline Connects you to a trained staff member from a sexual assault provider in your area 1-800-656-4673
National Domestic Violence Hotline Victims and survivors in need of support are linked to trained advocates. 1−800−799−7233

Other Resources During the Coronavirus Crisis:

We know many people are struggling with economic hardship during this pandemic. We’ve listed safety net resources that are available to help. For more information, we recommend you also contact your local United Way 2-1-1.



Water Shut-Off

  • The State of Michigan is working with the City of Detroit to prevent water shut offs. Residents who have more questions should contact the Metropolitan Community Action Agency at 313-386-9727.

Volunteer Opportunities

  • Giving back during a crisis can be a great way to contribute to your community and improve your mental health. The following are a list of agencies with volunteer opportunities available:

Local Health Departments:

We encourage everyone to also visit their local health department’s webpage. You can find additional information that is relevant to needs of each community, such as access to emergency shelter and reversing water shut offs.

If your county’s health department is not listed above, you can find it at the Michigan Association for Local Public Health.