Here is the latest Michigan news from The Associated Press at 5:40 p.m. EDT

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — An emergency order from the state’s health department is requiring doctors and funeral homes to report COVID-19 deaths quicker. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued the directive late Saturday. It took effect immediately. The idea is to help public health officials “provide better health services and enforce health laws.” Under the order, funeral directors have 24 hours to initiate a death record and and submit to the attending physician. Doctors have to attempt to certify the death record within 24 hours. Michigan has reported over 15,700 cases of COVID-19 with 617 deaths as of Sunday. 

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan lawmakers plan to convene to lengthen Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s emergency declaration amid the coronavirus pandemic but are at odds over the extension and whether the session is even necessary. The Republican-led Legislature is scheduled to meet Tuesday, three weeks after last voting. Since then, one legislator has died from a suspected COVID-19 infection and another has tested positive, causing uneasiness over congregating in Lansing. Stretching Whitmer’s emergency is important because the original declaration — set to expire — is the basis of nearly 30 subsequent executive orders, including those telling people to stay home and closing schools and businesses.

UNDATED (AP) — In the decade before the coronavirus outbreak, state and local officials across the United States made steady and sometimes dramatic cuts to their first line of defense against pandemics and other public health emergencies. Funding for public health was slashed at the federal level and for state and local departments after the 2008 recession caused serious budget problems. But as the economy recovered, public health funding did not. A shortfall persisted despite several alarming outbreaks, from H1N1 to Ebola, and experts say that’s left the U.S. more vulnerable now to COVID-19.

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — State officials are reminding residents that permits to openly burn yard debris remain suspended across most of Michigan and that the dangers of fire are increasing as temperatures warm. Michigan’s Department of Natural Resources says recent fires, including a 21-acre blaze wildfire in Presque Isle County, have been caused by backyard debris burning. DNR firefighters also have stopped conducting prescribed burns at this time. Campfires for recreation and warming, as well as some agricultural burning, still are allowed.