Michigan provides coronavirus couples with free condoms by mail

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Health department provides contraception to help prevent pregnancy and STI's amidst the crisis

World | The Independent

Couples in Michigan can now receive free condoms by mail as part of an effort by the health department to provide free contraception during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services developed the scheme to ensure people have access to contraception amidst the crisis to help prevent unwanted pregnancy and protect against sexually transmitted infections, according to reports.

“We feel that it is extremely important during this public health crisis to continue to support our communities in protecting themselves against unintended pregnancy, STIs, and HIV,” Lynn Sutfin, a spokeswoman for MDHHS, told MLive.

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The department feared that as a result of the financial stress of the pandemic and forced closures of some health centres people may not be able to purchase or access free condoms.

Residents can apply for the service online, filling out their name and address on the health service website.

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Condoms will then be delivered straight to the person's house in plain packaging, hand-addressed by staff who are working from home to ensure the service can continue.

"We were really kind of glad to see the state come out with this program," Calhoun County Public Health Department Choices Clinic Nurse Practitioner Michelle Thorne told USA today.

"This has been kind of an ongoing issue since we got into this stay-at-home order."

The package will include 10 condoms and 10 packets of lubrication to help couples have safe and enjoyable sex during the lockdown.

The state has been at the heart of “operation gridlock” protests against stay-at-home orders and government lockdowns as a result of the coronavirus.

Hundreds of protesters have gathered inside and outside of the Capitol on Thursday to protest stay-at-home order which was extended by governor Gretchen Whitmer until 15 May.

Covid-19 infections and hospitalisations are decreasing across Michigan however, the state has more than 40,000 reported cases and a death toll of over 3,600.

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