Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Updated March 28, 2020 at 6:30 p.m.
Video update March 22: Washtenaw County Health Department is reporting the first local death attributed to COVID-19. Vídeo en español.
Washtenaw County Health Officer Asks Faith-Based Organizations to Cancel In-Person Services: We are facing an unprecedented global, national and local public health emergency. I recognize that this is challenging time for us all, one filled with fear and anxiety about our well-being and that of our loved ones. Our religious community and houses of worship provide critical support and comfort during these difficult times. Nevertheless, I am asking all of us to do our part to protect the public’s health – that means your health, the health of your family and loved ones, and the health of our most vulnerable community members.
There are 187 cases of COVID-19 in Washtenaw County and we expect those numbers to continue to rise. Almost 25% of these individuals are hospitalized. We know that our elders and people with underlying health conditions are more at risk for serious illness. It is our strong recommendation that people follow the Governor’s Stay Home Stay Safe order and only leave their homes for essential trips (like to get groceries or medicine), that people stay six feet apart from others when they are out, that people wash their hands often and well for 20 seconds, and that people avoid any social gatherings. We ask for your help in following these steps to help protect everyone’s health and contain the spread of this virus.
Washtenaw County Health Department recommends the cancellation of faith-based gatherings or in-person services of any kind. Instead, consider posting sermons on social media, hosting group meetings via video chat, setting up text or phone trees to check-in with members.
We must all do our part to protect our health and the health of others, particularly our most vulnerable community members.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO 2020-21), directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order directs Michiganders to stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store. See Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives. guidance.
Washtenaw County Health Department is issuing emergency orders requiring essential service providers and businesses, including childcare centers, to use recommended screening and social distancing to protect everyone’s health to the greatest degree possible. View the order for businesses and entities remaining open, as well as a separate order for childcare centers remaining open. These packets - businesses, childcare centers - have further information about what businesses have to do under these orders. These orders take effect on March 26, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. and will be in effect through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. Only those operations deemed critical to sustain or protect life under the Governor’s “Stay Home Stay Safe” order or directly serving essential workers remain open.
There is evidence of community spread locally. Residents can assume there is a possibility the virus may be present when they are in public places in the community. The Health Department is not announcing evidence of community spread to cause panic, but to reinforce that people should be taking all recommended prevention measures.
The Health Department and all local officials are relying on our community to work together to slow the potential spread of illness and refer to official sources of reliable information.
REMEMBER: Discrimination harms public health. People of Asian descent, including Chinese Americans, are not more likely to get coronavirus than anyone else. Let’s fight this public health concern with compassion and science, not fear and discrimination.
- Michigan information: www.michigan.gov/coronavirus
- United States information: www.cdc.gov/COVID19
- World Health Organization: www.who.int/coronavirus
- Global dashboard from John Hopkins University Center for Systems Science and Engineering
- Get your family ready for coronavirus disease 2019, from CDC: English, Spanish, Chinese
- Managing anxiety and stress during COVID-19 from CDC
- Washtenaw County Information for Providers