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Posted on: October 5, 2020

MDHHS and WCHD Issue Public Health Emergency Orders to Prevent Spread of COVID-19

An image of the COVID-19 virus.

Update as of 10/14 - The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has issued state-wide Epidemic Orders to maintain COVID-19 precautions. We have updated our local orders to avoid redundancy with these MDHHS Epidemic Orders, but our COVID-19 prevention message is still the same: use face coverings, maintain 6 feet of distance from people outside of your household, limit the size of gatherings, and follow all public health guidance to prevent the spread of illness. 

There is also an active local order with additional limits on social gatherings and organized events within the cities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. Visit our Health Orders page for more information.

Washtenaw County Health Department is announcing local emergency public health orders to keep COVID-19 prevention and control strategies in place in Washtenaw County, given that Michigan Executive Orders are now uncertain. Health Officer Jimena Loveluck has issued countywide orders on the use of face coverings, social gatherings, bar and restaurant capacity and employee health screenings.

The orders confirm that residents, businesses and organizations can and should continue following public health guidance to reduce and prevent the spread of COVID-19 locally:

  • Use face coverings in all public settings and anywhere 6 feet of distance cannot be maintained between individuals not living in the same house.
  • Limit the size of indoor and outdoor gatherings and require measures to prevent the spread of illness.
  • Keep the capacity of bars and restaurants to 50 percent or less.
  • Continue to complete mandatory, daily health screenings of employees.

“There is no question that wearing face coverings, keeping distance, cleaning hands and fully cooperating with health officials reduces the spread of COVID-19 and prevents additional cases,” says Jimena Loveluck, MSW, health officer for Washtenaw County.

“We must continue working together to reduce the spread of illness and protect everyone’s health. The pandemic is not over, and we must remain cautious – even as we work to resume as much normalcy as possible as safely as possible,” Loveluck continues.

Washtenaw County has reported a total of 3,459 confirmed cases of COVID-19 to date. According to the MI Safe Start Map, Washtenaw County is at the second highest risk level (D) for daily cases per million (86.3). Positivity has increased this past week but remains relatively low at 2.2%. 

State law provides local health officers with the authority to issue orders to protect the public health under Section 2453 of the Public Health Code (MCL 333.2453). Any violations are subject to citations and penalties as outlined in the Michigan Public Health Code.

“We fully support the continuation of these public health measures locally,” says Jason Morgan, Chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners. “We’ve seen them working will continue doing everything we can to keep our residents safe. Protecting everyone’s health and preventing spread of illness means we can keep Washtenaw County open and operating as safely as possible. That’s best for all of us and for our schools, businesses and essential services.”

To reduce the spread of illness in our community, the Health Department recommends wearing a face covering, maintaining 6 feet of distance from others not in your household and cleaning hands frequently. Testing is recommended for anyone reporting to work in person, with known exposure or with any mild or unusual symptoms. Symptoms may take up to 14 days after exposure to appear, and individuals are considered contagious two days before symptoms appear.

The number of local cases, guidance for employers, prevention information, testing options and more are available at www.washtenaw.org/covid19. Health Department staff are also available to answer questions. Call 734-544-6700 or email [email protected]

Resources from Washtenaw County Health Department 

Return to the Washtenaw County Health Department homepage

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