GOVERNOR WHITMER ISSUES
“STAY HOME” ORDER
On Monday, March 23, 2020, Governor Whitmer issued an executive order requiring residents to stay in their homes. She writes: “For at least the next three weeks (through April 13, 2020), all Michigan businesses and operations must temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, and all Michiganders must 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". Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at www.Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and www.CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
For those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8AM - 5PM daily.
COUNTY STATE OF EMERGENCY
On Sunday, March 15, 2020, with the support of the Board of Commissioners, Washtenaw County Administrator Gregory Dill announced that non-essential county operations will be closed through at least April 13, 2020.
On March 18, 2020, Board Chair Jason Morgan declared a state of Emergency for the County. The declaration allows County Government the ability to activate even more emergency response procedures- including appropriation of additional funding and forming mutual aid partnerships with other municipalities and agencies. The BOC and county administration are continuing to meet regularly in order to coordinate an evolving response to this emergency.
WHAT IS COVID-19?
Covid-19 is a newly (novel) sequenced virus in th “Corona” family of that attacks the respitory system. Symptoms range from mild to severe and may appear 2-14 days after exposure. They include fever, cough & shortness of breath. If you believe that you’ve been exposed AND experience these symptoms, please contact your health care provider immediately. Always call 9-1-1 in an emergency.
HOW TO PREVENT THE SPREAD?
Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Stay home when you are sick, except to get medical care. Call ahead before going to your healthcare provider. Learn what to do if you are sick.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. Immediately wash your hands.
Practice social distancing. Social distancing means keeping six feet between people as much as possible.
Self-quarantine if you’ve had a higher risk exposure, such as traveling to an area with widespread ongoing transmission or having close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19.
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfecting.
COUNTY COMMISSION MEETINGS
The County Board of Commissioners and the county tech team are working hard to make BOC meetings completely virtual in order to create social distance and adhere to Governor Whitmer’s directives. The BOC is concerned for the health and safety of all residents and visitors to Washtenaw County.
Updates and future meeting changes can be found at www.Washtenaw.org/212/meetings.
All other non-mandated board, commission and council meetings are canceled.
Office of Community and Economic Development – information about resources available throughout Washtenaw County: ESSENTIAL SERVICES INFORMATION
Moratorium on evictions – If your landlord is trying to physically evict you without a court order, call 911 and then Legal Services of South Central Michigan (LSSCM) at (734) 665-6181.
UNITED WAY - although the building is closed, there are resources available and staff is available by phone and email.
School Districts and food distribution - Washtenaw Intermediate School District has taken lead on coordinating school districts’ food distribution programs. Information about each district in the county may be found on their website.
Food Gatherers is still open! If you need food or want to donate, visit their website for more information.
District 2: Sue Shink
(Working Session Chair)
Ruth Ann Jamnick
(Ways and Means Chair)
GET UPDATED INFORMATION
The Washtenaw County Health Department remains the designated source, locally, for information on the COVID-19 pandemic. Please visit the County Health Department for up-to-date information including: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the State of Michigan exposure/ testing information, press releases and prevention strategies.
FROM BOARD CHAIR MORGAN
We are committed to doing absolutely everything we can to ensure that no individual is left behind in during this crisis. We need your help though, to know where there are issues arising. We need you to make sure we are aware of issues in our community so that we can tackle them together. We will find a way to help every resident who needs assistance. If anyone in our county needs assistance, please contact your county commissioner. You can find who your county commissioner is at www.washtenaw.org. We want to ensure that we are doing absolutely everything we can to support our county now and to mitigate the long-term effects.
COUNTY OPERATIONS UPDATE
(from Administrator Dill’s Daily Updates)
Yesterday, Washtenaw County had its first death related to Coronavirus (COVID-19). A sad sign that the severity and unpredictability of this illness can strike any of us, at any time. My sincere condolences go to the family and friends of this victim, and I wish them strength as they face the difficult days ahead. I hope they know the entirety of our organization is likely holding them close in thought during this challenging time.
Just this morning, Governor Whitmer, in response to the increasing number of deaths, and out of an abundance of caution, has issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives order, through April 13. I’m thankful for her leadership and that she is taking measures to end the spread of COVID-19. The number of Michigan residents confirmed to be infected rises each day, as do the numbers in Washtenaw County. Now, more than ever, it is important to heed the advice of our health experts and help to keep one another healthy. Please continue to practice social distancing and only leave your homes whenever necessary.
We have been in consultation with our departmental leadership, our Board of Commissioners, and the Sheriff to determine how we can best navigate this mandate while maintaining public services and safety. As with most of this crisis, the situation is very fluid, and we continue to evaluate solutions that serve to keep everyone safe while continuing to provide services to those who need them. I’ll be sure to keep you updated as we determine next steps.
The important thing right now is for everyone to follow the directive of the governor – she has not made this decision lightly, and her intent is to stop the spread of this terrible virus.
SUPPLIES – There is no stockpile of emergency medical equipment. Shipments of personal protective equipment like- gloves, masks and sanitizer- have begun to arrive and are being distributed to our service providers, however, there is still a desperate need for more. Efforts to secure additional supplies are ongoing, orders are placed and we’re regularly communicating with vendors so we can anticipate delivery timeframes.
HEALTH DEPARTMENT- Public Health Officer Jimena Loveluck asks for everyone to heed the advice of health experts and the executive orders of our governor, as both are intended to stop this spread and keep us safe and healthy. Remember, the Health Department’s phone lines are open daily from 8am to 5pm – 734.544.6700, please remember this resource is available to all residents, staff and stakeholders.
COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH - Director Trish Cortes reported yesterday that their essential mandates are being met, and her team is working with other county departments and provider networks to address challenges with food distribution and social isolation. The state has lifted some of the mandates on service delivery and is allowing telephone sessions with clients, so they are now working with their providers to ensure the infrastructure exists to do this.
OFFICE OF INFRASTRUCTURE MANAGEMENT (OIM)- Our facilities staff are receiving and delivering essential supplies and checking on our buildings. Others are working remotely, manning the help desk, sharing work-from-home information and webinars, keeping our websites updated, preparing forms for COVID-19 expense tracking, and making sure no cyber-criminals are trying to take advantage of this situation and access our networks.
WASHTENAW COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE
Public safety remains an essential service. The first responders in your community (Sheriff’s Office, police departments, fire departments, ambulance services, dispatching and emergency management, mental and physical health care professionals) remain at the ready to assist as best they can, given these unprecedented circumstances. Additionally, deputies will be taking certain non-emergent reports over the phone. Telephone reporting is not new, but more cases may be handled in this manner in order to limit the face-to-face contact for the community and deputies
WHAT ARE “ESSENTIAL” SERVICES?
Although all buildings are closed to the public per the Governor’s order, the following departments are providing services and working with essential staff.
Essential services continued…
Washtenaw County Sheriff (WCSO)
Community Mental Health (CMH)
Community Mental Health
Washtenaw County Health Plan
Preliminary Exams and Emergency Hearings
Limited Court Staff
Office of Community &
Economic Development (OCED):
Human Services/Emergency Services
Home Rehab Emergency Services
If you have additional comments, questions or concerns, please reach out to your commissioner.
We’ll get through this TOGETHER!