Category Archives: COVID-19 coronavirus

The Huron Hub’s current coverage of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

School district update on return to learning in the fall


Posted Aug. 1, 2020

The Huron School District released an update July 31 on return to learning in the fall.

To view the entire letter, please visit this link


Whitmer restricts indoor gatherings to 10 people, closes bars for indoor service statewide


Posted by The Huron Hub | July 29, 2020

Governor Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-160 and Executive Order 2020-161, amending Michigan’s Safe Start Order and issuing revised workplace safeguards.

Under the Safe Start Order, starting July 31, 2020, statewide indoor gatherings will be limited to 10 people and bars will be closed for indoor service across the state, including in Regions 6 and 8.

“As we see COVID-19 cases continue to rise, Michiganders cannot afford to drop our guard. We must take every step possible to saave lives, protect the brave men and women on the front lines, and avoid overwhelming our healthcare system while we continue to combat COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer. “After seeing a resurgence in cases connected to social gatherings across the state, we must further limit gatherings for the health of our community and economy. By taking these strong actions, we will be better positioned to get our children back into classrooms and avoid a potentially devastating second wave.”

Officials say COVID-19’s resurgence is closely associated with super-spreading events at large social gatherings, often attended by young people.

An outbreak at a Lansing bar has resulted in 187 infections; more than 50 cases have been linked to a single house party in Saline; and a sandbar party at Torch Lake over the July 4 weekend led to at least 43 confirmed cases.

Executive Order 2020-160 limits statewide indoor gatherings to 10 people or less and, across most of the state, limits outdoor gatherings to 100. (The outdoor gathering limits will remain at 250 in Regions 6 and 8.)

Executive Order 2020-160 also orders that bars in every region, including those in regions 6 and 8, must close for indoor service if they earn more than 70% of their gross receipts from sales of alcoholic beverages.

Under the governor’s orders, Detroit casinos will also be allowed to open on August 5, but their occupancy will be limited to 15% capacity.

Casinos must also, among other things, conduct a daily entry screening protocol for customers and employees, temperature screening. Casinos must require patrons to wear a face covering, except while eating or drinking or for identification purposes.

Executive Order 2020-160 will rescind Executive Orders 2020-110, 2020-115, 2020-120, 2020-133, and 2020-143.


 

Kensington Metropark closes splash-pad temporarily after employee tests positive for COVID-19

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Kensington Metropark “Splash ‘N’ Blast” closes temporarily as precaution after employee tests positive for COVID-19


Posted July 28, 2020 | The Huron Hub 

Submitted by Huron-Clinton Metroparks

The Huron-Clinton Metroparks temporarily closed Kensington Metropark’s splash pad today and released the following information and statement from Director, Amy McMillan, following a positive COVID-19 test result received late Monday, July 27, from a seasonal employee working at the Kensington water facility – Splash ‘N’ Blast.

“Ensuring the health and safety of park visitors and employees is always our top priority. That’s why we temporarily closed the Kensington splash pad to do a further deep cleaning and make this public notification as an added precaution on top of local, state and federal guidance. Metroparks is committed to communicating every step of the way and going above and beyond to help protect our visitors, team and communities against this virus.”

McMillan also shared the following additional information:

  • The employee last worked on Thursday, July 23, completed Metroparks’ health screening form protocol upon arrival, and wore a mask as required the entire shift.
  • The employee was not symptomatic when they worked on July 23.
  • The employee was tested on Saturday, July 25 after a friend tested positive. The employee’s COVID-positive results were reported and received by the Metroparks Monday evening, July 27. The Oakland County Health Department was notified immediately upon opening on Tuesday, July 28.
  • All Metroparks employees who worked in close contact (six individuals) were notified immediately and instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days.
  • Given the employee’s outdoor job duties at the water park, it is highly unlikely that any patron would have been considered in close, sustained contact.
  • The Splash ‘N’ Blast opened in late June with capacity limits and operating adjustments, including three sessions capped at 50% capacity available each day, modified layouts in standing and seating areas, social distancing requirements, and enhanced sanitation of high-touch areas and equipment.

The Metroparks has implemented numerous other COVID-19 preventive measures to help assure everyone’s safety while keeping the 13 Metroparks outdoor spaces open. Visit Metroparks.com/covid for the latest news and updates, including procedures for capacity monitoring and temporary intermittent closures.


 

Huron High School class of 1970 reunion postponed due to COVID-19

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Posted Tuesday, July 21, 2020 | The Huron Hub

The 50th reunion for Huron High School’s class of 1970 has been postponed due to the pandemic.

The group organizing the event said they are looking at fall 2021 for a possible reschedule date.

The event was initially scheduled for Sept. 26, 2020.

We will post updates for similar events like these as they are announced. 


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Whitmer signs order requiring mask use in all indoor public spaces

(Photo/Pexels)


Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| July 10, 2020

Governor Whitmer signed an order Friday that requires the use of face coverings in crowded outdoor spaces.

The order also reminds residents that they are required to wear a face covering whenever they are in an indoor public space.

The order requires any business that is open to the public to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering, with limited exceptions.

Governors in the states of Kansas, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Washington have imposed similar requirements on businesses.

Whitmer said she signed this executive order in response to rising COVID-19 cases in Michigan and across the country.

Executive Order 2020-147 amends and replaces the governor’s previous Executive Order 2020-114.

“The heroes on the front lines of this crisis have gone hours without taking their masks off every day – doctors, nurses, child care workers, grocery store workers. We owe it to them to wear our masks when we’re on a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Masks can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 by about 70 percent. By wearing masks, we can save lives and protect our family, friends, and neighbors from the spread of COVID-19. And by wearing masks now, we can put our state in a stronger position so our kids can return to school safely in the fall. For the sake of your loved ones, let’s all mask up, Michigan.”

Officials say every region in Michigan has seen an uptick in new cases, and daily case counts now exceed 20 cases per million in the Grand Rapids, Detroit, and Lansing regions.

“Research confirms that a big part of the reason is spotty compliance with the governor’s requirement, issued in prior orders, that individuals wear face coverings in public spaces,” Whitmer said.

Health experts say studies show that wearing a mask can save lives and significantly lover an individual’s chance of spreading COVID-19.

A study on different regions in Germany, for example, suggests that the adoption of mandatory mask ordinances decreased the daily growth rate of COVID-19 infections by 40%.

Modeling from the University of Washington similarly indicates that more than 40,000 lives would be spared nationwide if 95% of the population wore a mask while in public. Furthermore, a study conducted by Goldman Sachs concluded that a federal mask mandate could save the U.S. economy from taking a 5% hit to our GDP.

“Michigan’s fight against COVID-19 is nowhere near over, which is why it’s so important that we all do our part and wear masks when we’re out in public,” said Chief Medical Executive and DHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “Wearing a mask or face covering can significantly decrease the chance of spreading COVID-19 and save lives. It’s important that all Michiganders wear masks properly – not down around the neck, not only over the mouth, but correctly over the mouth and nose. Please everyone stay patient, and remain vigilant.”

Under the governor’s order, businesses that are open to the public must refuse entry and service to individuals who fail to comply, and must post signs at all entrances instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside.

Those who are exempt from wearing a mask in Michigan businesses include people younger than five-years-old, those who cannot medically tolerate a face covering, and those who are eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment.

The executive order takes effect at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 13.

“A willful violation of the order is a misdemeanor subject to a $500 criminal penalty, but no term of confinement may be imposed on individuals who violate the mask requirement,” Whitmer said. “No individual is subject to penalty under the order for removing a mask while engaging in religious worship at a house of religious worship, although consistent with guidance from the CDC, congregants are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings during religious services.”

To view Executive Order 2020-147, click here.


You can view a special COVID-19 (coronavirus) news section on HuronHub.com by clicking on this link.

If you’ve valued The Huron Hub’s consistent local news coverage during this pandemic, please consider supporting us.

Yankee Air Museum cancels 2020 air show

Photo courtesy of the Wayne County Airport Authority.


Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| July 6, 2020

The Yankee Air Museum said today they are canceling the 2020 Thunder Over Michigan Air Show that was planned for August 29-30 at Willow Run Airport, home to the Yankee Air Museum.

“In the current environment, we are unable to produce the world-renown Thunder Over Michigan Air Show event for which we are so well known,” said Kevin Walsh, event director.

According to air show organizers, they explored various socially responsible models but none of them fit the demands of a major air show.

“It is hard to take a proven model of 21 years and make it work responsibly in an era of global pandemic” Walsh said. “We take the health, safety and well-being of the seven hundred plus volunteers, the hundreds of aircrews and the tens of thousands of air show fans very seriously.”

Because the event “has a strict no refund policy,” according to organizers, 2020 ticket holders who bought tickets through the air show EventSprout ticketing system will receive a complimentary equivalent package for the 2021 Air Show, and also will receive an additional complimentary package for the 2022 Air Show.

“While a global pandemic is very much out of our control, we still want to give our current ticket holders a special consideration for being so loyal and dedicated,” Walsh said. “Our goal is to always exceed expectations.”

Organizers stated that they will be contacting individual general admission ticket holders to arrange the two-year complimentary package.

Plans are well underway for the 2021 show, which is slated for August 7-8, 2021.

“We built a reputation on being one of the top shows in the world and we look forward to keeping that place in the aviation community in 2021,” Walsh said.

The Thunder Over Michigan Air Show is a primary fundraiser for the Yankee Air Museum, a 501(c)3 charitable organization. To learn more visit YankeeAirMuseum.org.


 

Over a dozen coronavirus cases linked to Romulus adult club

A total of 13 COVID-19 cases have been traced to the Playhouse Club, 13201 Middlebelt Road in Romulus, according to the Wayne County Public Health Division. (Photo/Google)


Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| July 6, 2020

More than a dozen coronavirus cases have been linked to an adult club in Romulus, Michigan health officials said.

13 COVID-19 cases have been traced to the Playhouse Club, 13201 Middlebelt Road in Romulus, according to the Wayne County Public Health Division.

Of the 13 reported cases, 12 are either employees or patrons of the club.

One case was an employee of a nearby Checkers restaurant.

Health officials ask anyone who visited or worked at the Playhouse Club between June 17 and July 1, or went to Checkers in Romulus between June 27 and July 4, to contact Wayne County Health Division at 734-727-7078.

Anyone who visited either location in that window of time, symptomatic or not, is encouraged to call the health division to report the contact, get tested and self-quarantine at home.

“It is imperative all people who visited these two establishments during the exposure window call and cooperate with our communicable disease team so that we can understand the extent of the outbreak,” Carol Austerberry, Wayne County Public Health Officer, said in a news release.


 

Public Safety Department keeps community spirit alive by participating in over 150 parades during pandemic

The Huron Township Department of Public Safety helped celebrate hundreds of birthdays, milestones, 2020 graduation, and escorted funerals, all during the pandemic. 


Posted by Scott Bolthouse | The Huron Hub| July 1, 2020

The parades began on Easter, when the pandemic lockdown was fresh in everyone’s minds, and due to required social distancing, children were unable to see the Easter Bunny.

“We recognized that due to the COVID Pandemic, many little ones may not have had an opportunity to see the Easter Bunny. It was important to us to find a way to bring our community together during a difficult time while respecting safety concerns,” said Everette Robbins, director of public safety.

Since Easter, the Huron Township Department of Public Safety has been involved in hundreds of parades around the township to help celebrate various birthdays and milestones, as well as honoring the lives of community members who have died recently.

The parades, staffed by volunteers, celebrated children’s birthdays, senior citizen birthdays, military hero homecomings, front-line worker appreciation, and ended with a special drive-by for honorary Firefighter Bobby Kamin.

The department participated in funeral escorts for Huron Township families that were unable to have proper services for their loved ones due to the ongoing pandemic; an initiative organized by the department’s Police Officer Reserve Program.

Robbins thanked Reserve Officer Anthony Joquico and Reserve Commander James Dufour for their roles in the escorts.

Reserve Commander James Dufour and Reserve Officer Anthony Joquico

“These celebratory parades began as just a couple vehicles, usually one police car and maybe
one fire truck,” Robbins said. “After a few times out, Chief Hinojosa came to me and said his staff approached him and wondered why they were not able to be more involved in the celebratory parades. The answer was simply that we could only use volunteers. The response from the fire staff was that they wanted to volunteer and volunteer they did. For most parades, we would have so many of our fire staff volunteering that we would have to turn some of them away. We had 3 or 4 firefighters, using all pertinent safety precautions, in multiple vehicles because they wanted to be part of the community experience. Some of these parades ended up having upwards of 10 vehicles in the procession. I am immensely proud of the way all of our public safety staff stepped up to represent our community.”

On June 26, the department escorted Huron High School’s class of 2020 during a special parade for the graduates.

“I want the Class of 2020 to know how proud we are of them. They have lost so many things due to the pandemic. We expect them to do great things. Congratulations to the graduates and their families,” Robbins said. “It never gets old seeing this community come together. Hands down, this is my favorite thing I get to be involved with while serving. You can’t put a price on seeing the downtown or one of the villages filled to celebrate something special or seeing the smile of a child’s face as they see the lights and hear the sirens in front of their house as they celebrate their special day.”

Robbins said that having a partnership between public safety and the community is the most important part of the job.

“There is nothing more important to us than community partnerships,” he said. “While we realize the importance of providing quality service to our residents, we feel it is equally important to be a part of the community as well. I am thankful for the support we continue to be given.”

If you have photos or video of any parades from the past few months that have happened in Huron Township, you can share your them on our Facebook and Twitter pages.


 

Whitmer creates bipartisan task force to protect nursing home residents and staff from COVID-19


Posted by The Huron Hub on Friday, June 26, 2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed executive orders to protect Michigan Nursing Home residents and staff from the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order 2020-135 creates the bipartisan Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). The governor also signed Executive Order 2020-136, which extends existing safety measures to maintain restrictions regarding entry to care facilities designed to protect vulnerable populations. Since it was first issued on March 14, this order has prohibited entry into a nursing home without undergoing a rigorous screening protocol designed to protect facilities from COVID-19.

“We have taken great strides here in Michigan to protect families from the spread of COVID-19 and lower the chance of a second wave, but it’s crucial that we stay vigilant and work around the clock to protect our most vulnerable residents and those who have dedicated their lives to caring for them,” said Governor Whitmer. “These actions will help our state protect more nursing home residents and staff in the case of a second wave. Moving forward, I will work closely with the task force and with everyone who wants to help us protect our most vulnerable communities, the heroes on the front lines, and our families from this virus.”

The Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force will be charged with, among other things, analyzing relevant data on the threat of COVID-19 in nursing homes, and making recommendations to the governor on improving data quality, and releasing periodic reports to the governor on its findings and recommendations. The task force must produce a recommendation to the governor for an action plan on how to prepare nursing homes for any future wave of COVID-19 cases by August 31, 2020.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has posed a particularly dire threat to the health and safety of residents and employees of long-term care facilities across the country,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Chief Medical Executive and Chief Deputy Director for Health at the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. “This task force will help us continue to work to protect our most vulnerable residents and the caretakers serving on the front lines.”

“The impact of COVID-19 on nursing home residents has been especially tragic,” said Paula D. Cunningham, State Director of AARP Michigan. “I am optimistic this bi-partisan Taskforce will identify best practices to ensure that nursing home residents and staff are better served and protected going forward.”

“SEIU Healthcare Michigan’s nursing home workers are essential and continue to put their lives at risk by going to work daily,” said Andrea Acevedo, President of SEIU Healthcare Michigan. “We believe that every nursing home worker deserves the support, resources and protections to keep themselves, their families and their communities safe throughout this pandemic and beyond. The Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force is one of many steps needed to ensure that protection, health and safety standards across the nursing home industry are met. And the most transformative work we can do to ensure the highest quality of care for residents and for workers, is by allowing our frontline nursing home workers to have a voice and seat at the decision making table.”

The Task Force will consist of leaders across state government, including representatives from DHHS and LARA. The task force will also include a representative of the Michigan Long Term Care Ombudsman Program, bipartisan representation from both houses of the legislature (2 members from each house), and thirteen other members appointed by the governor, including individuals with a personal or professional interest in the health, safety, and welfare of nursing home residents and workers.

Executive Order 2020-136 maintains restrictions on visitation to health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities, but authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to gradually re-open visitation as circumstances permit. This order has been in place since March, and consistently prohibited entry into a nursing home by a person exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19. The order is effective immediately and continues through July 24, 2020.

Source: State of Michigan