Category Archives: State & Region

Whitmer extends declaration of emergency through Sept. 4


Posted Aug. 7, 2020 | The Huron Hub

Governor Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-165 which extends the governor’s emergency and disaster declaration until September 4, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.

“We are in a crucial time in our fight against COVID-19, and we must do everything we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis from a second wave,” said Whitmer. “Today, I signed new emergency and disaster declarations using independent sources of statutory authority to continue saving lives. I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to protect Michiganders from the spread of this virus. I want to remind everyone in Michigan to wear a mask, practice safe physical distancing, and do everything in your power to fight COVID-19.”

Officials say every region in Michigan has seen an uptick in new cases over the past several weeks, and daily case counts in late July exceeded 50 cases per million statewide.

“Michigan’s statewide positivity rate has also increased, from a low of 2% in mid-June to 3.5% in late July. The increase in cases reflects a national trend: COVID-19 cases are growing or holding steady in 40 states and deaths from COVID-19 are increasing in most of those states as well,” Whitmer said.

While cases in Michigan have increased since June, numbers here are below the national average, with roughly a 3.5% positivity rate in Michigan compared to 9% nationally, and considerably lower than surrounding states.

“COVID-19 is still devastating families across Michigan, and it’s crucial that Governor Whitmer continue to take swift action to save lives,” said Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “I will continue to work alongside her as we make decisions to protect families’ health and safety. Michiganders should still do their part by wearing a mask and practicing safe physical distancing. Be smart, and stay safe.”

Even as Michigan experiences unemployment rates not seen in decades, federal pandemic unemployment assistance has expired, with Congress deadlocked over a renewal.

Until it is renewed, the additional $600 federal pandemic benefit will no longer go to Michigan families.

“Without that money, many families in Michigan will struggle to pay their bills or even put food on the table,” Whitmer said.

In addition to these challenges, many Michigan students will return to in-person instruction over the next month, increasing the risk of outbreaks, health officials said.

States that have reopened schools have already begun to see new cases—a second-grader in Cherokee County, Georgia, a middle schooler in Greenfield, Indiana, and a high schooler in Corinth, Mississippi, have already tested positive for COVID-19 having attended school in person, triggering quarantines in those districts.

“The health, economic, and social harms of the COVID-19 pandemic remain widespread and severe, and they continue to constitute a statewide emergency and disaster. Though local health departments have some limited capacity to respond to cases as they arise within their jurisdictions, state emergency operations are necessary to bring this pandemic under control in Michigan and to build and maintain infrastructure to stop the spread of COVID-19, trace infections, and quickly direct additional resources to hot-spots as they emerge,” Whitmer said.


 

Whitmer signs executive order requiring masks at child-care centers, camps


Posted Thursday, Aug. 6, 2020


Governor Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-164 today which requires face coverings to be worn in all child-care centers and camps. Michigan has seen COVID-19 outbreaks at these locations, adding to the mounting evidence that children can contract and spread the virus. By requiring face coverings, child-care centers and camps can remain open while keeping children and staff members safe.

“Child-care workers have been on the front lines of this crisis and have worked tirelessly to provide a safe place for our children and families during this time. COVID-19 is still a very real threat to Michiganders of all ages, and we must continue to stay vigilant and use every tool at our disposal to protect ourselves and each other,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am committed to doing everything in my power to protect people of all ages from COVID-19. By masking up, we can all be a part of the solution to further prevent the spread of the virus and save lives.”

“Masks continue to be one of the best ways to contain the spread of COVID-19, and they can be safely worn by most of us over the age of two,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and MDHHS chief deputy for health. “Be a role model for your children and demonstrate the importance of wearing a mask. Have your child practice properly wearing a mask – over their nose, mouth and chin – while they are at home so they are comfortable with it in public. It will take all of us, of all ages, doing our part to continue slowing the spread of this disease and to protect our families and communities.”

Executive Order 2020-164 requires all staff and children ages 2 and up to wear a face covering on a school bus or other transportation. Additionally, all staff and children ages 4 and up must wear a face covering in all indoor common spaces. All staff and all children 12 and older are required to wear a face covering when in classrooms, homes, cabins, or similar indoor small-group settings. The governor also strongly encourages that all children ages 2 and up wear face coverings when indoors. These rules align with the existing rules on face coverings that already apply to preK-12 schools across Michigan.

If a child-care center is located in a region in Phase 5 of the MI Safe Start Plan, face coverings are not required, but are still strongly recommended. Furthermore, face coverings are not required for any child who cannot medically tolerate it, during meal time, while swimming, during high-intensity activities, outside while physically distanced, or if a child is under the age of 2.

Child-care centers and camps may use facilities that are otherwise closed under Executive Order 2020-160. Furthermore, child-care centers and camps must follow additional guidelines on infection control as determined by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs.

The governor also extended Executive Order 2020-146 until August 15, 2020.

Camilleri thanks record amount of voters for ‘promising primary election results’

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State Rep. Darrin Camilleri

State Representative thanks record amount of voters for promising primary election results as he looks ahead to November


Posted Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020 | The Huron Hub

Following record in-person and absentee voter turnout across the Downriver area, State Rep. Darrin Camilleri (D-Brownstown Township) secured 12,363 votes to his GOP opponent’s 8,965.

“We’re not taking anything for granted, but the momentum we’re building is undeniable,” said Camilleri. “I’m so grateful to all the people across our Downriver community who supported us in record numbers, whether it was from home or at the polls. I’m so honored to have your support as we continue our work to protect public education, fix our region’s train issues, expand access to healthcare, and address our ongoing needs through the pandemic.”

Camilleri received about 58% of the vote in last night’s primary election, a slightly higher margin than 2018, where he went on to win by over 12 points in the general election. Camilleri now looks to the general election on November 3.

Article source: State Rep. Darrin Camilleri 


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.


 

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.

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Preparing for the heat: Here is a list of cooling centers in Wayne County


Posted by The Huron Hub on Tuesday, July 7, 2020


With extreme heat forecasted this week, Wayne County has compiled a list of cooling centers in local communities.

Click here for a list of cooling centers across Wayne County.

More information on the upcoming dangerous hot weather:

Heat advisory issued for southeast Michigan; heat index of 100 degrees forecasted


 

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.


 

Metropark pools, splash pads, campgrounds open during Fourth of July; reduced capacities, additional precautions in place


Posted July 2, 2020 | The Huron Hub 

Article submitted by Huron-Clinton Metroparks 

Huron-Clinton Metroparks has opened splash pads, campgrounds, farm centers, boat rentals and some pools. We’re ready to welcome you this Independence Day. Reduced capacities and additional precautions are in place to protect visitors and staff.

The Independence Day holiday weekend is right around the corner. And there’s no better excuse for getting together with family and friends to enjoy the outdoors. This year is no exception. Even though the annual Metroparks fireworks shows have been canceled – for everyone’s safety – you’ll still have plenty of ways to enjoy your favorite parks.

“The Fourth of July weekend is always an exciting time in the parks,” says Metroparks Director Amy McMillan. “We’re just as excited this year to welcome everyone into the parks, but we’re taking our safety precautions very seriously. It’s important that visitors continue practicing social distancing.”

Bring your family and hit the trails – enjoy the sights on a nature hike, coast down the hike-bike trail or test your skills on a mountain bike trail. You can still work on your swing at any of the Metroparks golf courses, throw some discs at our disc golf courses or spend the afternoon grilling up something yummy at a family picnic (as long as your gathering doesn’t exceed the 100 person limit set by Governor Whitmer’s current Executive Order).

If it’s sunshine and water you seek, take a dip in the lake at Maple and Martindale Beaches in Kensington Metropark, Eastwood and Baypoint Beaches at Stony Creek Metropark and the beach at Lake St. Clair Metropark. Splash pads are now open at Kensington, Indian Springs and Lake St. Clair Metroparks. So is the pool at Willow Metropark.

The wave pool at Lake Erie Metropark, the pool at Lake St. Claire Metropark and the Turtle Cove Aquatic Center at Lower Huron Metropark remain closed while staff complete maintenance and improvement projects and train lifeguard staff. We haven’t yet set a target date for reopening. According to Director McMillan, “Many of our facilities are operating with reduced capacities and additional precautions in place to protect visitors and staff. It’s best to check our website before your visit so you’re aware of what changes you might find.”

For animal lovers, the farm centers at Kensington and Wolcott Mill Metroparks are now open. Visitors will notice one-way traffic in certain areas and reduced capacities allowed inside barns, but kids and adults alike can still visit their favorite farm friends and enjoy a day at the farm.

Additionally, we’ve reopened other facilities that were closed under previous executive orders:

  • Marinas at Lake St. Clair and Lake Erie Metroparks
  • Boat rental locations
  • Liveries
  • Playgrounds in all parks (playgrounds in Lower Huron, Willow, Oakwoods and Lake Erie Metroparks will open July 1 when the order from Wayne County Health Department is lifted)
  • Campgrounds at Lower Huron and Stony Creek Metroparks

Please note that the Metroparks team continues to actively monitor attendance in the parks. When overcrowding occurs, we may use temporary closures to certain areas within the parks. Or entire parks. Depending on the time of day that capacity is reached, the park may reopen as visitors leave. Those visitors already in the park when a closure starts are welcome to enjoy the rest of their visit. You can learn about all these closures and precautions before your visit at metroparks.com/covid.