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At a special meeting of the Lenawee County Board of Commissioners on April 16, 2020, the board approved extension of a Local State of Emergency, first declared on March 24, 2020, until May 15 2020. The Local State of Emergency was initially declared when Lenawee County was still waiting for its first coronavirus case. The concern locally was, and continues to be, a shortage of Personal Protection Equipment and testing media necessary for first responders, hospitals, and other medical facilities to care for patients, protect personnel, and track the spread of the virus.
Lenawee County has been fortunate that the per capita rate in the county is less than surrounding Michigan counties and the hospitals have not been overwhelmed. However, multiple new cases are being diagnosed nearly every day and cases in the county are up nearly 250% since the first of April alone. In conjunction with the Local State of Emergency, Emergency Orders to protect public health have been issued to coordinate donations, clarify the work environment for essential employees, and discouraged people from recreation areas to prevent the spread of the virus.
The extension of the Local State of Emergency provides recognition that the shortage of resources still exists and provides support from the Board of Commissioners for the Emergency Orders that make residents safer and better prepared to manage this crisis. It also assists with efforts to obtain reimbursement for COVID 19 related expenses.
The County extension is not an extension or commentary on any of the Executive Orders issued by Governor Whitmer. Lenawee County’s extension of the Local State of Emergency has no impact, and nothing to do with, the Stay Home, Stay Safe order issued by the State. It has nothing to do with mowing or not mowing grass and has nothing to do with powerboats.
Lenawee County will continue to put the best interests of county residents and the health of those residents at the forefront of its policy and decisions. As an employer and service provider in the county, County government is working on plans to be able to reopen offices and further serve the needs of citizens. However, it will be done in a manner that protects the health and safety of customers, employees and the general public.
County officials are also in the process of engaging with other local officials, manufacturers, and business owners, to discuss how Lenawee County can get back to work and still keep residents safe.
This is a challenging time for all and the priority must be on protecting the health and safety of our citizens.
PDF of this MemoLetter to the State Requesting Extension of Virtual Meetings