Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Mayor Ruth Beier declares local state of emergency following COVID-19 cases statewide

March 13, 2020
<p>Mayor Ruth Beier listens as an audience member speaks during the city council discussion only meeting on Feb. 18, 2020.<strong> </strong></p>

Mayor Ruth Beier listens as an audience member speaks during the city council discussion only meeting on Feb. 18, 2020.

Photo by Jack Falinski | The State News

East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier has declared a local state of emergency following the confirmation of 12 cases of coronavirus in Michigan, including one in Ingham County.

“We have made the decision to temporarily close facilities and cancel all meetings and programming in the interest of the community’s health and our employees’ health. We believe it is the responsible thing to do at this point to help in stopping the spread of this disease,” East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas said.

City facilities will be closed from March 16 to April 5.

“We will be continuing to monitor the disease and make decisions with the health, safety and welfare of the community in mind. Ensuring that our residents receive the basic emergency services that they need is our top priority,” Lahanas said. “We encourage community members to stay calm, prepared and informed as we navigate through this together.”

Many non-essential services will be suspended, but essential services such as fire, police and EMS will continue, a press release said.

Water service shut offs and bulk item collections will be halted and public works services, such as trash and recycling collection, water services and wastewater management will continue, the press release said.

The announcement comes of the heels of Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer cancelling K-12 schools in the state for three weeks and issuing an executive order banning assemblies of more than 250 people in a single shared space.

State health officials provided the following guidelines:

-Learn about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19, which include fever, cough and difficulty breathing.

-Stay home when you are sick and consider staying home to avoid others who are sick if you are an individual who is at risk of severe illness.

-Avoid contact with people who are sick.

-Regularly clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, such as doorknobs, keyboards, cell phones and light switches.**

-Communicate and reinforce best practices for washing hands and covering coughs and sneezes. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.

-Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

-Avoid handshakes.

-Be sure to maintain a supply of medications, food and other essentials in your house. 

-Cancel or postpone large gatherings, conferences and sporting events (e.g. events with over 100 people). Events over 250 people are now prohibited per the governor’s executive order.

-Reduce in-person gatherings and activities, especially for organizations with individuals at risk of severe illness. Consider offering video or audio of events.

-Limit non-essential work travel.



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