ANN ARBOR – Chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners, Jason Morgan, declared a countywide state of emergency on Wednesday morning.
In the wake of the novel coronavirus, the move will allow him to shift resources to quickly aid affected businesses, residents and communities.
See Morgan’s full statement below:
“For the health and safety of all residents of Washtenaw County and for the long-term stability of our local economy, public safety and criminal justice system and community social safety net, I am declaring a state of emergency. This public health emergency is unprecedented, touching every aspect of our lives, and some members of our community will need assistance meeting their basic needs, especially due to the closures of businesses and the dwindling availability of basic necessities.
"The declaration of a state-of-emergency will formally activate channels of communication and coordination. We want to ensure that we are doing absolutely everything we can to support our county now and to mitigate long-term effects. This allows us to fully utilize resources made available by the state and federal government while also layering on local resources to help provide services to anyone who may need them.”
Morgan said that Washtenaw County has enacted its contingency plan and that several departments continue to offer essential services despite its buildings being closed to the public until April 6.
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Many county employees are working from home providing guidance to residents and responding to questions. The county has also begun to offer the extension of grace periods on fines, fees and costs to alleviate the financial burden of the crisis and is working with school districts to coordinate the distribution of meals to students.
“This action is not intended to create any additional concern beyond the state and federal declarations, it is a way for our organization to provide resources to those who may need them, while helping the county to access federal relief dollars, when they become available," Washtenaw County Administrator Gregory Dill said in a statement. "Many of our community members look to the county for their safety net services, and now more than ever, we must be there to assist.”
For the latest information on the COVID-19 situation locally, check the Washtenaw County Health Department’s site www.washtenaw.org/covid19.
WCHD is staffed from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is working after-hours to coordinate with health care providers. Residents can call 734-544-6700 or email email@example.com
If you are concerned and have health-related questions, call your health care provider or the Michigan coronavirus hotline at 1-888-535-6136. The hotline is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.
United Way of Washtenaw County is a close community partner of the Washtenaw County Government. If you need assistance or resources, call 2-1-1.