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WASHTENAW COUNTY DECLARES STATE OF EMERGENCY TO ADDRESS COMMUNITY IMPACT OF COVID-19

ANN ARBOR, MI – Jason Morgan, Chair of the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners declared a state-of-emergency in the county today, an act that allows him to shift resources quickly to assist residents, businesses and communities affected by the novel coronavirus.
 
Washtenaw County Health Department remains the designated source for information on the COVID-19 situation locally. As new information becomes available, you can find it at www.washtenaw.org/covid19.
 
“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.” said Morgan, “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, Morgan continued, “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 added that the county has enacted their contingency plan, and although buildings are closed to the public until April 6, 2020, several departments continue to provide essential services.  Additionally, many employees are practicing social distancing by working remotely from home in order to respond to questions or provide guidance to residents who may reach out.  Other efforts include the extension of grace periods on fees, fines and costs, as well as working to support school districts who are providing much needed meals to their students. 
 
Washtenaw County Administrator Gregory Dill adds, “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.’  Dill continued, ‘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.”
 
Washtenaw County Health Department Operations and Information
Washtenaw County Health Department is now staffed 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. and responding to after-hours calls from health care providers as needed. Community members may call 734-544-6700 or email l-wchdcontact@washtenaw.org. Please review current information at www.washtenaw.org/covid19 first. Online information is continually updated.
 
If you have health-related questions, talk to your health care provider, or call the Michigan coronavirus hotline at 1-888-535-6136. The hotline is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 
 
Community Resources
Washtenaw County Government has a close partnership with the United Way of Washtenaw County, so Dill asks members of the community to call 2-1-1 during this time if they need assistance or resources. Additional staff have been added to the seven (7) statewide call centers so that the two agencies may collaborate and ensure needs are being met. Should you wish to donate to the United Way’s COVID-19 Community Relief Fund, you may do so at www.uwgive.org 

 

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