EAST LANSING, Mich. — In light of the growing number of presumptive positive cases of novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in Michigan, East Lansing Mayor Ruth Beier has declared a local state of emergency in the City of East Lansing.
In the interest of community and employee health and wellness, City of East Lansing officials have decided to temporarily close all City facilities and cancel all of the City’s public meetings, events and programs from Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5*. Facilities that will be closed to the public will include East Lansing City Hall, the East Lansing Hannah Community Center (ELHCC), the East Lansing Department of Public Works (including the recycling drop-off site), the East Lansing Prime Time Seniors’ Program, the East Lansing Public Library and the East Lansing 54B District Court. *ELHCC will remain closed for an additional week, re-opening on Monday, April 13.
“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,” said East Lansing City Manager George Lahanas.
During these closures, employees will be working remotely when at all possible. While many non-essential services will be suspended, essential services will be maintained, including police, fire and EMS. Public works services, such as trash and recycling collection, water services and wastewater management will also be maintained and the East Lansing Police Department’s 24/7 police desk will remain open to the public and staffed. Water service shutoffs and bulk item collection will be suspended during this time. Additional information regarding services that will and will not be maintained will be issued in a separate press release on Monday, March 16.
Administrative and emergency management staff will continue to actively monitor, plan and communicate about this situation in the coming weeks.
“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,” said Lahanas. “We encourage community members to stay calm, prepared and informed as we navigate through this together.”
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has declared a state of emergency for Michigan and has ordered the statewide closure of all K-12 school buildings from March 16-April 5 and has issued an executive order prohibiting assemblages of more than 50 people in single shared spaces and at events in the state. East Lansing businesses and organizations are asked to follow that executive order and those planning to celebrate Saint Patrick’s Day are strongly encouraged to play an active role in preventing the spread of the disease by avoiding large crowds.
The following mitigation and preventative measures have also been provided by state health officials:
- 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.
This is a rapidly changing situation. For additional information and the latest updates, community members are encouraged to visit https://www.michigan.gov/coronavirus and https://www.cdc.gov/Coronavirus/.
**Please refrain from flushing sanitary wipes down the toilet as they can cause sewer backups.