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City of Troy, schools announce COVID-19 response plans

By: Terry Oparka | Troy Times | Published March 17, 2020

 COVID-19 has shut down normal life in Troy and around the world. The Troy Times went to press March 17. Visit or find the Troy Times on Facebook and Twitter for local stories and updates.

COVID-19 has shut down normal life in Troy and around the world. The Troy Times went to press March 17. Visit or find the Troy Times on Facebook and Twitter for local stories and updates.

Photo by Terry Oparka

TROY — In compliance with state and county directives, the city of Troy and the Troy School District have instituted measures aimed to keep residents safe in the wake of rising numbers of people contracting the COVID-19 virus.

After Gov. Gretchen Whitmer canceled K-12 classes for all schools statewide through April 6, the Troy School District took these steps:

• Schools were opened 9 a.m.-noon March 16 so students could retrieve essential items from classrooms.

• Teachers planned to have extended learning available online for students the morning of March 17. Teachers had an in-service day March 13 for instruction on distance learning.

• The district made this link available to those seeking emotional support:

• Cold breakfasts and boxed lunches were to be available for students beginning March 17 — distributed 9-10 a.m. Mondays-Fridays at Athens and Troy high schools, Troy Career and College High School, Baker and Smith middle schools, and Morse and Troy Union elementary schools.

• “Grab and go” meals will be distributed at Charter Square and Somerset Park apartments, Rochester Villas, The Gables of Troy, and Troy Villas. Students do not have to be present — a parent or other adult can pick up the meals, and no identification or paperwork is needed. Check for details.

• Individualized Education Plans will be held as scheduled virtually or by phone.

In a letter to families, Kerry Birmingham, the director of communications and strategic initiatives for the Troy School District, thanked the community for its patience and trust, and she asked people to “extend that grace as we move forward with extended learning. Our teachers and curriculum team have worked very hard, but this is the first time we have done anything like this on this scale on short notice. We are excited to continue learning and connecting with our students and are confident that your children will enjoy connecting with their teacher as we move through the next few weeks.”

City officials closed Troy City Hall and the Department of Public Works through March 30. The library, the community center and the interpretive center at the Stage Nature Center will remain closed through April 6. The Troy Historic Village is closed through March 30. The Stage Nature Center nature trails will remain open.

The free Troy Reach Your Destination Easily transportation service available for seniors and those with disabilities will only operate for medical appointments.

Troy City Attorney Lori Grigg Bluhm said that in compliance with the Open Meetings Act, City Council meetings must be open to the public, and residents will be able to attend meetings at Troy City Hall.

She added that the city must comply with the emergency order to restrict public gatherings to 50 people. “If it’s not time sensitive, we will postpone it to a later date,” she said of agenda items.

Grigg Bluhm said that city officials would determine if a quorum would be present in order to proceed with the March 17 Zoning Board of Appeals and March 24 Planning Commission meetings. Check for updates.