Coronavirus ‘state of emergency’ echoes locally in Warren

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published March 20, 2020


WARREN/CENTER LINE — Massive national concern over the spread of COVID-19 continued to resonate throughout the region March 19.

Warren Mayor Jim Fouts announced a state of emergency for Michigan’s third-largest city, set to begin March 23. The declaration mirrored others made at the county, state and federal levels as concerns about the spread of the coronavirus closed schools, banned dine-in service in bars and restaurants, and ground America’s normal way of life to a halt.

Added local measures include plans to designate Warren’s three community centers — the Warren Community Center, the Owen Jax Recreation Center and the Fitzgerald Recreation Center — as “health auxiliary facilities” that can be used for essential employees, including police and fire first responders.

“Essential services will continue to operate,” Fouts said, adding that 90% of Warren’s municipal employees will be working from home until further notice.

“This allows a safe distancing between city employees to ensure their safety by having minimum contact with other employees,” Fouts said.

Warren previously announced the closures of its community centers, City Hall and branch libraries. All will remain shuttered at least until the end of the month.

In Center Line, officials announced steps to help “flatten the curve” of the coronavirus pandemic that include closures of the city’s library and recreation center, as well as the suspension of all events through the end of the month. All nonessential services normally provided through City Hall and the Department of Public Works are being reduced.

“Obviously, we are all concerned about the spread of the coronavirus and want to help in any way we can,” City Manager Dennis Champine said.

Essential services through the Center Line Public Safety Department and DPW will continue, including waste collection.

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