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St. Clair Shores takes steps to reopen its doors

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published June 5, 2020

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ST. CLAIR SHORES — While the city had already been formulating a plan as to how it could reopen municipal offices and facilities, the governor’s June 1 rescission of the stay-home executive order moved those plans into overdrive.

“We’re all excited about getting back to somewhat of a normality here,” said City Manager Matthew Coppler at the June 1 City Council meeting.

He said that by entering Phase 4, the improving phase, of the plan to reopen the state, St. Clair Shores was able to work on reopening some facilities, like the library, that had been shuttered since March.

“Our library director is putting together that opening plan right now,” he said. “We do have staff back in … getting ready for that opening.”

He said that they hoped to be able to reopen the St. Clair Shores Public Library June 15 with limited operations.

In St. Clair Shores’ municipal facilities, most employees have been able to remain working through the pandemic, said Coppler, just not necessarily at the same time in the same location to maintain proper social distancing and safe procedures.

Now, the city is working on plans to bring everyone back into the building during the same hours, which involves the installation of protective guards and shields, barriers in between cubicles and barriers in the restrooms to separate urinals and sinks.

“For employees, we have to create that entry protocol,” which involves sanitizing hands, taking temperatures and checking with employees to make sure they are not exhibiting any of the symptoms of COVID-19, he said. St. Clair Shores employees will also have to be trained on proper hygiene and how to report if an employee is diagnosed with COVID-19, as well as how to report an unsafe workspace.

Fire Chief James Piper said the city’s emergency response is now focused on getting other city departments up to speed on reentry and operational procedures. He said that the city’s current emergency declaration because of COVID-19 expires June 15; the City Council will need to determine whether it needs to be extended beyond that date.

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