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State of emergency declared in Macomb County

No confirmed COVID-19 cases in county

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published March 13, 2020

 March 13, a State of Emergency was announced for Macomb County to deal with the COVID-19 coronavirus. No cases of coronavirus have been reported in Macomb County.

March 13, a State of Emergency was announced for Macomb County to deal with the COVID-19 coronavirus. No cases of coronavirus have been reported in Macomb County.

File photo by Deb Jacques

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While cases of coronavirus in Oakland and Wayne counties have been confirmed, Macomb County hasn’t seen any just yet.

Nonetheless, on March 13, Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel announced a state of emergency for Macomb County to deal with the COVID-19 coronavirus. 

A press release states the measure is being taken to further prevent the spread of the virus.

The emergency declaration activates response and recovery elements of the county’s emergency operations plan and directs county resources to be utilized to the fullest extent.

“Macomb County is taking every step possible to protect our residents,” Hackel said. “Today I am declaring a state of emergency to ensure resources are available to fight the virus and to contain its spread. I want to remind everyone to continue to take preventative measures, like frequently washing their hands or staying home when they are sick.”

The Macomb County Health Department is continuing to work closely with community partners, healthcare providers, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to actively monitor and respond to COVID-19. 

It’s important to note that the Macomb County Health Department is not a testing site for COVID-19. 

If residents have any of the symptoms of the virus like fever, cough, difficulty breathing, they should call their health care provider or the county help line at (586) 463-3750.

On March 12, Macomb County Director of Emergency Management Brandon Lewis said the department has been regularly meeting to discuss the county’s response to coronavirus.

He said an order has been placed for additional hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. A plan is in place to distribute them to county facilities the week of March 16.

“Both the clerk’s office, the register of deeds and the circuit court section are usually the front line to everything that comes in from the public,” said Macomb County Commissioner Rob Leonetti, who represents St. Clair Shores and Harrison Township.

Lewis said county facilities with a high level of public traffic will be targeted to get sanitizing materials to.

He added that the county has a very extensive continuity of operations plans that spells out how county departments should continue to operate in the event they are short-staffed, or have to relocate out of their primary facility.

In the event coronavirus spreads to the Macomb County Jail, Sheriff Anthony Wickersham said screening is ongoing.

“We’re more worried about HIV, tuberculosis, hepatitis A and hepatitis C,” he said.

The Macomb County Health Department recommends prevention tips including: wash your hands often with soap and water for 20 seconds; if soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer; cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, throw the tissue in the trash, and then wash your hands; stay home when sick except to get medical care; and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; avoid close contact with people who are sick.

It is also recommended that residents be prepared with the following supplies: maintain a two-week supply of water and food at home, and routinely check your regular prescription drugs to ensure that you won’t run out.; keep non-prescription drugs and other health supplies on hand; and talk with family members about how they would be cared for if they got sick and what would be needed to care for them in your home.

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