North Michigan News

North Michigan News

Sunday, March 29, 2020

Coronavirus brings "new normal" to Michigan


By Kimberly James | Mar 25, 2020

Michigan Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer |

Across Michigan, worries spread as the new reality of life with COVID-19 becomes normal.

Recently, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered all K-12 schools in the state closed through at least April 14. School administrators are trying to determine what that means for instruction and state standardized tests. Parents are wondering about daytime care for their children. The Boys and Girls Club of Alpena has closed, and local libraries are closed and have canceled their programs.

“It goes without saying that, for all of us in this field, nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of our students and staff,” Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona Educational Service District Superintendent Scott Reynolds told The Alpena News. “We recognize that it created some inconveniences for parents, in terms of last-minute planning … but, weighing all things, felt that was a bigger priority to deal with that inconvenience, as opposed to business as usual for a highly vulnerable population.” 

In Alpena, payments to the City should be made via mail or the at the City Hall drop box. Residential rental inspections are suspended for at least four weeks. The Sheriff's Office is limiting jail visits and lobby usage. Incoming inmates will be screened for symptoms and isolated from the rest of the population if necessary. Only one healthy adult visitor will be allowed per patient at the hospital, and children will not be allowed at all.

Alpena Public Schools plans to keep parents informed about e-learning and meal avialability through its robocall system, email, social media and traditional media. School staff will continue to be paid. 

Whitmer ordered a shelter-in-place order for all residents beginning at midnight, Tuesday, March 24. Essential businesses will remain open.

Denise Bryan, health officer at the District Health Department No. 2, told the Iosco County News-Herald that residents should take precautions and not panic in order to help slow the spread of the virus in the community. She reminds residents to comply with public health orders, gather information from credible sources, support family and friends, practice good hand-washing hygiene and stay home if they're feeling sick.


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