ANN ARBOR, MI – The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting this morning to vote on a resolution ending the county’s declared state-of-emergency. The declaration comes about 10 days after Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order lifts, allowing larger gatherings and business and restaurants to open with limited capacity.
Board Chair Jason Morgan declared the state-of-emergency at a special meeting on March 18, 2020, saying:
“For the health and safety of all residents of Washtenaw County and for the long-term stability of our local economy, public safety and criminal justice system and community social safety net, I am declaring a state of emergency.”
On today’s ending of the state-of-emergency, Morgan shares:
“Our actions helped the Board and the county operate in a manner to help protect the public and flatten the curve in Washtenaw County. Over the last 13 weeks, we’ve been able to continue to provide a safety net to our residents. We pared down in-person work for our employees, provided critical assistance to our homeless population, essential household items and community testing to our hardest hit areas, provided resources to our small businesses and ultimately helped flatten the curve in Washtenaw county. We all know that this is not the end. There is still significant risk to public health, safety and the economy. I want to recognize our Public Health Officer Jimena Loveluck, Office of Community and Economic Development director Teresa Gillotti, Racial Equity Officer Alize Asberry Payne, Director of Emergency Management Dave Halteman and all the hardworking employees of Washtenaw County. They have worked tirelessly and will continue to monitor and adjust moving forward. We will be prepared if there is a second wave of this awful disease.”
Gregory Dill, County Administrator adds, “The ending of our declaration of a state-of-emergency allows our county departments to return to a more normal, though modified, state of operations. We will open more widely to the public on Monday, June 15th. We’ve worked hard to put measures in place that will continue to keep the public and our employees safe.” He continues, “I’m proud of the actions of this board and the diligence of all 1400 county employees who’ve worked responding to the pandemic. We followed and will continue to follow the science. It’s now time to shift our focus from crisis response and stabilization to our resiliency efforts so that we can continue to provide world class service to the residents of Washtenaw County.”
The Board of Commissioners and all other county public meetings will continue to be held remotely through the end of June, in accordance with the governor’s Open Meetings Act exception order. Plans are in place to return to in-person once that order expires on June 30th. The Washtenaw County Health Department remains the designated source for information on the COVID-19 situation locally. As new information becomes available, you can find it at www.washtenaw.org/covid19.