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Critical service providers, businesses must use screening, social distancing to limit potential spread

| 2 min read | from Washtenaw County |

YPSILANTI, Mich., March 25, 2020 – Washtenaw County Health Department is issuing emergency orders requiring essential service providers and businesses, including childcare centers, to use recommended screening and social distancing to protect everyone’s health to the greatest degree possible. Only those operations deemed critical under the Governor’s “Stay Home Stay Safe” order or directly serving essential workers remain open.

“We are at a very critical point in our COVID-19 response,” said Jimena Loveluck, MSW, Washtenaw County Health Officer. “We need to work together to provide only those services and functions that are absolutely necessary and do so as safely as possible. We must limit the potential spread of illness at every single opportunity. No exceptions. This means screening, distance and extra cleaning at any open facility. For everyone else, we’re counting on you to stay home.”

The Washtenaw order takes effect March 26, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. and requires all essential services and businesses to take the following actions to protect their workers and the entire community.

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  • Screen everyone. Check employees for fever or other symptoms if they will enter facilities or buildings.
  • Maintain 6 feet of distance between people whenever possible.
  • Emphasize frequent and proper hand washing. Make sure sinks are well supplied.
  • Work remotely whenever possible.
  • Do not share space or equipment. If this is not possible, have employees wash their hands before and after using shared equipment. Clean and sanitize equipment between uses.
  • Any employee with cold symptoms or underlying health conditions should stay home or work remotely.

The orders must be posted at facility entrances. There is an order for businesses and entities remaining open, as well as a separate order for childcare centers remaining open.

The Health Department is working to provide guidance and support as quickly as possible. This document is available and can answer many initial questions: Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace. Direct additional and urgent questions to 734-544-6700 or l-wchdcontact@washtenaw.org.

Washtenaw County Health Department is incredibly grateful for the essential and varied work happening across our community. These orders are being put in place to protect the health and safety of these workers and our whole community. Health care workers are absolutely critical in our community’s response to COVID-19. Many, many organizations, businesses and individuals are working together to meet urgent and basic community needs as quickly as possible. They are also striving to solve numerous problems in the face of significant challenges. Thank you.

“We cannot do this without each other, and we cannot do this without taking every opportunity to limit the spread of illness,” said Loveluck. “People are working tirelessly across our community to help others. These orders are necessary to protect them to the greatest degree possible.”

Please continue to rely on official sources of information for local (www.washtenaw.org/covid19), state (www.michigan.gov/coronavirus), and national (http://www.cdc.gov/COVID19) updates.

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