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Tag Archive | "COVID-19"

Governor requires businesses to refuse service to those not wearing a mask


On Friday, July 10, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed executive order2020-147, which reiterates that individuals are required to wear a face covering whenever they are in an indoor public space. It also requires the use of face coverings in crowded outdoor spaces. Most significantly, the order requires any business that is open to the public to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering, with limited exceptions. She said governors in the states of Kansas, Maine, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and Washington have imposed similar requirements on businesses.

Whitmer reportedly signed this executive order in response to rising COVID-19 cases in Michigan and across the country. If you look at the chart on “Daily cases by status” taken from the State of Michigan website, you can see that in June, we were seeing slightly less positive cases per day. In July, there is a small uptick, comparable to what we were seeing in May. 

Yet, if you look at the charts not all numbers appear to match. Take for instance, the chart that shows total lab tests by date. It shows that on 7/14, there were 32,617 negative tests, and 1,194 positive tests. Then look at the daily cases by status: it shows only 128 positive cases on 7/14 with 16 probable. It’s difficult to decipher the true number. We will be digging into that for further clarification.

To further protect workers and the community, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-147 reiterates that businesses who are open to the public must refuse entry and service to individuals who fail to comply with wearing a face covering. The Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) is offering to provide the tools necessary for business to protect their workers and remain safely open.

Under the governor’s order, businesses must post signs at all entrances instructing customers of their legal obligation to wear a face covering while inside. To assist employers with this requirement, a print-ready poster that businesses may use is available online. LEO and the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration (MIOSHA) have a set of online resources at Michigan.gov/COVIDWorkplaceSafety that provides guidelines, posters for employees and customers, factsheets, educational videos and a reopening checklist to keep workplaces safe.

“By requiring everyone in their establishment to mask up, Michigan businesses can help keep their employees, workplaces and customers safe,” said LEO Director Jeff Donofrio. “Employers who violate the Governor’s Executive Orders, CDC guidance and OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 create additional hazards for workers and put the public at risk. We all must do our part to prevent the spread of this virus.”

In a press release, the Governor’s office cited studies showing that wearing a mask can save lives and significantly lower an individual’s chance of spreading COVID-19. “A study on different regions in Germany, for example, suggests that the adoption of mandatory mask ordinances decreased the daily growth rate of COVID-19 infections by 40 [https://voxeu.org/article/unmasked-effect-face-masks-spread-covid-19].  Modeling from the University of Washington similarly indicates that more than 40,000 lives would be spared nationwide if 95 percent of the population wore a mask while in public [https://covid19.healthdata.org/. Furthermore, a study conducted by Goldman Sachs concluded that a federal mask mandate could save the U.S. economy from taking a 5% hit to our GDP.” A reference was not given for that study. 

“We will remain vigilant to equip employers and their staff with proper guidance and tools needed to keep Michigan workplaces safe,” said COVID-19 Workplace Safety Director Sean Egan. “Our priority is protecting workers and this Executive Order allows us to do that effectively.”

Those who are exempt from wearing a mask in Michigan businesses include people younger than five years old, those who cannot medically tolerate a face covering, and those who are eating or drinking while seated at a food service establishment.

The executive order took effect at12:01 a.m. on Monday, July 13. A willful violation of the order is a misdemeanor subject to a $500 criminal penalty, but no term of confinement may be imposed on individuals who violate the mask requirement. No individual is subject to penalty under the order for removing a mask while engaging in religious worship at a house of religious worship, although consistent with guidance from the CDC, congregants are strongly encouraged to wear face coverings during religious services.

Charts taken from State of Michigan website:

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Governor announces reopening of personal services


Northern Michigan, Upper Peninsula Regions Move to Phase 5 on June 10; Personal Care Services Including Salons, Barbershops Reopen Statewide on June 15

Governor Gretchen Whitmer

LANSING, Mich.—Last Friday, June 5, 
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Orders 2020-114 and 2020-115 to reopen more regions and economic sectors under the MI Safe Start Plan.

Starting on June 10, Regions 6 and 8  which include much of northern Michigan and all of the Upper Peninsula  will advance to Phase 5 of the governors MI Safe Start Plan. Phase 5 allows the reopening of salons, movie theaters, and gyms, subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

On June 15, personal services including hair, massages, and nails will reopen statewide. Though the remaining regions, 1 through 5 and 7, will remain in Phase 4 under today’s executive orders, the governor has said she expects the entire state will advance to Phase 5 in the coming weeks.

“Today marks another milestone in the safe reopening of Michigans economy,” Governor Whitmer said. “As we continue to slowly reopen different parts of our state, it’s critical that we listen to the experts and follow the medical science to avoid a second wave of infections. The good news is that we are headed in the right direction, and if the current trajectory continues, I anticipate we’ll be able to announce more sectors reopening in the coming weeks. We owe it to our front line workers to keep doing our part.”

“We are still on an encouraging trajectory across the state, and while there are regional differences, we are seeing continued general rates of decline in cases and deaths,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “While we must continue to monitor the data, because of these positive trends we are able to move forward, on a regional basis, with the next phases of the MI Safe Start Plan. Although the risk levels are going down, it does not mean it has gone away. Please remain vigilant, wear your mask, practice social distancing, and remain patient as we continue to fight COVID-19 together.”

Under Phase 5, indoor social gatherings and organized events of up to 50 people are permissible. Outdoor social gatherings and organized events are also allowed if people maintain six feet of distance from one another and the gathering consists of no more than 250 people. In addition, outdoor performance and sporting venues will be open with a larger capacity limit of 500, which will allow for some outdoor graduation ceremonies.

In addition, Governor Whitmer has issued an updated rule laying out new workplace safeguards for gyms, in-home services, hair salons, and entertainment venues. Following these safeguards will ensure that workers and patrons alike remain protected as the state moves to reopen.

To view the two new executive orders she signed today (EO 114 and EO 115) go to:

https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MIEOG/2020/06/05/file_attachments/1467520/EO%202020-114.pdf

https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MIEOG/2020/06/05/file_attachments/1467521/EO%202020-115.pdf

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Sand Lake Chamber cancels Fourth of July festivities


The Sand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce will not be hosting their usual Fourth of July festivities this year. Post photo by J. Reed.

By Judy Reed

For the past 150 years, people have come from the surrounding areas on July Fourth to stroll through Salisbury Park in Sand Lake and revel in the festivities. They come to watch the parade; eat ice cream, popcorn, corn dogs, candy apples, and homemade sausages; ride the Ferris wheel and merry-go-round; play games; dance to music; enjoy a rodeo or demolition derby; enjoy the fireworks; laugh with friends; forget today’s cares; and become part of history. But, unfortunately, that won’t happen this summer.  

The Sand Lake Area Chamber of Commerce made the difficult decision earlier this week to cancel this summer’s annual Fourth of July Festivities. They made the announcement on their Facebook page Monday evening.

They cancelled it due to the restrictions surrounding COVID-19 and the current protests (with rioting and vandalism) taking place after the death of George Floyd, an African-American man in Minneapolis, at the hands of police.

The Sand Lake Chamber’s announcement reads: “We have come to a very hard decision tonight on the Sand Lake 4th of July celebration. With all the restrictions that the Covid-19 pandemic brings, and the current protests taking place, we cannot go forward with this event.
“It is with very heavy hearts, and a lot of discussion that brought us to this decision.
“As many of you, we wanted this to take place very much, as we held on until the last possible minute to make this decision. With all the regulations in place, it’s just not possible.
“We are going to work hard to bring a fall event to our community, with all of us working together to make that happen. We would love your ideas on this also, as it will give us something to look forward to yet this year. Thank you all for your patience while we worked through all of this, and your understanding on our decision to do what’s safe for our awesome little community. Very hard decision for all of us tonight.”

This year’s celebration would have been the 151st celebration. 

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Governor rescinds stay at home order


Retailers, restaurants get ready to open with capacity limits

By Judy Reed

Governor Gretchen Whitmer making her announcement to rescind the Safer at home order last week. Photo courtesy of the State of Michigan.

Last week, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-110, rescinding her Safer at Home order and moving the entire state to phase four of the MI Safe Start Plan.

The governor’s order will allow retailers to reopen on June 4 and restaurants to reopen on June 8, both subject to capacity limits. 

For local restaurants, it’s been a long haul, and Monday can’t come soon enough, even if it’s half capacity. 

Classic Kelly’s, which has been completely closed, plans to open Monday at half capacity, according to their Facebook post.  “The governor’s order only allows us to open at 50 percent occupancy so please understand if you have a wait,” wrote owner Kevin Marcus. “We ask you for your safety and the safety of all that you follow the CDC guideline and stay home if you are not feeling well. We will also be offering take out if you wish to do the carry out thing. Due to limited availability of some products and cost of others the menu could look a little different until the market level out.”

Red Bird Bistro and Cedar Springs Brewing Company have been doing take out. “Yes, we are aiming to open on Monday,” commented Jody Arp, owner of Red Bird. “We have some work to do first but pretty confident that we will be ready.”

The Cedar Springs Brewing Company is also preparing to open Monday. “As always, our top priority is the safety of our staff and our guests,” said David Ringler, Director of Happiness at CS Brewing. “We’ve been greatly appreciative of the support and understanding we’ve seen from our community and we greatly look forward to welcoming everyone back as we slowly return to normal. Given the restrictions in the Governor’s order, we’re not fully open in terms of back to normal, so we will continue to offer takeout, curbside, and our local delivery service within 7 miles of the Brewery.” 

What will dining look like at the Brewery?

“Beginning on Monday, guests who wish are welcome to enjoy their meal on site along with a beverage while maintaining social distancing,” explained Ringler. “They will be able to order directly from the counter or bar as we will not be offering our normal table service in the beginning to maintain our social spacing and minimize the contact between patrons and staff. We welcome a slow, steady return to normalcy. “We also ask the patience of the public. This has been a very difficult experience for our entire team and we are working hard to do our best while complying with the state’s orders and safe practices for everyone’s safety.”

Other things of note in the governor’s order:

Day camps for children will likewise be permitted to open on June 8. Effective immediately, groups of 100 or less will be allowed gather outdoors with social distancing. Office work that is not capable of being performed remotely can resume. And in-home services, including housecleaning services, can resume operations.

Subject to local regulation, gyms and fitness centers may conduct outdoor classes, practices, training sessions, or games, provided that coaches, spectators, and participants maintain six feet of distance from one another during these activities. Outdoor pools can also reopen, with restricted capacity.

Michiganders must also continue to wear facial coverings when in enclosed public spaces and should continue to take all reasonable precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the community. And they should continue to work from home to the maximum extent possible.

“The data has shown that we are ready to carefully move our state into the next phase of the MI Safe Start Plan, but we owe it to our brave frontline heroes to get this right,” said Governor Whitmer. “While Michiganders are no longer required to stay home, we must all continue to be smart and practice social distancing and encourage those who meet the criteria to get tested for COVID-19. If we all do our part, our goal is to announce a shift to phase five for the entire state prior to the fourth of July. Stay smart, stay safe, and let’s all do our part.”

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Governor extends stay-at-home order to May 15


Directs residents to wear homemade masks in enclosed public spaces; lifts restrictions on activities like lawn care, golfing, boating

LANSING, Mich. Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed executive order 2020-59, extending her Stay Home, Stay Safe order through May 15. The new order will require people to wear homemade face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces. It will also lift some restrictions on outdoor activities and allow some workers who perform previously suspended activities to go back to work.

“Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up. Social distancing is our best weapon to defeat this enemy,” said Governor Whitmer. “With new COVID-19 cases leveling off, however, we are lifting some of the restrictions put in place in the previous order. I want to be crystal clear: the overarching message today is still the same. We must all do our part by staying home and staying safe as much as possible.”

“The numbers we’ve seen in the past week have shown a plateau in positive cases, but Michiganders must continue doing their part to fight this virus and protect their families,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “The governor has taken a number of critical steps to protect Michigan families, and this order today will allow that work to continue. We will keep monitoring the data closely and work with our partners across state government to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

The order will require people to wear homemade, non-medical grade face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces. It will also require employers to provide at least cloth face coverings to their employees. People won’t have to wear face coverings when they’re taking a walk in the neighborhood, but when they go to the grocery store, they should be wearing one. Under the order, however, no one will be subject to criminal penalty for going without a mask.

The new executive order will also allow some workers who perform previously suspended activities to go back on the job. Landscapers, lawn-service companies, and nurseries can return to work, subject to strict social distancing. Retailers that do not sell necessary supplies may reopen for curbside pick-up and for delivery. Big box stores can reopen closed areas, like garden centers. And bike repair and maintenance can come back online.

At the same time, the order will ease up on some restrictions on members of the public. It will, for example, allow motorized boating and golf (but no golf carts), consistent with sound social distancing. It will also permit individuals to travel between their residences, though such travel during the epidemic is strongly discouraged. And it will clarify that state parks remain open, as they have been throughout the emergency.

The governor’s actions today are in close alignment with other Midwest states. On April 16, Governor Whitmer announced that she and Governors Mike DeWine (OH), Tony Evers (WI), Tim Walz (MN), JB Pritzker (IL), Eric Holcomb (IN), and Andy Beshear (KY) will work in close coordination to reopen the economy in the Midwest region. The governor is committed to continuing to work closely with other governors to protect families and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

See the full executive order here.

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Nursing home residents, staff test positive for COVID-19


Officials said 31 residents and five staff tested positive

By Judy Reed

A group of community members went to Metron Wednesday to offer hope and encouragement to residents and staff there. Photos from City Impact Facebook page.

A local nursing home in Cedar Springs is now on the front lines fighting COVID-19. 

Metron of Cedar Springs, a 77-bed community located at 400 Jeffrey Street, announced Tuesday that a number of residents and staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

“We have had 31 residents and 5 staff members at Cedar Springs test positive for COVID-19,” said Paul Pruitt, Director of Operations.

“These individuals are all located in one section of our community, which has been isolated.  Two of those residents and the staff members are currently receiving care outside of our community.  One of those residents is expected to return back to our community within the next few days. The rest remain in our care, are stable and it does not appear as if any of them are at risk to be transferred at this time.”

When the Cedar Springs community got the news Tuesday it hit many people hard, realizing the virus was affecting some of the most vulnerable people we knew and in our own backyard.

On Wednesday, a group of people in the community reached out to show the residents and staff at Metron that they care about them and what they are going through.

City Impact, a local Christian outreach center, took a group there to pray, sing and show them they are loved with signs, balloons and more. 

Community members outside of Metron offered hope and encouragement to residents and staff there. Photo from City Impact Facebook page.

“Our City Impact Saturday night service prayer team reached out to Metron right when we heard the news story yesterday [Tuesday],” explained spokesperson Kelley Bergsma. “Our intentions at first were to do a park and pray in the parking lot, however Metron said that their residents could really use some hope right now and they wouldn’t be able to see us or hear us from our parked cars, so we were invited on the property by one of their staff who showed us which windows to go to. We had one of our worship leaders with a guitar and microphone singing, and we just moved around the building in prayer and worship.” 

Bergsma said that despite some of the negative comments on Facebook, they did practice social distancing, and the people seen in groups were families. “We were very cautious,” she said.

 “We decided to do this because Metron is located right in the center of Cedar Springs. We care deeply about our city and the people here. We care about the staff, the residents, the families involved, and we know that prayer makes a difference!”

So what is Metron doing to help stop the spread of the virus?

Pruitt said they are taking all the necessary precautions and have been following state and federal health guidelines, including restricting visitors and non-medical personnel.

“We have been working closely with local, state and federal health departments,” explained Pruitt. “As a member of Spectrum Health’s High Performing Network, we have also been in continuous contact with the health system, its doctors and staff. We are taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of our residents, staff and community.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been closely monitoring and implementing the recommendations and requirements outlined by our local, state and federal health departments as well as the CDC in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  This is all in addition to our extensive health and wellness processes and procedures.

“As other facilities around the country have done, we have restricted visitors, guests and non-essential medical personnel to the building. Those essential visitors entering the facility, including doctors, are heavily screened prior to entry. Every staff member goes through the same screening process including having their temperature taken prior to starting every shift.  We are fully stocked with all necessary personal protection equipment and our staff members are wearing these items throughout their shifts to care for our residents and for their own protection.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and our staff members is our top priority as we navigate this global pandemic and unprecedented health crisis.”

The Post first heard about the possibility of a positive staff member at Metron last Friday, and reached out to the Kent County Health Department at that time to get information. 

As of Wednesday, the State of Michigan shows 119 positive cases in Kent County, and two deaths. According to Lori Latham, with the Kent County Health Department, that number does include the 31 residents at Metron but it is unclear whether it includes staff, since some could be from a different county and they did not all go together to be tested at the same time.

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DIFS’ call center assists consumers with insurance and financial services questions and complaints


LANSING, MICH. The Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS) announced that its call center continues regular operations and remains prepared to assist Michigan consumers with their insurance and financial services concerns, especially those individuals impacted by coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).

“DIFS’ Office of Consumer Services is working remotely and stands ready to help Michiganders in need of assistance, especially with issues related to their health insurance and other coverages and financial services,” said Anita Fox, Director of DIFS. “At a time when consumers may be concerned about the impact of COVID-19 on their lives, DIFS is here to help.”

The call center consists of representatives that can assist with insurance, banking, credit union, mortgage and other consumer financial concerns. The Office of Consumer Services also has analysts available to review complaints against insurance or financial service entities. DIFS encourages consumers to first attempt to resolve disputes directly with their insurance and/or financial service provider. If a resolution cannot be reached, DIFS Office of Consumer Services can help try to resolve your dispute. The live call center can be reached by calling toll-free at 877-999-6442, and is available Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

“Michigan consumers will not see a change in the way they obtain help from DIFS as we work remotely,” added Fox. “DIFS live call center team will continue to answer phones and address their needs.”

DIFS stands ready to assist with:

  • Questions about health insurance coverage for COVID-19 treatment or testing.
  • Concerns about access to telemedicine.
  • Questions about the servicing of loans or mortgages.
  • Questions about banks or credit unions and the availability of financial services during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Insurance agent or consumer finance licensing questions.
  • Questions about insurance policies, grace periods, and premium payment extensions in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Appealing an adverse decision regarding a health care claim under the Patient’s Right to Independent Review Act (PRIRA).

For more information visit: www.michigan.gov/difs, call toll free at 877-999-6442 or email DIFSComplaints@michigan.gov.

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Can I still go fishing?


Fishing is one of the outdoor activities that can be done with proper social distancing—keeping at least 6 feet between yourself and another person (outside your immediate household).

We understand there are questions about how COVID-19 is affecting outdoor recreation. Right now, yes, fishing is permitted, and the 2020 season opens April 1. In fact, fishing is one outdoor activity that can be done with proper social distancing; just make sure to remain 6 feet away from people outside of your household and be respectful of others. Also, keep it local. Extensive travel is allowed only for essential needs. Limiting your travel helps keep you and others safe, while also reducing the spread of COVID-19.

If you decide to go fishing, it’s easy to get your 2020 license online at Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses. For the latest fishing regulations, check out the 2020 Fishing Guide at Michigan.gov/DNRDigests.

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Governor suspends face-to-face learning at K-12 schools for rest of school year


Executive Order sets guidelines for remote learning, ensures teachers, school employees will be paid for remainder of school year

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-35, which orders all K-12 school buildings to close for the remainder of the school year unless restrictions are lifted and ensures continuing of learning by setting guidelines for remote learning. District facilities may be used by public school employees and contractors for the purposes of facilitating learning at a distance while also practicing social distancing.

“My number one priority right now is protecting Michigan families from the spread of COVID-19. For the sake of our students, their families, and the more than 100,000 teachers and staff in our state, I have made the difficult decision to close our school facilities for the remainder of the school year,” Governor Whitmer said.

“As a parent, I understand the challenge closing schools creates for parents and guardians across the state, which is why we are setting guidelines for schools to continue remote learning and ensuring parents have resources to continue their children’s education from the safety of their homes. There is no video chat or homework packet that can replace the value of a highly trained, experienced teacher working with students in a classroom, but we must continue to provide equitable educational opportunities for students during this public health crisis.”

The Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators and the Michigan Council of Charter School Authorizers are currently developing a Continuity of Learning Plan template application for schools to utilize in order to create their localized plan. The application will be made available by April 3. District plans will need to detail how districts will provide opportunities for students to learn remotely and how schools will manage and monitor their progress. It will also provide information on how parents and guardians can learn more about the local plan. Each district must have its plan approved by their regional intermediate school district before being implemented. Public school academies must have their plans approved by their authorizer. Districts can also partner with one another to create joint plans.

Every district’s plan will be different and will reflect what’s best and feasible for their community. A plan can include learning by any number of modes of instruction delivery, including a hybrid approach. However they are designed, districts must ensure their plans are appropriate, equitable and accessible for students and families.

If the plan relies on some online instruction, the district should ensure every student who needs it has access to an appropriate device with an ability to connect to the internet. Students and families will not be penalized if they are unable to participate in their alternate learning plan.

Schools should continue to provide mental health care services for students, to the extent possible, and should be ready and willing to help efforts to establish disaster relief childcare centers. School districts will also continue to provide meals for families who need them during the COVID-19 crisis. If any schools have unused personal protective equipment, cleaning supplies or other materials, they are allowed and encouraged to donate them to organizations that could put them to use.

School districts will have the flexibility to adopt a balanced calendar for the 2019-2020 school year and/or to begin the 2020-2021 school year before Labor Day without having to seek additional approval. Teachers and school employees will be paid for the remainder of the school year. Student teachers will still be able to get a temporary certification and current teachers will still be able to get their certifications renewed, even if they can’t meet all the requirements due to COVID-19.

All Michigan high school seniors will be given the opportunity to graduate this year so that they may make a successful postsecondary transition. Additionally, all standardized tests previously scheduled for the remainder of the school year, including the M-STEP and the SAT, will be canceled. There will be a date in October for rising high school seniors to take the SAT and for other high school students to take the PSAT.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

To view the response from Cedar Springs Public Schools go to http://cedarspringspost.com/2020/04/02/cedar-springs-public-schools-responds-to-school-closure/.

To view the response from Creative Technologies Academy go to http://cedarspringspost.com/2020/04/06/cta-response-to-governor-suspending-face-to-face-learning-for-the-rest-of-the-year/

To view executive order 2020-35, click the link below:

EO 2020-35.pdf https://content.govdelivery.com/attachments/MIEOG/2020/04/02/file_attachments/1417518/EO%202020-35.pdf

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Nursing home residents, staff test positive for COVID-19


Officials said 31 residents and five staff tested positive

By Judy Reed

Residents and staff at Metron of Cedar Springs have tested positive for COVID-19.

A local nursing home in Cedar Springs is now on the front lines fighting COVID-19.

Metron of Cedar Springs, a 77-bed community located at 400 Jeffrey Street, announced Tuesday, March 31, that a number of  residents and staff members tested positive for COVID-19.

“We have had 31 residents and 5 staff members at Cedar Springs test positive for COVID-19,” said Paul Pruitt, Director of Operations.

“These individuals are all located in one section of our community, which has been isolated.  Two of those residents and the staff members are currently receiving care outside of our community.  One of those residents is expected to return back to our community within the next few days. The rest remain in our care, are stable and it does not appear as if any of them are at risk to be transferred at this time.”

Pruitt said they are taking all the necessary precautions and have been following state and federal health guidelines, including restricting visitors and non-medical personnel.

“We have been working closely with local, state and federal health departments,” explained Pruitt. “As a member of Spectrum Health’s High Performing Network, we have also been in continuous contact with the health system, its doctors and staff. We are taking all necessary measures to ensure the safety and protection of our residents, staff and community.

“Since the onset of the COVID-19 crisis, we have been closely monitoring and implementing the recommendations and requirements outlined by our local, state and federal health departments as well as the CDC in an effort to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  This is all in addition to our extensive health and wellness processes and procedures.

“As other facilities around the country have done, we have restricted visitors, guests and non-essential medical personnel to the building. Those essential visitors entering the facility, including doctors, are heavily screened prior to entry. Every staff member goes through the same screening process including having their temperature taken prior to starting every shift.  We are fully stocked with all necessary personal protection equipment and our staff members are wearing these items throughout their shifts to care for our residents and for their own protection.

“The health, safety and wellbeing of our residents and our staff members is our top priority as we navigate this global pandemic and unprecedented health crisis.”

The Post first heard about the possibility of a positive staff member at Metron last Friday, and reached out to the Kent County Health Department at that time to verify whether the information was valid.

According to Lori Latham with the Kent County Health Department, there are currently 113 positive cases in Kent County, and one death. The 113 does include the 31 residents at Metron but may not include all the staff, since some could be from a different county and they did not all go together to be tested at the same time.

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