Detroit, Wayne Co. issue state of emergency orders as COVID cases rise
Detroit – Detroit declared a local state of emergency on Tuesday as COVID-19 cases and their variants are on the rise.
Denise Fair, Detroit’s chief public health officer, passed the Emergency Public Health Ordinance through May 31, saying the city needs to control the speed of the virus, which is causing a sharp increase in hospital stays. The order requires that public meetings of councils or bodies governed by the Michigan Open Meetings Act continue to be conducted online.
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Wayne County Health Officer Dr. Mouhanad Hammami, issued a similar order on Monday to extend virtual meetings until May.
In Detroit, the number of COVID-19 cases reported over a six-week period in February and March rose 166%, with the number of cases increasing from 302 to 804.
The positivity rate for COVID-19 tests has also increased, increasing from 3.2% to 7% over the same period.
From March 9-16, the state had the highest rate of increase in COVID-19 cases in the nation at 53.3%. Michigan has the second most common cases of the B.1.1.7. Variant in the nation with more than 1,200 known cases. Wayne County has 105 cases of the variant and Detroit has 24.
Fair said public institutions, including Detroit City Council and the Board of Police Commissioners, do not have facilities that allow physical distancing from members and participants.
“A number of Detroit public entities governed by the Open Meetings Act will find it difficult, if not impossible, to hold publicly available live meetings without violating CDC safety guidelines. So we had to act now,” Fair said in a press release. “We recognize the importance of having open and transparent government meetings, but we must do so in a way that does not endanger the health and safety of the public.”
She said the emergency order could be lifted before May 31, when case rates start to decline.
There have been nearly 33,000 cases of COVID-19 in the city since March 2020, killing 1,868 people.
“In November, most of our hospital stays were 60 (years old) and older. We’ve never seen this before, but what is driving hospitalization trends today is younger Detroiters, and the fact that they are being hospitalized shows that this infection, especially the UK variant, is much more affected than before. “Mayor Mike Duggan said Monday.
To date, the city has administered 195,000 doses out of 263,000 received doses. 43,000 appointments are planned.
In Detroit, 18.4% of people aged 16 and over have received at least one dose of the vaccine. This compares with the percentages of Wayne County and Oakland Counties who received at least one dose of 35%, Macomb County’s 29%, Washtenaw 37.4%, and Michigan total 32.7%.