Ingham County Health Department Comments on New Phase of Reopening

Ingham County Health Department Comments on New Phase of Reopening

LANSING - The Ingham County Health Department gave their weekly COVID-19 media briefing today while at a testing facility.

At 3 pm, Health Officer Linda Vail held the meeting via Zoom, reporting on graphs that illustrate what COVID-19 looks like in the county and answering questions on Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s lift of the stay-at-home order.

Day camps and day cares are now open with Whitmer’s lift of the stay-at-home-order and the state’s movement into phase four of the MI Safe Start Plan.

“One of the reasons to open day camps and daycares is to allow the people to go back to work,” said Vail.

The health officer said that the children at these camps should be wearing masks at all times while indoors and in close spaces, but they are not required to wear them if 6 feet apart and outdoors.

While restaurants, day camps and other businesses are allowed to reopen on June 4, barbershops and salons do not fall into that category. Out of the 50 states, Michigan is the only one that has not reopened these businesses.
Vail said that she believes there are ways to safely reengage opening up salons and barbershops in the area.

“There is a strategy, and there are risks,” said Vail, “I believe that it is still in a higher risk category compared to some of the other things they have opened.”

Vail said the Governor is still most likely waiting a couple of weeks to open up these businesses.

Another business that has yet to be reopened are gyms.

Vail said group classes at these facilities are likely to change because of the pandemic as well as the way gyms operate. They will have to follow their capacity limits and find some way to keep people 6 feet apart and wearing masks which may provide challenges while exercising.

“Gradually, we can reengage into all parts in our economy,” said Vail.

Testing was offered this afternoon at Kroger on Holmes Road in Lansing by the health department, as well as the Michigan State University Health Care Team.

“The partnership with the MSU health team has been huge to us,” said Vail.

The event allowed both people with or without COVID-19 symptoms to be tested. Care packages were handed out with masks and a variety of flyers, educating their recipients on hand hygiene, social distancing and other ways to stay healthy.

The flyers were translated into multiple different languages, including Spanish, Arabic, Swahili and more.

Graphs presented by Vail show a decrease in the number of incidence and the percent of positive cases in the county. The number of COVID-19 cases are highest in the 48911 zip code with a range of 221 to 230 cases. In Ingham County, 57% of people who tested positive have recovered, 38% are remain quarantined at home.

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