Wayne County Public Health Officer Carol Austerberry issued an updated Emergency Public Health Order Friday in response to the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with MCL 333.2453. The new order is consistent with directives from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
"COVID-19 is likely the most serious infectious disease outbreak of most people's lives," said Austerberry. "These orders are science-based measures intended to keep Wayne County residents safe and healthy during the pandemic. Our goal is to slow the spread of this virus as best we can."
Under Michigan's Public Health Code, the Wayne County Department of Health, Human, and Veterans Services' Public Health Division is commanded to prevent and investigate disease, particularly epidemics. This Emergency Epidemic Order, including links to which are referenced and attached to this Order, are in effect now within the jurisdiction of the Wayne County Local Health Department, and mandate the following:
- Masks must be worn in most public indoor settings
- Social distancing must be maintained
- Limitations in the size of gatherings of people
- Reporting rules for COVID-19 at schools
Additionally, Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration issued Emergency Rules requiring workplaces to adhere to a series of safety guidelines, including daily employee screenings, infection-control and PPE training, remote working.
With the onset of colder weather in Wayne County, transmission of airborne viruses increases as more time is spent indoors. As we enter the winter months, Wayne County Public Health is committed to all residents, businesses, and other organizations with clear guidance and very similar rules to minimize the risk of further outbreaks and deaths from COVID-19.
"COVID-19 has caused more than 7,000 deaths in Michigan already, so there should be no question about the threat caused by this pandemic," said Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans. "These orders are essential to protecting all residents while allowing daily activities to continue safely."
The new public health order is effective immediately in Wayne County as of Oct. 16, 2020.