By MELISSA BURNOR
Lenawee County Commission Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of Lenawee County, David Stimpson issued a Declaration of a Local State of Emergency for Lenawee County on March 23 following Governor Whitmer’s issuance of a shelter-in-place order.
Lenawee County Administrator Marty Marshall said no cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in Lenawee County.
Testing has begun with 35 people being tested as of Tuesday at 1 p.m. Lenawee County Health Officer Martha Hall said 18 of the tests have come back negative. The remaining 17 tests have not been returned. Later today – Tuesday, March 23 – the Lenawee County Health Department confirmed the county had confirmed its first case of COVID-19.
Marshall, Stimson, Hall, Emergency Manager Craig Tanis, Sheriff Troy Bevier and Madison Township Fire Chief Craig Tanis were took part in a press conference with local media Tuesday afternoon in the Lenawee County Human Services Building.
Sheriff Troy Bevier and Madison Fire Chief Ryan Rank said first responders are answering all calls into 911.
“We may modify the way we answer some calls,” Bevier said of law enforcement. The 911 operators are screening calls and any report that can be taken over the telephone will be done that way. Rank also said 911 medical calls will be screened to let first responders know whether anyone is showing any symptoms of COVID-19.
“Symptoms can include a fever, dry cough and shortness of breath,” Hall said.
Hall said testing in Lenawee County is now being done through ProMedica. Tests can be sent to either the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services or a commercial laboratory. Results are sent to the health department. Hall said only people that are exhibiting symptoms can be tested. Anyone concerned they have COVID-19 needs to contact their primary care physician who can assess whether they need testing or not. Anyone that does not have a primary care physician or insurance can contact the county health department or an Urgent Care facility, Hall said. She said people need to call ahead before going to the facility for testing or treatment.
Stimpson said the main reason behind declaring the State of Emergency was due to the continued demand on local resources that are already in short supply.
One of the biggest concerns are personal protection equipment utilized by first responders such as firefighters, emergency medical technicians and police officers.
Items such as N-95 Masks, surgical masks, non-latex disposable gloves, medical gowns, safety glasses, hand sanitizer, disinfectant (liquid and spray), liquid bleach and moisturizer/hand lotion are in short supply.
Any person or business that has equipment to offer can contact Karen at the donation line, being hosted by Community Mental Health, on behalf of the Emergency Operations center at 517-264-0105 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. If no one answers people can leave a message and their call will be returned.