In the News
Washtenaw County set all-time records for positive Covid-19 tests on Sept. 25 and 27, with 67 and 66, respectively. “Without question we're seeing an increase, and a sharp increase, in cases,” said Susan Ringler-Cerniglia, public information officer for the Washtenaw County Health Department, in an Oct. 1 phone call.
Three-quarters of those testing positive are college age. "The spike in cases among university students seems to be leveling off, but cases remain somewhat elevated," notes Ringler-Cerniglia. The challenge is how it’s managed: “Do we get good compliance with contact tracing, following the isolation and quarantine guidelines, and the spread is really contained? Or do we continue to see spread?”
This week, positive tests are running below 40 a day. While the college outbreaks seem to be contained, younger students are now showing up in the statistics. "This week and last, we are starting to see more cases and exposures at the K-12 level as schools reopen or continue in-person learning or athletics," Ringler-Cerniglia emails.
The Michigan Supreme Court rules that Gov. Whitmer lacks authority to extend states of emergency, but mask mandates remain in place. The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has issued its own emergency order under the public health code which largely reinstates the governor’s orders. Washtenaw County health officer Jimena Loveluck has also issued an order on the use of face coverings, social gatherings, bar and restaurant capacity and employee health screenings.
To help lower-income residents stay safe during the winter months, the Washtenaw County Office of Community and Economic Development will distribute 10,000 free masks over the next several weeks. Partners include nonprofit organizations, libraries, and apartment complexes located throughout the county.
Pushback on proposed agreement for cleanup of Gelman dioxane plume. Initial support for a proposed settlement to remediate dioxane that the now-defunct Gelman Sciences discharged beneath its Scio Township plant has faded. The plan to divert partially treated wastewater into First Sister Lake at the Dolph Nature Area met with strong criticism in a series of public meetings. The Michigan Department of Environment is now looking at alternate discharge locations, including returning discharge water to deep wells on the Gelman property. MLive.
Looking for your local absentee ballot box? Zack Hecht created a website to help voters wishing to cast their ballot absentee to find their nearest ballot drop box location.