As coronavirus concerns continue to mount, several government agencies and other public places have taken precautions to protect the public.
Late Monday morning, Oceana County announced that effective at 5 p.m. all county buildings will be closed to the general public until March 23. Offices will be available by telephone. The county’s main telephone number is 231-873-4835. Using the audible directory, people will be able to contact county and court offices.
The Oceana County Road Commission canceled its March 25 meeting and has closed its offices to the public until further notice. People can call the road commission at 873-4226 if they have questions or need permits. The Michigan Department of Transportation waived seasonal weight restrictions for trucks supporting COVID-19 relief efforts.
The Oceana County Council on Aging has suspended it congregate meals and social activities until April 6. The March 19 Oceana Conservation District Annual Meeting and Banquet was rescheduled for April 23, and the April 2 Oceana County Planning Commission meeting was canceled. Hart City closed its buildings to the public Monday afternoon until further notice with the decision to be revisited each week. Those with previous scheduled appointments are advised to call ahead. Bills will be due as normal and the night drop box will be processed continually. Bills can also be paid online.
The Village of Shelby suspended water shut-offs for non-payment for the immediate future.
“We want to ensure that everyone is able to wash their hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds,” village Administrator Rob Widigan said in a press release. “While we are suspending water shut-offs for non-payment, the village’s water policy will still be enforced. Per the policy, a 10 percent penalty will be added to your bill each month for non-payment. We are taking the steps we can to mitigate the spread of this virus and keep residents safe. It is vital that residents continue to take preventative measures to lower their risk. We encourage everyone to share this information with their friends, family, and co-workers.”
The village also closed the village hall as of 3 p.m. Monday and will revisit the decision each week. Anyone needing village services or who had a previously scheduled appointment should call the respective office before traveling to a village building.
Business may be conducted via U.S. Mail, the night drop-box or online atwww.shelbyvillage.com/village- services. The night drop-box will be processed continually.
Bills are still due as normal and staff will be available via phone at the village office, department of public works, and the police department during regular working hours. If you call the village office at 231-861-4400, we can mail or email copies of bills and invoices if needed.
For any further questions regarding village operational changes please contact the office of the Village Administrator’s Office, Robert Widigan at 810-569-8296.
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday, March 12 that all K-12 public, private and boarding school buildings will be closed to students until April 5. The governor also ordered that all community events exceeding 250 people be canceled or postponed.
“This is a necessary step to protect our kids, our families, and our overall public health,” Whitmer said. “I am working with partners across state government to ensure educators, parents and students have the support they need during this time, and to ensure our children who rely on school for meals have access to food. I know this will be a tough time, but we’re doing this to keep the most people we can safe. I urge everyone to make smart choices during this time and to do everything they can to protect themselves and their families.”
The Michigan High School Athletic Association also suspended all winter sports activities until further notice. The Hart High School Drama Club play scheduled for March 27-29 was canceled. and the Hart Performing Arts Series canceled its April 17 concert and it will be rescheduled.
MSU Extension made the decision to cancel the West Central Spring Horticulture Meeting scheduled for Monday, March 23. In addition to the personal desire here at the Oceana County office to make sure everyone stays safe, the MSU Extension Director’s Office has asked it to cancel any meeting that approaches 100 participants (including speakers and staff in attendance), and the Spring Horticulture meeting was approaching that number. Because the meeting’s purpose was to educate growers before the growing season starts, rescheduling it didn’t make much sense as the earliest reschedule dates possible given the current situation were well in to the growing season. For anyone that has registered and paid their registration fees, refunds will be issued. If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact the Oceana MSU Extension Office at 231-873-2129.
Michigan Secretary of State branch offices will only offer services for critical transactions such as driver’s licenses, title transfers, testing for an original commercial driver’s license among others. Services will only be made by appointment. The Mackinac Bridge Authority indefinitely suspended its driver’s assistance program.
Spectrum Health announced March 11 that it was limiting family and visitor access to its buildings. The restrictions include:
• No children under the age of 12 will be allowed to visit Spectrum Health hospitals during this time for their safety.
• Visitors, including family members, will be limited to one person per patient. Two visitors will be allowed for pediatric (children under the age of 18) and maternity patients.
• Visitors and family members must be healthy and without symptoms of illness.
• Visitors and family members who have recently traveled internationally to countries that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention include in their COVID-19 travel warnings will not be permitted to visit.
West Shore Community College canceled its regional high school art competition and placed a number of other scheduled activities on hold. The college also canceled classes for Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, and moved most face-to-face classes to an online format Wednesday, March 18. This move is anticipated to last until the end of the winter semester, but is subject to change as the as the spread of the COVID-19 evolves. The entire college campus, including the Recreation Center and Ice Arena, will be closed to the public on Monday and Tuesday, March 16 and 17, to provide faculty and staff the opportunity to prepare for course content to be online. The Ludington Area Center for the Arts is closed until April 6.
Dollar General has announced that as of Tuesday, March 17, a new senior shopping hour policy will take effect, along with closing stores an hour earlier than posted hours of operation to allow employees to clean and re-stock shelves.
In a press release from Todd Vasos, Dollar General’s CEO, he stated, “In keeping with our mission and our ongoing commitment to serve our communities, we are dedicating the first hour of each day to seniors. We appreciate our customers’ understanding of our decision and request they visit our stores later in the morning to allow at-risk populations the ability to purchase the items they need at affordable prices.”
The senior shopping hour will be the first hour that stores are open each day, which is 8 a.m. at all Oceana County locations.