Oceana County along with the rest of the state was ordered Monday to ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ for the next three weeks in an effort to curb the coronavirus throughout the state.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued the order during a press conference Monday morning, requiring all non-essential workers to stay home.

District Health Department #10 also announced in the last week that there have been four people within the DHD#10 district testing positive for the virus with one being in Wexford County, one in Kalkaska County one in Newaygo County and one in Manistee County. Muskegon County has had two positive tests.

“Taking aggressive action to protect our communities is the most important thing we can do to mitigate further spread of COVID-19,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “If we do this now, we can make sure our hospitals and healthcare workers are prepared to take care of the sickest people. It is crucial that people do the right thing by staying home and staying safe.”

Executive Order 2020-21 prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Businesses and operations are to designate the workers that meet those criteria, and must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons in the performance of that necessary in-person work.

The order also closed state park campgrounds, overnight lodging facilities and shelters, effective now through at least April 13. State parks and recreation areas will remain open to provide residents with opportunities to get outdoors, provided all visitors adhere to the requirement for proper social distancing – at least 6 feet between yourself and another person – in all areas of the parks.

In a statement Tuesday morning, Oceana County Sheriff Craig Mast said it is the intention of the Oceana County Sheriff’s Office to followWhitmer’s executive order to assist in reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the community.

“As of March 23, 2020, we asked the courts to release a number of inmates from our facility,” Mast said. “The majority of the inmates released were considered at-risk by our medical director, and the remainder were non-violent offenders. Creating room in our jail will allow for inmate isolation if necessary. We are trying to protect our jail inmate population and staff as best we can from this virus.”

Mast also said the sheriff’s office is continuing to operate as normal as it can given the circumstances. “We are still operating at full staff and will continue to serve the citizens if they have needs. We are not turning a blind eye to crime. We still have our deputies patrolling 24/7. We are hopeful that none of our staff become affected by this virus and are taking precautions just like everyone else.

“With the executive order issued March 23, 2020, many are asking what they can and cannot do. If citizens have work-related questions, they should contact their employer, as they are ultimately responsible,” Mast said. “Aside from employment questions, we are simply asking people to do their part in this crisis. We anticipate receiving complaints about violations of the executive order. It is law enforcement’s understanding that these complaints will be investigated and turned over to the Office of the Michigan Attorney General.

“We live in a community that so many can only visit once a year while on vacation,” Mast said. “This is an opportunity for us to enjoy many of the outdoor venues we have in our county, and a little fresh air is good for all of us.”

If citizens have questions regarding the executive order specifics they may call the Governor’s constituent services at (517) 335-7858.

All Oceana County Buildings will remain closed until April 13. People needing assistance can call the main number at 873-4835. The March 26 board of commissioners meeting also was canceled along with the April 2 county planning commission meeting and the April 2 parks and recreation. The county {span} Transfer Station will remain open during its regular business hours and days through April 11. {/span}

MSU Extension offices also will be closed, but staff will be working remotely. People can call the office main telephone number at 231-873-2129 and leave a message. Staff will check messages as often as the can. People can also contact staff members directly through email as listed: General Office/Support Staff: Toni VanBergen vanberg2@msu.edu; Kathy Walicki walicki@msu.edu; 4-H Program Coordinator Sarah Schaner schaner4@msu.edu; Vegetable Educator: Ben Werling werlingb@msu.edu; Tree Fruit Educator Dave Jones jones412@msu.edu; District Director James Kelly kellyj56@msu.edu.

Effective immediately in the Village of Pentwater, all water turn ons have been suspended until April 13. Please visit Village of Pentwater for further details. Many other local closures and changes have been put into place and were subject to change. They include the following:

MSU Extension opens online programing

During unprecedented disruptions to daily life, Michigan State University Extension has created a suite of online resources and programming, available on demand through its new Remote Learning and Resources online space. For traditional in-person programming affected by social distancing recommendations, MSU Extension is modifying and transitioning this programming to a digital space.

The Remote Learning and Resources online space is a one-stop-shop for MSU Extension’s digital offerings and educational materials related to the current circumstances. Among the resources featured on the site are:

A listing of all MSU Extension virtual events — from family yoga sessions to lunch-and-learns for equine enthusiasts

A collection of free educational resources for parents and caregivers to keep children engaged in learning throughout the school break

Online learning opportunities for adults who may want to continue their own lifelong learning

A series of resources to help individuals stay healthy and active during social distancing

A variety of educational articles related to topics such as dealing with family stress, talking to children about novel coronavirus and managing finances

As the response to the novel coronavirus pandemic evolves, MSU Extension will continue to add and curate digital resources to support individuals, businesses, communities and families in these challenging times.

West Shore College

Effective Friday, March 20, any remaining face-to-face West Shore Community College instruction has been suspended through April 5. Online academic instruction will continue until the end of the semester. With an appointment, support services will continue to be offered to students on an emergency basis only. No family members will be admitted to the college’s buildings if an appointment is granted and appropriate measures will be enforced to protect the health of students and college employees. Many of the college staff are working remotely and there are limited services in many of the college’s departments. Students should call ahead to determine if the services they need are available. Currently, all of the college’s buildings are closed to the public through March 30. Online research resources can be accessed by viewing the library website. The college has installed free Wi-Fi access, for public use, in parking lots near the Tech Center, Arts and Sciences Center and Recreation Center.

Pentwater Chamber events

The Pentwater Chamber of Commerce has made the decision to cancel Easter on the Green (April 11) and Business After Hours for April and May. Brews & Beats has been rescheduled from May 2 to Sept. 5. At this time all other events will remain as scheduled.

St. Joseph fish dinners

St. Joseph Church Weare announced Monday that it had canceled its remaining Lenten fish dinners.

Adventists cancel church services, activities

The Seventh Day Adventist Church in Shelby is keeping with the state’s recommendations is canceling all activities until April 11. That includes supper club and church services.

Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives.

Stay Home. Stay Safe. Save Lives. Link to www.michigan.gov/coronavirusTo combat the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan, Governor Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order. For at least the next three weeks, all Michigan businesses and operations must temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, and all Michiganders must stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.

You can:

Go to the grocery store or pick up take-out food.

Go to the pharmacy to pick up a needed prescription.

Engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, biking.

Go to the hospital or secure any care necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve your health or the health of a loved one.

Fill your car with gas.

Return to Michigan to a home or place of residence from outside the State.

Leave the State for a home or residence elsewhere.

Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian for needed medical care.

You may not

Leave the home to work unless your employer designates you as a critical infrastructure worker.

Participate in any public gatherings.

Visit someone in the hospital, nursing home, or other residential care facilities (with limited exceptions).

Go to the mall or to restaurants.

Businesses that remain open for in-person work must take agressive steps to minimize the virus’ spread. They must:

Promote remote work to the fullest extent possible.

Restrict the number of workers present in-person on the job.

Keep employees at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible and enabling social distancing for customers who are standing in line.

Any other social distancing practices and mitigation measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.

For those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. — 5 p.m. daily.