AFT Michigan on Closure of Schools Due to Coronavirus
MICHIGAN — AFT Michigan released the following statement regarding Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s announcement that the state is taking steps to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by closing public schools across Michigan. The statement should be attributed to David Hecker, president of AFT Michigan. “While this is unfortunate news, we want to thank Gov. Whitmer for taking action. This health crisis deserves all necessary precautions to protect students, school employees and families across Michigan. We will be communicating with our members and elected and public health officials throughout this process to ensure it goes as smoothly as possible. This is a time to come together as schools and communities and do what we can to help one another and protect public health.”
Press Release from Governor Whitmer
Governor Whitmer Orders Temporary Prohibition on Large Assemblages and Events
Governor orders that events and shared-space assemblages over 250 people be canceled or postponed
LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-5 to cancel all events over 250 people and all assemblages in shared spaces over 250 people beginning on Friday, March 13 at 5:00pm and ending on Sunday, April 5 at 5:00pm. The governor’s executive order also closes all K-12 school buildings to students from Monday, March 16 until Sunday, April 5. Child care facilities will remain open during this time, whether they are attached to schools or free standing.
Under this executive order, all events and shared-space assemblages of more than 250 people are temporarily prohibited in the state. Certain assemblages are exempt from this prohibition, such as those for the purpose of: industrial or manufacturing work, mass transit, or the purchase of groceries or consumer goods.
“This is about protecting the most people we can from the spread of coronavirus,” said Governor Whitmer. “My administration will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread, and to ensure our children, families, and businesses have the support they need during this time. We are going to get through this, but we must be flexible and take care of each other.”
“Prohibiting large assemblages is the smart thing to do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “It’s crucial that everyone in Michigan follow these orders and make smart choices that will slow the spread of the virus, including practicing good hygiene and social distancing. We will continue to work with the governor and our partners across state government to protect Michigan families and businesses.”
Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
- Shortness of breath
The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:
- If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
- Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
- Replace handshakes with elbow bumps.
- Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.
Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
To view executive order 2020-5, click the link below: