Traverse City News and Events

Grand Traverse County Declares State Of Emergency

By Beth Milligan | March 26, 2020

Grand Traverse County declared a state of emergency Wednesday, a move that allows local agencies to access state and federal resources, such as disaster funding. It also helps local medical agencies procure personal protection equipment (PPE). It does not affect travel or business/personal movement any differently than is outlined under the governor’s executive "Stay Home Stay Safe" order.

In a county press release, staff said County Commission Chair Rob Hentschel signed the declaration "in recognition of the serious pandemic that has stricken our county and the entire United States.The declaration of emergency is in effect immediately and pursuant to state law will be considered for an extension at the next board of commissioners meeting."

Hentschel said in a statement that based on conversations with community leaders, "we know some citizens are not taking the governor's (order) seriously. We reaffirm the governor's message and agree completely. To be successful, we need voluntary compliance by our entire Grand Traverse County community. We also anticipate continued and growing supply chain issues, and we want to continue to plan, prepare, and respond to address that."

Hentschel said Grand Traverse County has "a large team of experts and community leaders preparing for horrible situations that others in our nation, and worldwide, have already experienced. We are preparing for the worst and simultaneously working to prevent it. We need to prepare, not panic."

As with other jurisdictions, Grand Traverse County is "experiencing severe shortages of PPE for hospitals, medical providers, and first responders, as well as supply distribution delays and shortages to local food banks and other critical service non-profit agencies that serve our citizens in need," the county release states. "This declaration makes state and federal resources available to meet these emergent needs. County officials urge citizens to take the local, state, and national declarations seriously and help end the spread of the life threatening COVID-19 virus as soon as possible."

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