LANSING – A series of emergency orders issued by the Ingham County Health Department Sunday will continue protections against the spread of COVID-19.
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail issued four local orders mandating people continue to wear masks, limiting indoor and outdoor gatherings, keeping indoor restaurant and bar seating limited to 50% capacity and requiring employee health screenings. The orders only affect Ingham County.
“Health and science experts agree that facial coverings, social distancing and health screenings are critical to controlling the virus,” Vail said in a statement Sunday. “We have made too much progress to regress. We are working hard to get our young people back to school, keep our businesses and government open and make progress in our economic recovery.”
Ingham County Health Officer Linda Vail, left, talks with Aisha Benton, part of the COVID-19 response team with the Department of Health and Human Services, while going over potential entry and exit strategies during a visit to a possible COVID-19 testing site on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020, in Lansing. (Photo: Nick King/Lansing State Journal)
Vail’s orders came after the Michigan Supreme Court declared a 1945 emergency powers law constitutionally invalid on Friday. The court’s opinion put Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders issued during the COVID-19 pandemic in limbo.
Attorney General Dana Nessel’s office Sunday announced it would suspend enforcing Whitmer’s executive orders.
More: Michigan’s AG office: We will no longer enforce Whitmer’s orders through criminal prosecution
The orders do not create any new restrictions or precautionary measures, according to the health department.
Vail said the emergency orders are aimed at removing any uncertainty around the continuation of COVID-19 protection measures once included in the governor’s executive orders.
Ingham County remains at the highest level of risk for COVID-19, according to the Michigan Safe Start map.
“Protecting Ingham County residents is a responsibility that I take very seriously,” Vail said. “With a recent surge in cases in Ingham County, now is not the appropriate time to relax precautions.”
Contact reporter Craig Lyons at 517-377-1047 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @craigalyons.
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