Mayor Beier Declares State of Emergency in East Lansing: UPDATED WITH NEW INFO

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Above: Mayor Ruth Beier at this week’s Council meeting where she urged protective action on COVID-19 (photo by Gary Caldwell)

UPDATE: March 16: The City of East Lansing has released several pages of information about City services during the state of emergency. See it here.

March 13, 2020: Mayor Ruth Beier has declared a local state of emergency in the City of East Lansing in response to what’s happening in Michigan with the COVID-19 coronavirus.

“We care about people,” Mayor Beier told ELi by phone this afternoon. “We’re doing this to save lives.”

In practical terms, the state of emergency means the City is closing all City-owned facilities and cancelling all public meetings, events, and programs from March 16 through April 5 – not coincidentally, the period when East Lansing Public Schools will be closed under order of the governor.

During that period, members of the public will not be able to get into:

  • East Lansing’s City Hall (but the police desk will remain accessible)
  • East Lansing’s Public Library
  • 54-B District Court
  • Hannah Community Center
  • the Department of Public Works’ buildings
  • the City-operated recycling drop-off site on the north side of town
  • the Prime Time Seniors’ Program

The Hannah Community Center will be closed a week longer than the rest, opening on Monday, April 13.

City employees will be working remotely as possible, and “essential services” will keep running including:

  • policing, firefighting, and emergency medical services
  • trash and recycling collection
  • water services and wastewater management

What you will not be able to ask for or obtain during this time:

  • water service shut-offs
  • bulk item trash collection

This move follows the declaration of a state of emergency for Michigan by Governor Gretchen Whitmer on March 10.

Today the governor also issued an order temporarily prohibiting events and shared-space assemblages of over 250 people, from 5 p.m. today through April 5 at 4 p.m. The goal is social distancing because that can help stop the spread of the disease. (Read more about social distancing here.)

ELi has a special section dedicated to our reporting on COVID-19 for East Lansing. See it here and sign up for ELi’s mailer to stay informed.

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