Governor Whitmer’s announcement Sunday has prompted the City of Warren to take immediate action to help reverse the record number of cases and deaths in Michigan. Effective this Wednesday, all departments in the city will reactivate the remote work plans beginning on Wednesday. Mayor Fouts had ordered these plans into effect earlier this year. Most employees* will be working from home and those that work inside will be required to wear a mask, social distance, and sanitize while at city hall. City Hall will be closed to the public until further notice. Warren has been at the forefront of successfully combating COVID-19 and Mayor Fouts intends to keep us in a leadership position to protect our employees and the community while continuing to deliver effective city services to our residents. All hands-on deck meaning that all of us need to follow the simple protocol of masks, sanitizing and social distancing. Masks are to protect others and yourself with a recent study indicating it’s the single most important factor to stop the spread of this virus.
*We are requiring most employees to work from home unless they are absolutely needed at city hall.
Currently city hall is closed to the public. Both the fitness center and pool are still open by appointment only at the Warren Community Center. The library is closed to the public, but is still allowing curbside service. Data seems to indicate that Michigan and our immediate area are hot spots for COVID-19.
That being the case we have instituted updated guidelines to protect our employees, residents and visitors. These include the following:
A) Employees should not report to work if they have any of the following symptoms: Fever, shortness of breath, uncontrolled cough.
B) Two or more of the following symptoms not explained by a known medical or physical condition they must also not report to work and these symptoms are: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of taste or smell, Muscle aches, severe headache, sore throat, vomiting.
C) Employees at work must practice good hygiene and infection control practices: mask, disinfecting, and social distancing.
D) If employees become sick during the day, they should immediately be sent home and a COVID test must be scheduled. Disinfecting and cleaning the workplace must immediately follow.
There are also procedures and guidelines dealing with COVID-19 sick leave policy. The city is empowered to conduct these rules and procedures based upon the HB 6032 Public Act 238 passed by the legislature on October 2, 2020.
*I have received more notifications about employees and residents who have tested positive for COVID 19. It seems that in many cases they been exposed to COVID at after work social events involving groups of people. Many have attended various places with some degree of distancing and disinfecting, but still became a victim. Any place in which a number of people congregate will expose any of us to this horrible disease. To be safe it is best not to attend gatherings of more than a few close friends or family. Bars and other similar places seem to be especially risky at the present time.
The less people you associate with the safer you are. Likewise, Thanksgiving should include only a few family members and less people is much safer than more people.
I know of too many people who thought they were safe only to contract the disease.
Please practice safety this Thanksgiving so that the Christmas holiday will be more enjoyable for you.
Mayor James R. Fouts