37th Annual Blissfield River Raisin Festival postponed until 2021

In an evening meeting Tuesday, June 2, the Blissfield River Raisin Festival committee postponed the 37th Annual Blissfield River Raisin Festival until July 2021. The committee has issued the following statement from Rick Allen, president: 

     “After much consideration and soul searching, it is with great sadness that the Blissfield River Raisin Festival Committee is announcing the postponement of the 37th annual River Raisin Festival to July 8-10, 2021. This postponement is due, in part, to maintaining the health and safety of our many thousands of visitors throughout the weekend. There is also much uncertainty that remains around the coronavirus (Covid-19) and the timing of the opening of our state for fairs and festivals.
     “Our sympathies go out to the many vendors, entertainers, our carnival company and the community as a whole. We also would like to thank our valued sponsors for their support. Our festival would not be able to operate without them. We were expecting an exceptional festival this year, and we will continue to put that effort into the 2021 Blissfield River Raisin Festival.”

The festival is still hosting its annual golf outing on Sunday, June 14, at The Legacy Golf Course with a 7:30 a.m. registration and shot-gun start at 8:30 a.m. Teams are still needed. The registration form can be found a riverraisinfestival.org or received by emailing advance@cass.net.

June 5: Fifth coronavirus death reported in Lenawee County

  The fifth Lenawee County fatality from the coronavirus was reported in the Lenawee County Health Department figures Thursday afternoon.
     However, the state figures from Wednesday did prove to be wrong for Lenawee leaving the county at 155 cases today for third day in a row. For several days before that, the total count had been 154 positive cases since the first was confirmed in March.
Those who have had or still have Covid-19 include 79 males and 76 females. Three people are hospitalized at this time, with 27 monitoring their symptoms at home and 120 who have discontinued isolation.
     In addition, there has been no change in the “probable” county cases with 34 total – 12 males and 22 females, none of whom are hospitalized or monitoring their symptoms at home. Thirty-three have been released from isolation.

Meanwhile, Michigan reported 284 new daily cases of the coronavirus and 21 deaths on Friday, June 5.

HEH to distribute FREE MILK in Old Road Dinner Train lot Saturday, June 6

Blissfield’s Hope and Encouragement for Humanity, supported by the Blissfield Fire Department and the Old Road Dinner Train, will distribute FREE milk Saturday, June 6, from noon to  3 p.m.  in the Dinner Train parking lot, U.S. 223 in Blissfield.

HEH has 5,000 gallons of 2 percent milk to give away, no questions asked. This is a no-contact pickup, so recipients are asked to please stay in their vehicle and volunteers will load the milk for them. Recipients may request up to 15 gallons.

State COVID-19 data shown on new online dashboard

News release from michigan.gov 5-26-2020

LANSING – A new, online dashboard launched this week that visually illustrates COVID-19 risks and trends in Michigan, providing residents with important information about the pandemic status where they live and work. 

Developed through a collaboration between the Michigan departments of Health and Human Services and Labor and Economic Opportunity and the University of Michigan, dashboard data is divided into Michigan Economic Recovery Committee (MERC) regions. 

MERC regions were developed by merging Michigan’s Emergency Preparedness Regions and Michigan’s labor sheds – the major areas of the state where people live and travel to work based on U.S. Department of Labor data – so that any outbreak resulting from a return to work could be handled effectively under public health laws. 

“The most important thing we can do right now is listen to the experts and follow the medical science,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “Our first responders have put their lives on the line during this crisis, and we owe it to them to get this right. This dashboard will provide us with the data we need to assess risk in different regions of the state so we can re-engage our economy safely and deliberately, while working to minimize the risk of a second wave of infections. The whole goal here is to help ensure we keep more people healthy and out of hospitals.” 

The COVID-19 data displayed on the dashboard represents publicly available case, death and test data analyzed to determine overall level of risk and key trends. Graphs, numbers and trends provide a snapshot of how much virus is in a community, and whether it is increasing or decreasing. 

Risk levels were developed by MDHHS and the U-M School of Public Health using guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, national Guidelines for Opening America and several other leading national organizations.  

“The risk levels tell us whether there is high, medium or low risk of COVID-19 spread in a community and can help highlight areas where more social distancing may be needed, or where vulnerable individuals should be particularly careful,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health.  

The dashboard, designed and created by faculty at U-M School of Information and School of Public Health, presents risk and capacity indicators that inform implementation of the MI Safe Start Plan. These indicators fall into three categories: epidemic spread, health system capacity and public health capacity. Each indicator displays a level of risk. These indicators, along with other epidemiologic information, inform the overall risk level for a region. It also incorporates on-the-ground knowledge, such as whether new cases of COVID-19 are localized to a single outbreak or represent community-wide spread.  

“The U-M team is very excited to build this dashboard for the people and State of Michigan,” said Sharon Kardia, Ph.D., Associate Dean at U-M School of Public Health. “This precision public health dashboard is very unique as it clearly shows everyone why some regions can open up more rapidly than others.” 

In addition to these risk and capacity indicators, other considerations such as the availability of mitigation measures, the risk posed by certain activities and other economic factors also inform decisions under the MI Safe Start Plan.   

New online dashboard provides COVID-19 risk and trend data, helps inform MI Safe Start plan 

To learn more, visit MiStartMap.info

May 27: Fourth Lenawee County resident dies of COVID-19

The Lenawee County Health Department, as of its 2:30 online daily report, confirmed the fourth Lenawee County death of the coronavirus.

With 147 confirmed cases (up one in 24 hours), now, the fatality rate in the county is now 3 percent with this most recent death. Of those confirmed cases were 76 males and 71 females. As of today, two county residents are hospitalized (1 percent) and 31 people (21 percent) are still monitoring their symptoms at home.

However, the number of county residents who have discontinued their isolation is now 110 – an increase of seven over Tuesday – and representative of 75 percent of the county’s caseload.

In addition, there are 33 probable cases – 12 males and 21 females, but none are hospitalized. Six are monitoring their symptoms at home and 27 have discontinued their isolation periods.

Lenawee County is part of Region I in Michigan which continues to show low positive vs negative testing rates. The most recent posted testing on michigan.gov showed 3.4 percent positive rate (315 positive, 8881 negative) on May 25 and 3.3 percent on May 24.

In neighboring areas, Hillsdale County has 169 cases, which is actually one less than was indicated in the Tuesday figures on michigan.gov., and holding at 24 fatalities; Jackson County added one new case to 439, remaining at 26 deaths; Monroe County had no uptick in cases or deaths, standing at 464 cases and 19 deaths; and Washtenaw added four cases to 1305 and one death in the last 24 hours for 97 total.

In Ohio, Fulton County added one case for 36 cases, six hospitalizations and no deaths. Williams County has 52 cases, but added a hospitalization for five total and one death. Toledo (Lucas County) saw its case number rise to 2162 with 10 new cases, 551 hospitalizations (one new) and 233 deaths (four additional in the past 24 hours). Overall, Michigan has 33,439 cases which includes 2248 probable cases, 2044 deaths (42 new) with 202 deaths deemed probable COVID-19 deaths under the expanded CDC definition; and 5700 hospitalizations, a drop of 79 over the prior day.

Michigan now has 55,608 total cases, 5334 deaths, 504 new cases (123 of which are from Detroit City, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties), and 68 deaths, 14 of which were added after a review of death certificates for 54 actual deaths in 24 hours, 43 of which came from the three metro Detroit counties and City of Detroit, with 11 others coming from around the state – one of them being the Lenawee County person who died.

May 21: River crests; COVID-19 numbers pretty consistent in Lenawee County

The River Raisin crested after flooding the Bachmayer-Ellis Parks in Blissfield Village and property all along the winding waterway. Although the coronavirus numbers didn’t decline in Lenawee County, they did hold fairly steady.

The Lenawee County Health Department reported 141 total county cases since the stats began being kept, but the state, by 3 p.m., reported 142 cases for the county. There are 74 males and 67 females, with still three hospitalizations. The health department says there are 38 people monitoring symptoms at home with 97 who have completed isolation, for 69 percent of the total cases. Three county residents have died of COVID-19.

In addition, the probable cases number 32, same as Wednesday and the breakdown has not changed either.

Statewide, there are now 53,510 total caes with 5129 deaths. The new daily cases number 501 today as testing ramps up statewide. There were 69 deaths, 31 of which are older deaths that have been swept into the state count after a review of death certificates. That means the true new deaths in the last 24 hours is 38.

Testing showed 4.7 percent of the tests were positive in nine-county Region I, of which Lenawee County is a part, on May 19, the most recent date of testing with 97 positive and 1975 negatives. The prior day’s testing showed 3.6 percent of the tests were positive. Statewide, testing on May 19 revealed 6.6 percent of the tests to be positive, 1217 positive with 17,142 negative.

In Ohio, there are now 30,167 cases including 1993 probable cases included under CDC’s expanded definition. There are 5295 hospitalizations in Ohio with 1836 deaths, including 178 deaths included via the CDC expanded definition of COVID-19 deaths.

Lucas County (Toledo area) is reporting 2056 total cases with 546 hospitalizations and 219 deaths. Williams and Fulton County have not seen an expansion of their caseload in the past 24 hours and are located directly south of Lenawee County.

Neighboring Michigan counties of Hillsdale, Jackson and Monroe saw no new deaths in the last 24 hours, with one new case in Hillsdale County and four each in Jackson and Monroe. Washtenaw now has 1265 total cases and 95 deaths.

Governor to partially reopen businesses by appointment

News release from www.michigan.gov May 21, 2020

LANSING — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed executive order 2020-96 to reopen retail businesses and auto dealerships by appointment statewide on Tuesday, May 26, as part of her MI Safe Start plan. The governor’s executive order also lifts the requirement that health care providers delay some nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures statewide beginning on Friday, May 29. And the order authorizes small gatherings of 10 people or less starting immediately, as long as participants practice social distancing.

“The data shows that Michigan is ready to phase in these sectors of our economy, but we must stay vigilant and ensure we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves and our families from the spread of COVID-19,” said Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. “On behalf of our brave first responders on the front lines of this crisis, we must continue to all do our part by staying safer at home. We owe it to them to do what we can to stop the spread of this virus.”

“As businesses continue to reopen, it’s crucial that they adopt strict safety measures to protect their employees, customers, and their families,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “I know that as medical professionals begin offering nonessential procedures again, they will do everything in their power to protect patients and their families from COVID-19. I will continue to work with Governor Whitmer and our partners across Michigan to protect our families and lower the chance of a second wave.”

“This is great news for dealerships across the state,” said Doug North, president of North Brothers Ford. “We appreciate the governor’s leadership, and we welcome the opportunity to serve our customers in a way that helps keep everyone safe from the showroom floor to the open road.”

The governor also signed a separate order, Executive Order 2020-97, updating a prior rule on workplace safety. Per the amended order, reopened outpatient health-care facilities, including clinics, primary care physician offices, and dental offices, will have to adopt strict protocols to prevent infection. The Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs will issue guidance to aid those facilities in adopting appropriate safeguards.

As before, businesses maintaining in-person activities must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers. They must, among other things, provide COVID-19 training to workers that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions.

“With today’s announcement, physicians and health care providers in Michigan are ready to resume taking care of patients,” said Dr. Bobby Mukkamala, president of the Michigan State Medical Society. “It is time for patients to catch up on the care that has been deferred for the past two months. We encourage the citizens of Michigan to tend to their health and protect each other by following public health guidance to prevent spread of this virus.”

Consistent with the governor’s previous Safer at Home orders, any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth—like a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief—when in any enclosed public space. Michiganders who are not working as critical infrastructure workers or at a business that has been authorized to reopen should stay home to protect themselves and their families from the spread of COVID-19.

River Raisin woes: No contact advisory and flooding

The Lenawee County Health Department has issued a no-contact advisory for the South Branch of the Rive Raisin from the area of College Street in the city of Adrian continuing downstream to the eastern boundary of the county including Blissfield and Deerfield until further notice.

The river was subject to a discharge from the City of Adrian sewage collection and treatment plant. According to the health department, the advisory does not apply to public or private drinking water supplies. The advisory remains in effect until results from water testing indicates the River Raisin water quality is not impacted from the sewage discharge.

Several days of rainy weather has everything soggy and the River Raisin has overflowed its banks. The National Weather Service is predicting it will crest as a minor flood at 684.3 feet at approximately 8 p.m. May 20 (today) and water levels could begin receding near 2 a.m. Thursday, May 21. It would rank as the sixth-highest crest since 1982.

Barring anymore rain, water levels are expected be at normal levels by mid-day Saturday.

May 20: Positive COVID-19 case confirmed in Lenawee County long-term care facility

ADRIAN - A resident at a long-term care facility in Lenawee County has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a news release from the Lenawee County Health Department. All residents and employees have been and continue to be monitored for COVID-19 symptoms, the release stated. The facility is working closely with the health department to ensure residents and staff are safe by following Centers for Disease Control (CDC) Guidelines. The facility has implemented strategies to protect their residents and employees from COVID-19 which include:

• educating staff on the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and how it is spread

• taking temperatures of all residents and staff twice daily

• monitoring resident’s respiratory status twice daily

• wearing of masks by all staff members

• closure of all communal spaces and group activities

• limiting all non-essential visitors

“This is another reminder that COVID-19 is present in our community,” the release said. The Lenawee County Health Department urges residents to continue social distancing by maintaining six feet of separation from others and wearing cloth face coverings when in public spaces.

Meanwhile, as of 1 p.m. today, there have been 140 cases of the novel coronavirus since mid-March which includes 74 males and 66 females, according to the Lenawee County Health Department website.

At this time, there are three people hospitalized with 37 people who are still monitoring their symptoms at home (26 percent) and 97 people who are out of isolation (69 percent of all positive cases). Three residents have died of COVID-19 in Lenawee County.
There are also 32 people listed by the health department as "probable" COVID-19 cases, including 12 males and 20 females. None of the 32 are hospitalized, 11 are monitoring their symptoms at home and 21 have now discontinued isolation.

Lenawee County is part of Region I in Michigan, nine central counties located "up the middle" of the bottom half of the Lower Peninsula. Testing on May 18, according to www.michigan.gov's coronavirus page returned 61 positives and 1635 negatives in the region, for a 3.6 percent positive testing rate.

Michigan reported 659 new cases today, with 43 deaths. The total is now 53,009 across the state and 5060 total deaths attributed to the coronavirus.

Some Gus Harrison prisoners rise up, quelled after 716 found COVID-19 positive

May 20, 2020

ADRIAN — A disturbance at the Gus Harrison Correctional Facility in Madison Township on Tuesday was the result of prisoner concerns about COVID-19. As of Wednesday there were 716 prisoners who had tested positive for the virus with three deaths, according to Michigan Department of Corrections spokesperson Chris Gautz. As of May 21, 615 prisoners remained infected and were asymptomatic, he said. Many of the cases had been discovered in testing the day before as MDOC’s enhanced testing protocol will have all 35,000 inmates tested statewide.

“Michigan will be the first state to accomplish this,” Gautz said.

On Tuesday, approximately 200 COVID-19 positive prisoners were refusing to go back inside their segregated housing unit prompting a police dispatch of approximately 15 officers Lenawee County-wide. The incident began about 3:45 p.m. and was diffused by 5 p.m., Gautz said.
The private medical provider now has met individually with each prisoner to discuss their test results which was one of their main concerns. Sixteen instigators were identified and face disciplinary action, officials said.

As of Tuesday, 31 employees have also tested positive.