Farmers market moves to in-person

MARQUETTE — The Downtown Marquette Farmers Market, sponsored by the Marquette Downtown Development Authority, is transitioning to a physical, in-person market starting July 4.

There is no market today to allow for the market and its vendors to prepare for the transition.

Relaxed COVID-19 guidelines for the region make this transition possible, the MDDA said in its announcement. However, it stressed the market is classified as an essential food retailer and customers should treat it as such.

However, the market will not look the same as in the past. Several trademarks, such as music, children’s activities, food demonstrations and product sampling, will be discontinued for the time being, plus there will be no on-site food consumption. These efforts are meant to create an efficient shopping experience that will allow customers to gather their goods safely and return home.

Also, the number of market vendors will be greatly reduced to allow for proper social distancing. Customers can expect to find essential goods being offered for sale such as food, personal hygiene products, and pet food and treats.

Guidelines for market customers include the following:

≤ Choose one to two healthy people per household to shop;

≤ All shoppers are required to wear a mask or face covering;

≤ Shoppers must be free of COVID-19 symptoms. People are asked to stay at home if they are sick.

≤ Maintain 6 feet distance between yourself and others while in line;

≤ Do not touch any products as vendors will select items for customers; and

≤ Be patient and respectful of staff, volunteers, vendors and fellow shoppers during the visit.

The physical market will accept several payment methods. All food assistance programs will be accepted, including EBT Bridge Card, P-EBT Bridge Card, Double Up Food Bucks, Project FRESH WIC, Market/Senior FRESH and Hoophouses for Health.

The market will not issue its Market Money this year, but all vendors will accept Market Money from previous seasons. Customers are strongly encouraged to bring cash to purchase goods as not all vendors are able to accept credit or debit cards.

The online marketplace will be discontinued for the time being, but will be brought back if COVID-19 guidelines change. Future seasons might include this offering as part of the regular lineup.

To learn more about the physical in-person market, visit www.mqtfarmersmarket.com.

Nursing homes focus of order

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday signed executive orders to protect Michigan nursing home residents and staff from the spread of COVID-19. Executive Order 2020-135 creates the bipartisan Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force within the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

The governor also signed Executive Order 2020-136, which extends existing safety measures to maintain restrictions regarding entry to care facilities designed to protect vulnerable populations. Since it was first issued on March 14, this order has prohibited entry into a nursing home without undergoing a rigorous screening protocol designed to protect facilities from COVID-19.

“We have taken great strides here in Michigan to protect families from the spread of COVID-19 and lower the chance of a second wave, but it’s crucial that we stay vigilant and work around the clock to protect our most vulnerable residents and those who have dedicated their lives to caring for them,” Whitmer said in a news release. “These actions will help our state protect more nursing home residents and staff in the case of a second wave.”

The Michigan Nursing Homes COVID-19 Preparedness Task Force will be charged with, among other things, analyzing relevant data on the threat of COVID-19 in nursing homes, making recommendations to the governor on improving data quality, and releasing periodic reports to the governor on its findings and recommendations.

The task force must produce a recommendation to the governor for an action plan on how to prepare nursing homes for any future wave of COVID-19 cases by Aug. 31.

Labor Day Festival canceled

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Marquette Alger Community Labor Council and the U.P. Regional Labor Federation have canceled the Labor Day Festival originally scheduled for Sept. 7.

The groups said this is the first time in 31 years the event will not take place, but are exploring options to provide a virtual online experience.

Christie Mastric can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 250. Her email address is cbleck@miningjournal.net


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