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MLBA: Indoor dining ban announcement expected today

MCHD?to offer vaccine clinics; Delta, Baraga county officials come out againist state ordersMCHD?to offer vaccine clinics; Delta, Baraga county officials come out againist state orders

By CHRISTIE

MASTRIC

Journal Staff Writer

MARQUETTE — The Michigan Licensed Beverage Association said in a Tuesday Facebook post that it spoke with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office and learned she will make an announcement today regarding the indoor dining ban related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MLBA said the reopening likely would take place beginning Feb. 1 to give bar and restaurant owners time to work with their supply chains and figure out staffing.

It said the announcement would likely include a limited capacity and curfew, and then possibilities for restaurants that take additional health measures to have a higher capacity limit.

The COVID-19 order regarding indoor dining at bars and restaurants from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has been extended several times.

The MLBA post was referenced in reports by The Detroit News and MLive.

The Mining Journal left a message with MDHHS seeking comment but the call was not returned before press time.

Marquette County Health Department to

offer vaccine clinics

The Marquette County Health Department is working to vaccinate health care workers and first responders, and establish COVID-19 vaccination availability for individuals age 65 and older.

MCHD will hold the first vaccination clinic for that age group from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the Baraga Gym, 300 W. Spring St., Marquette.

A person must make an appointment in advance to receive a vaccination, and anyone who shows up at the clinic without an appointment will not receive a dose at that time.

Due to vaccine availability, a limited number of appointments will be available.

Anyone age 65 or older may make an appointment at www.mqthealth.org and clicking on the COVID-19 Vaccine link, and then the Make A COVID-19 Vaccination Appointment link. Anyone who needs assistance may call 906-475-7847.

MCHD asks that only people in this age bracket sign up. Appointments will be scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis.

A picture ID will be required at the appointment. To help maintain social distancing, people are asked not to arrive at their appointments more than five minutes early.

More information about future clinics will be released as it becomes available.

However, the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues to be challenging across the region.

As of Thursday, the Luce-Mackinac-Alger-Schoolcraft District Health Department and the hospitals in each of the four counties had received a total of 2,950 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, LMAS announced on Monday.

As of Sunday, about 1,340 doses of those vaccines have been administered, or about 45% of what has been received in the district.

With more clinics having taken place on Monday and additional clinics in the works for later this week, the number of doses administered will continue to rise.

With health care workers taking priority in Phase 1A — and then the state of Michigan opening up parts of phases 1B and 1C last week — there has been a lot of planning to expand opportunities for individuals in these groups to make appointments for their first of the two-dose series, the department said in a news release.

The new priority groups as of Monday include health care workers in Phase 1A and individuals 65 years and older along with priority agencies such as law enforcement, fire, Child Protective Services workers, pre-K through 12th-grade teachers and day care workers.

“We are grateful for the longstanding partnerships that LMAS has with each of our hospitals and the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians,” said Kerry Ott, public information officer for LMAS, in a statement. “These local relationships have helped us be as ready as we could be for addressing the challenges of the pandemic and for developing plans to administer the vaccine.

“We are grateful for the positive response from individuals in all our communities who are anxious to receive the vaccine, but we ask for patience as we deal with logistics, changes in state guidelines, human capacity and, of course, vaccine supply.”

LMAS encourages all residents to understand there will be many starts and stops throughout this process, depending on vaccine supply. Area residents can help by using online scheduling or getting on lists to be contacted for appointments by going to LMASDHD.org.

Anyone who has already made an appointment or called to be placed on a list for notification should not contact the health department or hospitals for additional times. It is suggested that individuals who fall into the 65-and-older age bracket and have not made an appointment or added their names to a list for scheduling do so online.

If an individual has no internet capability, each hospital has a dedicated COVID vaccine line:

≤ Helen Newberry Joy Hospital at HNJH.org or call 906-293-9289;

≤ Mackinac Straits Health System at MackinacStraitsHealth.org or call 906-328-2159;

≤ Munising Memorial Hospital at MunsingMemorial.org or call 906-387-4111; or

≤ Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital at SCMH.org or call 906-341-2153 ext. 1.

For the general population, LMAS indicated it is likely going to be late spring or into summer before it has enough vaccine available to hold mass clinics or for individuals to receive their COVID-19 vaccines through their family health care providers.

In the meantime, patience is needed, LMAS said, and everyone — even those who have had both doses of vaccine — will need to continue to “do small things to protect each other” as there has not yet been enough study to determine if a person who is vaccinated might still be able to pick up the virus and pass it to others, even though they might not become ill.

LMAS strongly recommends people wear clean cloth face coverings that fully cover their mouths and noses, stay home when they don’t feel well, wash their hands and avoid gathering with people who do not live in their immediate households.

Governors’ request granted

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on Tuesday announced it will grant a request from Whitmer and eight other governors to release the millions of doses of the COVID-19 vaccine currently being held back by the Trump Administration, according to Whitmer’s office.

HHS also announced it will follow Michigan’s lead, recommending that states open up vaccinations to Americans age 65 and up, a move that Whitmer announced last week.

“Michigan and states across the country remain ready to get more shots in arms, which is why the Trump Administration’s decision to grant our request and release millions of doses of the vaccine is so crucial,” Whitmer said in a statement. “It will take all of us — the federal government, state and local leaders, health departments and everyday Americans — to ensure everyone can get the safe and effective vaccine.”

Officials come out against orders

The Delta County Board of Commissioners on Monday announced it passed a resolution making Delta County a sanctuary county for businesses affected by the COVID-19 shutdowns.

In a Facebook post, Commissioner David Moyle said he spoke on the phone with Delta County Sheriff Ed Oswald.

“I’m not advocating the formation of a militia to settle things with violence,” Moyle wrote.

The “fight we need to fight,” he said, is in Lansing and needs legislative involvement.

“The fight will be best fought on paper not with bullets,” Moyle said. “Forming a militia was never my intent.”

The resolution, as posted by Moyle, states that a citizen of the United States cannot be compelled to follow “an unconstitutional law,” referring to state orders limiting business operations on places such as bars, taverns and restaurants.

“Be it resolved therefore the duly elected members of the Delta County Board of Commissioners serve the citizens of Delta County and shall support no endeavor financially, or through ordinance that will in any way single out, harm or discriminate against any business owner that opens their establishment with the responsible PPE (personal protective equipment) and social distancing,” the resolution reads.

It also was stated that the resolution does not have the power of Michigan Compiled Law and cannot be used to avert the Michigan Liquor Control Commission and state health department.

Baraga County officials on Monday signed a letter, titled “Baraga County Manifesto,” in which they put the state of Michigan on notice that “we have no intention of participating in the unconstitutional destruction of our citizens’ economic security and liberty.”

The letter also reads, “We further declare our intention to take no action whatsoever in furtherance of this terribly misguided agenda.

“Finally, we call upon the Michigan Legislature to exercise their co-equal authority by adopting constitutionally sound measures which limit the unchecked exercise of executive power, which restore individual responsibility and accountability, and which return Michigan to the ranks of freedom-loving governments everywhere.”

The letter was signed by Baraga County Sheriff Joe Brogan; Wendy Goodreau, clerk and register of deeds; Lyle Olsen, District 4 commissioner; William C. Rolof, District 5 commissioner; Will Wiggins, District 2 commissioner; Gale Eilola, District 1 commissioner; Joseph P. O’Leary, Baraga County prosecuting attorney; Dan Robillard, District 3 commissioner; and Jill Tollefson, treasurer.

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

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