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Marquette County Health Department continuing COVID-19 vaccinations next week

MARQUETTE — The Marquette County Health Department announced Friday that staff members will be contacting residents who are on the COVID-19 vaccine pre-registration list beginning on Monday and Tuesday for vaccine appointments on Thursday.

MCHD said approximately 1,000 appointment slots will be available for this round of vaccinations. Staff will contact registrants based on their placement on the list, using both online and phone registrations.

Those who are registered are asked to pay attention for a phone call from 906-475-9977 or similar on Monday or Tuesday. A staff member will make two attempts to contact you. If you happen to miss the first call, a message will be left to prepare you for the second call. Should you miss both calls, your name will remain on the list for the next round of an appointments.

Those who get scheduled for appointments are asked to arrive no more than five minutes before your scheduled appointment time. If you need to cancel your appointment for any reason or have received your vaccine elsewhere and are still pre-registered, call 906-475-7847 with as much advance notice as possible.

For those age 65 and older who would like to be placed on the pre-registration waiting list, visit www.mqthealth.org or call 906-475-7847. Phone lines are currently staffed Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. until further notice.

If you have registered online, you will receive an email confirmation. Be sure to check your spam or junk mailboxes, and do not register more than once.

MCHD said that vaccine allotments have remained inconsistent and more information about future clinics will be released once it becomes available.

U.P. businesses cited for COVID-19 violations

Five Upper Peninsula businesses were included in the latest round of COVID-19 citations issued by the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration, according to a news release sent out Friday.

Of the 23 businesses cited for workplace safety violations, five are located in the U.P. and include Midway Rentals and Sales of Negaunee, Iron Mountain Powersports of Kingsford, Cross General Contracting of Munising, Smith Metal Structures of Iron Mountain and Terrazzo Creations and Renewals of Iron Mountain.

MIOSHA states that under its emergency rules, “employers that resume in-person work must, among other things, have a written COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and provide thorough training to their employees that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of personal protection equipment, and 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.”

Violating these emergency rules can carry a fine of up to $7,000.

Midway Rentals and Sales was cited for “an other-than serious” violation of COVID-19 workplace safety requirements for “not having on site a preparedness and response plan and not documenting daily health screenings.” The business was fined $1,200 total for these violations.

Iron Mountain Powersports, Smith Metal Structures and Terrazzo Creations and Renewals were all fined for “not documenting daily health screenings.” Terrazzo Creations and Renewals received the heftiest fine for this violation at $800, while Iron Mountain Powersports received a $400 penalty.

A fine was not listed for Smith Metal Structures.

Lastly, Cross General Contracting was cited and fined $1,000 for “not wearing face coverings,” with penalties including other workplace violations totaling $3,800.

MIOSHA conducts on-site inspections to track businesses that “fail to implement necessary precautions to protect employees from contracting COVID-19. Deficiencies included a lack of health screenings, face covering, employee training and overall preparedness plans.”

Those cited have 15 working days from the issue date of the citation to appeal any violations or penalties. Employers must provide proof to MIOSHA that abatement has been completed. A cited employer may also choose to enter a Penalty Reduction Agreement with MIOSHA and agree to abate noted hazards by the abatement date provided within the citation and will receive a 50% reduction in penalties, according to the release.

MIOSHA has cited 126 business for workplace safety violations as of Friday. This list can be found online at https://www.michigan.gov/documents/leo/citations_summary_700147_7.pdf.

Whitmer extends liquor

license renewal period

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday announced a three-month extension for liquor licensees to renew their 2021 licenses, according to a news release sent Friday.

The extension, which will run from April 30 through July 30, comes as a way to assist licensees who have been impacted as a result of the pandemic, providing additional time to renew their licenses. This action will be implemented by administrative order issued by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission. Officials say this extension will benefit approximately 19,000 licensees.

“Our bar and restaurant owners have made incredible sacrifices during this pandemic and they should not have the additional stress about renewing their liquor license by April 30 this year,” Whitmer stated. “We want to ease the burden by extending the customary deadline so they can focus on getting back to business. My administration has also secured crucial support for these businesses through a bipartisan supplemental budget that I signed to provide greater financial relief for small business owners in our hospitality industry.”

In order to ensure timely processing of applications and avoid any delays, licensees are encouraged to renew online. Licensees may renew when their license originally expires or any time before the extended due date of July 30.

“This extension will allow staff from the MLCC Licensing Division to work with those licensees who need the extra time to renew,” said Director of the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Orlene Hawks. “Those who still wish to renew immediately will have the opportunity to do so, but this new deadline will also give our licensees the flexibility to wait a few months to renew their license.”

Licensees should visit www.michigan.gov/lcc for the most up-to-date information. The MLCC Licensing Division is working to ensure that renewals go smoothly.

“The Commission is pleased to implement Governor Whitmer’s action,” said MLCC Chair Pat Gagliardi. “This extension is a big step toward getting our bar and restaurant owners back to a new normal as quickly as possible. Licensees in the hospitality industry across the state won’t have to worry about losing their license over the summer months, which typically is a busy time for them.”

Failure to renew and receive an updated license may result in violations or automatic termination of the license, officials warn.

For the latest COVID-19 data and information, visit www.michigan.gov/coronavirus.

Ryan Spitza can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 248. His email address is rspitza@miningjournal.net.

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