The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responding to an outbreak of respiratory disease caused by a novel (new) coronavirus that was first detected in China and which has now been detected in more than 100 locations internationally, including in the United States. The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “coronavirus disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”). On March 10, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Oakland County Health Division and Wayne County Health Department announced that two Michigan residents tested presumptive positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
The federal government is working closely with state, local, tribal, and territorial partners, as well as public health partners, to respond to this public health threat. CDC is implementing its pandemic preparedness and response plans, working on multiple fronts, including providing specific guidance on measures to prepare communities to respond to local spread of the virus that causes COVID-19. There is an abundance of pandemic guidance developed in anticipation of an influenza pandemic that is being adapted for a potential COVID-19 pandemic.
Highlights of the City’s Response
Decisions about the implementation of community measures are made by local and state officials, in consultation with federal officials as appropriate, and based on the scope of the outbreak and the severity of illness. This means the City’s role during a public health emergency is to work with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), and the Oakland County Health Division to implement the guidance provided by CDC.
CDC has produced more than 23 guidance documents (as of February 22, 2020). Therefore, this report is organized according to CDC guidance rather than by City department. This is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation so CDC may provide additional and/or updated guidance at any time and the City’s response will change accordingly.
Cleaning and Disinfection Recommendations
CDC’s cleaning and disinfection recommendations are being implemented in all City facilities. This includes routinely cleaning all frequently touched surfaces using disinfection agents such as diluted bleach solutions, alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol, and EPA-registered disinfectants. Responsibility for cleaning and disinfecting varies by facility. Cleaning and disinfection may be performed by City staff and/or contractors with supplies provided by the City and/or the contractor. In any event, a City facility may be closed if the City lacks the people and/or products necessary to clean and disinfect that facility.
Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Childcare Programs and K-12 Schools
The City’s Recreation Department operates a preschool at the Troy Community Center. On March 10, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and the Oakland County Health Division and Wayne County Health Department announced that two Michigan residents tested presumptive positive for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). On March 12, the City announced the preschool would be closed on March 13. Governor Whitmer subsequently ordered the closure of all K-12 school buildings, public, private, and boarding, to students starting Monday, March 16 until Sunday, April 5. On March 13, the City announced the closure of the Troy Community Center and Troy Public Library through Sunday, April 5.
Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers
The City is implementing CDC’s Interim Guidance for Businesses and Employers in all City workplaces. This guidance is intended to help prevent workplace exposures to acute respiratory illnesses, including COVID-19, in non-healthcare settings. It includes the following strategies:
- Actively encouraging sick employees to stay home
- Separating sick employees
- Emphasizing staying home when sick, respiratory etiquette and hand hygiene by all employees
- Performing routine environmental cleaning
- Advising employees before traveling to take certain steps
We may not think of ourselves as event planners, but this interim guidance is intended for organizers and staff responsible for planning mass gatherings or large community events. On March 12, the City announced Library and Recreation programs would be cancelled through March 31 to help slow the outbreak of COVID-19 in Oakland County. Governor Whitmer subsequently ordered the closure of all K-12 school buildings, public, private, and boarding, to students starting Monday, March 16 until Sunday, April 5. On March 13, the City announced the closure of the Troy Community Center and Troy Public Library through Sunday, April 5. The City is closing these facilities in anticipation of an influx of unaccompanied minors the City is not prepared to handle.
Interim Guidance for Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Systems and 911 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) for COVID-19 in the United States
This guidance applies to all first responders, including law enforcement, fire services, emergency medical services, and emergency management officials, who anticipate close contact with persons with confirmed or possible COVID-19 in the course of their work. This includes the City’s Fire Department, Police Department, and emergency medical service provider, Alliance Mobile Health. The guidance includes modified caller queries for dispatchers, patient assessment recommendations for EMS clinicians and medical first responders, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) recommendations.
- Partial activation of the Emergency Operations Center to coordinate resources and response to this public health emergency.
- Individuals who have business with the City are encouraged to take advantage of the City’s online services in lieu of visiting the civic center in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses.
- Water meter replacements on private property have been postponed.
More cases of COVID-19 are likely to be identified in the United States in the coming days, including more instances of community spread. CDC expects that widespread transmission of COVID-19 in the United States will occur. In the coming months, most of the U.S. population will be exposed to this virus.
Different parts of the country are seeing different levels of COVID-19 activity. The United States nationally is currently in the initiation phases, but states where community spread is occurring are in the acceleration phase. The duration and severity of each phase can vary depending on the characteristics of the virus and the public health response.
Everyone has a role to play in getting ready and staying healthy. What happens next depends largely on actions taken by community members.
Take steps to protect yourself
- Clean your hands often
- Avoid close contact
- Stay home if you’re sick
- Cover coughs and sneezes
- Wear a facemask if you are sick
- Clean and disinfect
Please visit the following websites to learn more about the federal, state, and local response as well as what you can do to protect yourself and our community.