East Lansing extends local state of emergency

Published: Mar. 20, 2020 at 12:46 PM EDT
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The East Lansing City Council has extended its declaration of a state of emergency until April 30.

Council voted in favor of the mayor holding the power to extend the state of emergency from April 6 to the April 30.

The decision was made during a special meeting of the council Friday and the vote to extend the state of emergency was made unanimously.

A state of emergency has been in place since March 13 in the ongoing response to the spread of COVID-19 that causes Coronavirus.

Some counselors, including the mayor attended the meeting through a phone call.

Several of the council's members met electronically, while social distancing was encouraged for those members of the public who chose to attend in person.

Community members were provided with the option of submitting their public comments to the city council ahead of time via email instead of attending.

Only two council members attended the meeting in person.

Holding a meeting partially over the phone is challenging for council.

By law, city council has to have open meetings for the public, but being under quarantine can make that difficult.

City council says they are trying their best not to violate the Open Meetings Act.

One counselor, Jessy Gregg said, "Its very frustrating trying to maintain that line while you're feeling like you kind of know what is going on and connected to people."

An audio recording of the meeting will be published at a later date, the city said.

Also, the East Lansing Hannah Community Center will be closed an additional week, with a tentative re-opening on April 13.

Administrative and emergency management staff will continue to actively monitor, plan for and communicate about the Coronavirus pandemic in the coming weeks, according to a news release.

All essential services - police, fire, EMS, trash/recycling collection, water services, wastewater management - are being maintained, the release stated.

On Thursday, Michigan State University identified

who tested positive for COVID-19.

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