Trump declares a national emergency as COVID-19 outbreak worsens

The latest coronavirus news from around Genesee County


GENESEE COUNTY – President Trump declared a national emergency Friday in order to free up $50 billion in federal aid.

The president’s announcement comes less than 24 hours after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Michigan and closed all K-12 schools beginning March 16-April 5.

Whitmer’s announcement late Thursday was just one of many developments locally in the COVID-19 crisis. Here is what we know currently:

In his declaration of a national emergency, Friday afternoon, the president asked all hospitals to initiate their emergency operations plans.

According to John Stewart, Service Line Administrator – Emergency, Trauma, Bariatrics, Hurley Medical Center is ahead of the curve as it initiated its EOP Monday.

A Command Center was opened at that time to handle a scaled response to COVID-19.

“We have mobilized resources necessary to support the current situation including Infection Control, Infectious Disease Physicians and Hospital Leadership,” said Stewart. “We are flexible in these endeavors and are prepared to change our response as warranted.”

Also, Hurley Medical Center will be instituting visitor restrictions effective immediately. Routine visitation is being suspended until further notice. This means:

All patients will only be allowed TWO (2) care partners for visitation. These must be the SAME two (2) care partners for the duration of the patients stay. Care partners MUST remain in the patient’s room while visiting.

Care Partners MUST NOT

  • Currently be experiencing symptoms of respiratory infections such as fever, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath
  • Have traveled outside of the United States in the past 14 days
  • Have had any possible exposure to COVID-19
  • Be under the age of 12 years old
  • Visitation will be restricted to the hours of 7 a.m.-9 p.m.
  • No visitation for patients with a positive or pending COVID-19 Status.

Mott Community College (MCC) will close all college sites to the general public from March 14-April 5.  The MCC Board of Trustees meetings and the Board Committee meetings will take place and are open to the public for college business continuity purposes.

There will be no face-to-face classes during this time period and there will be no on-campus food service offered during these three weeks.

Already scheduled online courses will resume on March 16 as planned.

During the week of March 16 – 22, College faculty, staff and students will prepare for tele-work and tele-learning. Extensive training opportunities will be offered on campus and online for using the new learning management system Canvas, Zoom videoconferencing and other technology products.

The dates and times will be listed on the MCC COVID-19 information webpage at

Students, faculty and staff should continue to monitor their MCC email and for all updates. The public is encouraged to visit for the most recent notifications about College operations.

At the 67th District Court in Genesee County, Court Administrator Christal Jones said she is directing the following proceedings are adjourned until after May 1, effective immediately:

  • Any scheduled jury trials
  • Any scheduled misdemeanor pretrials except for defendants in custody.
  • Non-jury general civil trials and pretrials
  • Small Claims
  • Show Cause hearings
  • Probationers’ reporting requirements are suspended until after May 1.
  • All other scheduled matters are and will continue to be under review including the expanded use of video proceedings.

“The health and safety of court staff and members of the public are of the utmost concern,” she said. “We will continue to work with the Michigan Supreme Court and the Genesee County Commissioners to ensure that we are doing all that we can to combat this health emergency situation.”

The Genesee County Road Commission’s Board Meeting scheduled for March 17, at 10 a.m. will no longer be held in the Board Room.  Instead, the Board Meeting will be held in a conference call format.

As a cautionary measure, members of the public that wish to voice their concerns at the meeting may contact the Road Commission via phone as opposed to in person.

Members of the public may call the Road Commission at 810-767-4920 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. to obtain a phone number and an access code in order to access the Board Meeting.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Linda Kossak, Secretary of the Board at 810-767-4920 ext. 243.

Sloan Museum at Courtland Center and Longway Planetarium will close to the public due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the state of emergencies declared by both the State of Michigan and the City of Flint, Sloan Museum and Longway Planetarium will close to the public at 5 p.m. today, Friday, March 13, and will remain closed through Friday, March 20. During this time period, all public shows, exhibits, events, and programs are canceled.
The following events are canceled:
Friday, March 13 – All Scouts Family Fun Night at Longway Planetarium
Saturday, March 14 – Sensory-Friendly Planetarium Show
Saturday, March 14 – Trivia Night at Longway Planetarium
Friday, March 20 – Wolf Cub Scouts: Digging In The Past at Longway Planetarium
Saturday, March 21 – Girl Scout Brownies: Bugs Workshop

The museum and planetarium will provide weekly updates, each Wednesday at 5 p.m. They will provide an update on their closure status by March 18 at 5 p.m.

The Flint Institute of Arts will close all public spaces at the Flint Institute of Arts and the Flint Institute of Arts Art School effective Saturday, March 14. All public programs, special and/or private events, and meetings between March 14 and April 5 are postponed or canceled at this time.

“We encourage all of our visitors to explore the FIA’s collection and programs by visiting and our social media accounts during this public closure,” said John Henry, executive director of the Flint Institute of Arts.

The Flint Children’s Museum is closing temporarily. It will be closed to the public from March 14-April 4.

Beginning Saturday, March 14, the Genesee District Library (GDL) has canceled all events through April 30 to comply with recommended social distancing procedures in relation to confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan.