Following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new Executive Order, which moves Michigan into Stage 4 of the MI Safe Start reopening plan and ends the Stay Home, Stay Safe Order, the City of Jackson is making plans to restart operations in Jackson City Hall and assist businesses with safely reopening.
City administration closely reviewed the Executive Order in making the decision to bring some of its workforce back into City Hall. Various departments will be allowing a small number of employees to start working in the building in the coming days. These are employees whose work requires them to be in City Hall. All other City employees who are fully functional working remotely will continue to do so. City administration is instituting rules for employees regarding personal protective equipment, temperature checks, and social distancing. While employees will be working in the building to continue vital City operations, City Hall remains closed to the public. Officials will consider re-opening City Hall to residents and its entire workforce following further direction from Gov. Whitmer.
As City Hall gets closer to resuming normal business operations, so are businesses in Downtown Jackson. The Governor’s Order allows businesses to reopen with capacity and distancing limits on Monday, June 8. Cory Mays, Executive Director of the Downtown Development Authority, says he’s been communicating with downtown businesses about these new guidelines. “We’re educating retail stores on capacity rules and working with restaurants on how they can expand outdoor seating. Helping businesses reopen is going to be take continued efforts as we slowly phase into a new normal,” Mays said.
Mayor Derek Dobies says these actions are positive steps toward reopening the Jackson community. “It’s becoming clear that leadership from the state and local levels has helped ease the spread of COVID-19. While we restart our governments and businesses, it’s important we don’t lose sight of important safety measures so we don’t see a resurgence of this deadly virus,” Mayor Dobies said. “I thank local leaders and business owners for the cautious steps they’re taking to reopen.”
Virtual meetings for the City Council and other boards and commissions will continue through the end of June, subject to further Executive Orders. How this new Executive Order relates to the City’s Parks and Recreation programs will be determined in the coming days.