By Jim Bloch
That’s the message Port Huron City Manager James Freed is delivering to residents as COVID-19, powered by the omicron variant, surges in the city and county.
Don’t visit the Municipal Office Center in downtown Port Huron on municipal business if you are able to conduct it electronically, by telephone, dropbox, or mail.
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“Due to the current increasing spread of COVID-19 throughout Michigan and St. Clair County, the city of Port Huron is reminding residents of online, onsite dropbox and drive-thru services for city business, which will help reduce in-person contact at the Municipal Office Center in an effort to mitigate the transmission of COVID-19,” said the Jan. 5 press release. “Residents are encouraged to conduct business utilizing our secure drop box or via the city’s website. City operations and services will continue
There were 8,797 active cases of COVID-19 in the county as of Jan. 6, according to the county health department. Dec. 28-Jan. 3, the county had 1,424 new cases. The test positivity was 30.5 percent. The current risk level in the county is rated “high,” a level assigned to areas in which there are more than 100 cases per 100,000 people.
According to the CDC’s county tracker, 50.3 percent of the St. Clair County population age five years and older had received one vaccination shot; 47.9 percent of the population was fully vaccinated; 40.4 percent were fully vaccinated with a booster shot.
Vaccination rates in St. Clair County are significantly lower than in Michigan as a whole and overall in the U.S. In Michigan, 57 percent of residents are fully vaccinated. In the U.S., 62.3 percent of residents are fully vaccinated.
“We just wanted to remind folks that we have enhanced our online services and drive-thru experience to allow folks an option to avoid in-person contact during this new wave of COVID-19,” Freed said in a statement. “We have seen an increase in COVID-19 cases among our City staff and first responders. We continue to take necessary mitigation measures to ensure we can continue staffing city operations at the appropriate levels.”
Freed encouraged residents who have questions or concerns about COVID-19 to contact the St. Clair County Health Department at (810) 966-4163 or email@example.com.
“We remain committed to providing city services to residents,” Freed said.
Residents with questions about remote services may call during normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m.-4:30 p.m. at 810-984-9700.
Jim Bloch is a freelance writer based in St. Clair, Michigan. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.