News Bite

Fewer New Coronavirus Cases In Midland After Thousands Helped On Flood, Cleanup

Few face masks, little social distancing among volunteers mucking-out homes

Due to the flooding in Midland County, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer temporarily suspended provisions of a COVID-19 epidemic emergency order at 9:50 p.m. on May 19 that mandated social distancing and face masks be worn in enclosed public places.

About 11,000 homes were evacuated in the county and the weeks-long cleanup process caused social distancing protocols to be set-aside in mid-Michigan. Volunteers involved in the cleanup efforts reported little mask-wearing.

Yet, there were fewer new COVID-19 cases reported in Midland County after the social distancing requirements were suspended.

In the 14 days from May 20 to June 3, Midland County reported six new confirmed cases of COVID-19 and no deaths while operating under no restrictions.

In the 15 days prior to the flooding [May  5 through May 19], Midland County had 14 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death.