Detroit Issues Open Meetings Act Restrictions due to Rise in COVID-19 Cases

In response to the growing risk to public health posed by a rise in cases linked to the highly contagious Delta variant of COVID-19, Detroit’s Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair issued an emergency public health order reinstating restrictions to the Open Meetings Act recently.

This order (which went into effect September 1) is aimed at reducing transmission of COVID-19 and all variants. The order states public meetings of governmental bodies subject to the Open Meetings Act will be held remotely until December 31, 2021.

The order states that action is necessary to reduce transmission of COVID-19 and to protect the public’s health in Detroit, citing the following facts and findings:

Detroit’s community vaccination rate is currently at 42%, well below the 70% level required to achieve community immunity that is considered necessary to limit the spread of the virus.

This remains a concern as the spread of COVID-19 is resulting in emerging and more dangerous variants, such as Delta, becoming higher proportionally through the interactions of vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals, all of whom can become infected with COVID-19.

The City of Detroit currently is experiencing a substantial rate of transmission of the COVID-19 virus, up from moderate.

“We need to find a balance between open and transparent operation of government and keeping Detroiters safe from the spread of COVID-19, which is why we are reinstating the Open Meetings Act,” said Chief Public Health Officer Denise Fair. “Keeping Detroiters protected is our top priority. For now, that means providing the option for virtual meetings so we can provide a safe space for citizens and officials to conduct the business of the city.”

For more information on the order visit here.

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