City of Berkley Urges Community to Follow Stay-Home Executive Order and to Seek Credible Information Sources

Media Contact: Torri Mathes, Community Engagement Officer;; 248-658-3333

Planning the needs of residents, businesses, and community members is an ever-evolving feat as a local municipality. Our goal at the City of Berkley is to provide the best services to the community while staying at the forefront of innovation and accessibility.

Continually reaching for these goals is how we prepare to face challenges such as a public health crisis. With crisis operations, we have a centralized “Emergency Operations Plan” approach that looks at all types of emergencies that could occur in our city. This approach disseminates roles and operational duties to our departments during a crisis. It has also allowed our staff to be effective in extraordinary circumstances. One key component of our emergency operational duties is communication. It is crucial to ensure that we as a city are compiling accurate information, resources, and data provided by experts, and in turn, we are messaging and properly sharing it with the community in the midst and often in conflict with viral disinformation.

Once a crisis such as COVID-19 occurs, news and information spread quickly. Within the last three weeks, information, data, guidance, and direction has been given from all levels of government, the media, scam sites, and much more. We would like to stress to our community the importance of following credible sources (e.g. CDC, State, and Oakland County) regarding the COVID-19 and only those sources. Additionally, our role as a local municipality in a public health crisis, like the one we are in, is to ensure that we can assist the efforts of the County and State by sharing accurate, credible information they provide, as well as, provide emergency services when and if they are needed. This is key for municipalities to follow the lead of the CDC, State, and County Health offices. This is not for political reasons but for their expertise in dealing with public health crises of this nature. They can make qualified and informed decisions about the next steps. When their guidance is not followed or local officials attempt to make policy out of fear, this can place individuals and everyone at greater risk for injury and death. Since the beginning of this crisis, we have stressed this to our staff, council, and the public.

We want to assure the community that we as the City are working very closely with officials from the County and State to preserve everyone’s health, well being, and safety. We have reached out to our leaders and representatives at all levels and stressed the needs of our community during this crisis. This includes finding resources for assisting seniors and needy families, submitting Berkley business information to ensure that they get financial assistance during this economic hardship, or pushing for the support for our emergency service workers who are fighting off this virus.

Our leaders in the legislature have shared with us, "Governor Whitmer has been a strong leader in this time of crisis, having declared an official state of emergency on March 4th. By March 13th, she signed an executive order prohibiting all public gatherings of 250 people or more, which has since been reduced to no more than 50 people... We have continued to follow the guidance of our national, state, and county public health officials to strongly advise everyone who can stay home to do so. As state legislators, while we do not individually have the authority to take executive action to shutter public venues, we continue to elevate the fears, stories, and needs of our constituents to do everything in our power to stop the spread of this virus, including passing $150 Million in supplemental funding this past week to address this crisis and support the healthcare workers on the frontlines. But that funding will not go nearly far enough if residents do not heed the Governor's executive orders and guidance from public health experts. We have to get this right, right now." said Senator Mallory McMorrow and Representative Robert Wittenberg in a joint statement.

In their joint statement, Senator McMorrow and Representative Wittenberg further emphasized that this virus does not discriminate and can impact any and everyone, "We hope Councilmember Hennen's story of potential exposure to coronavirus while attending church services on March 15th will showcase that exposure - and potential spread to others - can happen to anyone in our community, and encourage everyone to heed the recommendations from public health experts, and, whenever possible, stay home."

The Berkley community as a whole can help each other by staying home, practicing social distancing, and following the guidance of the CDC, State, County, and the City. It does not matter who you are, this outbreak affects everyone.

We know that you want to help - it is one of the things we love most about our Berkley community. To really do your part, we ask that you follow the leaders of our National, State, and County to truly help win the battle against COVID-19.

For access to up-to-date credible information, please visit any of the sources included here:

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