Midland County Commissioners Expose Pandemic Weariness


At the start of the pandemic, “uncertainty” was a word widely used to describe the health crisis. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed life as we know it.

This uncertainty, along with many other factors, has contributed to what some experts call “COVID fatigue”.

At this week’s Midland County Council of Commissioners meeting, members of the public attended to provide commentary on current issues related to the pandemic. The main concerns were mask warrants in schools, contact tracing and the constitutionality of particular proceedings.

After hearing three members of the public discuss COVID-19, the Midland County Council of Commissioners acknowledged, thanked community members and shared their own remarks on the pandemic.

District 3 Commissioner Steve Glaser said Midland County is ready to “switch” from wearing the mask as a COVID-19 precaution.

“Families, parents and those who represent their children, my thoughts are with you,” he said. “I certainly support your position. I think a lot of people are faced with fear, stress and uncertainty. I try to have the right mindset that people act out of goodwill and in the best interests of their constituents with whom you deal. But I think we’re at a point where we need to move forward in terms of masks. I think the data confirms that children are the least likely to die, that they are the least likely to carry and transmit disease, and that they are certainly the least likely candidates to be vaccinated. So we hear you.

Regarding the quote above, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, children and adolescents can pass COVID to others when they have no symptoms or have mild, non-specific symptoms. and therefore may not know that they are infected and infectious. It is true that children are less likely to develop serious illness or die from COVID-19.

Returning to this week’s commissioners meeting, Glaser continued, “And we are trying to mow the grass in our yard – which is what we are responsible for and the school board has responsibility and accountability for its domain,” said Glaser continued. “We try to stay out of the business and shoot each other in the eye. So thank you for coming here.

Glaser represents the townships of Greendale, Homer, Jasper, Lee and Porter in District 3.

During the public comments, Midland resident Melissa Buczec said she attended the meeting to discuss the masks mandates in Midland public schools. She said her goal was to communicate that she is a peaceful parent activist for a group that does not support mask mandates in schools.

Buczec said she had not been able to communicate with leaders, including health department officials, about pandemic measures being taken in Midland County. She also noted that she did not believe that some measures in place were directly related to health issues, but rather to “appease” some parents.

“I have raised my concerns about giving up my medical and parental rights to my children’s school board, superintendent, principal, and teachers – like others – and yet we are being rejected. as a growing group of worried parents… ”

The CDC, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services support universal masking in K-12 schools.

Since the school started this year, Fred Yanoski, Midland County’s health officer, said mask warrant forms have been adopted by schools in the Midland area due to transmission of the virus.

“We certainly applaud the schools that have done this because we are starting to see data that supports the masks having a positive impact on transmission in schools,” Yanoski said. “This is not a mandate from the Ministry of Health. These schools have mandated this internally within their district, but it has been a recommendation from public health (entities) from the start that universal masking from Kindergarten to Grade 12 – from CDC to bottom – has been recommended for schools. “

Midland County is currently designated as having a high COVID transmission rate.

Midland, as well as a majority of counties across the United States, has a high level of community transmission with 100 or more cases per 100,000 over a seven-day period.

Yanoski has said at this time that the health department encourages the use of masks regardless of vaccination status in crowded indoor and outdoor spaces – as recommended by the CDC.

As part of a recommendation, compliance is strongly encouraged and not enforced. In a room for the most part without a mask, Commissioner Gaye Terwillegar was the only commissioner, and one of two people in the entire room, wearing a mask. She said she was recovering from a cold she caught from her grandchildren.

“Anyway, I can’t wait for our (COVID-19) numbers to drop to help schools – it’s a concern, so thank you for coming to talk to us,” she told those in attendance.

With the current rate of transmission, Yanoski said it was important to have recommended precautions.

“We understand that everyone is tired of COVID and tired of wearing a mask, and I will be as happy as anyone when we lift some recommendations,” he said. “However, currently the transmission rates are so high.”

He also noted that the Department of Health was following the recommendations of federal entities with more resources, such as the CDC.

Yanoski said the health department regularly informs the board of commissioners of Midland County’s position on the pandemic. And he said a formal update is provided every month.

The commissioners also took the opportunity to comment on the employee appreciation awards ceremony. The Commissioners thanked Midland County employees who were recognized for their work and recent efforts during the pandemic.

Midland County added 117 new cases of COVID-19 between Tuesday, October 5 and Wednesday, October 6. For a full update on the region’s COVID-19 status, click here.

Associated content:

Midland County employees recognized for work during pandemic

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