Government, businesses limited to

‘essential services’

The streets of downtown Imlay City were essentially deserted on Tuesday morning, hours after a three week stay-at-home order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer took effect.


TRI-CITY AREA — On Monday Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order that effectively orders residents to “shelter in place” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It became effective yesterday, March 24 and extends through at least April 13.

As part of the order, residents can:

•Go to the grocery store, pick up take-out food or go to the pharmacy to pick up a needed prescription.

•Engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, biking.

•Go to the hospital or secure any care necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve their health or the health of a loved one.

•Fuel up their vehicles.

•Return to Michigan to a home or place of residence from outside the State or leave the State for a home or residence elsewhere.

•Walk their pets and take them to the veterinarian for needed medical care.

Residents are not allowed to leave their homes for work purposes unless their employer designates them a critical infrastructure worker; participate in any public gatherings; visit someone in the hospital, nursing home, or other residential care facilities or go to the mall or to restaurants.

As of early Tuesday, the state had more than 1,300 confirmed COVID-19 cases and at least 15 deaths were attributed to the virus.

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Late last week, county governments further limited their services and nearly all offices closed to the public.

Both Lapeer and St. Clair County court systems said they would only be providing “essential” services going forward.

“Courts statewide are taking this step in unison so that we send a clear message to the public that we are taking every possible step to stop the virus while continuing to provide essential services. Our team is adjusting as quickly as possible to the crisis, and we appreciate the support of the public as we work to put more business online in the coming days,” said Lapeer County Chief Judge Nick O. Holowka.

The latest updates regarding county services can be found on their respective websites, and

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At both county jails, programming and visitations have been suspended.

The St. Clair County Sheriff’s Office said they’ve fielded several inquiries about registering newly-purchased pistols. They ask that sales records are sent to them at 1170 Michigan Road, Port Huron, MI 48060.

The Lapeer County Sheriff’s Office notes that residents can call 810-664-1801, ext. 2404 with questions. License to purchase and gun sales records can be mailed to 3231 John Conley Dr., Lapeer, MI, 48446.

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County treasurers note that the deadline to redeem property forfeited to the county has been extended from March 31, 2020 until May 29 or 30 days after the termination of the state of emergency.

Some municipalities are also extending utility payment deadlines including the City of Imlay City. The due date for utility bills has been pushed from April 13 to May 11.

“We hope the extension of this due date will assist our citizens during this local, state and national emergency. We continue to urge citizens to make their payments by check and deposit them in the City’s Drop Box adjacent to the entrance to City Hall,” said Manager Tom Youatt.