As you know, a global outbreak of a respiratory disease named Novel Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) started in China in late 2019. The virus has been detected in more than 90 countries, including the U.S. As of Sunday, March 15 there were 54 positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. Across the US, 1,268 cases have been confirmed as of that date.

The U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency January 31, 2020. On February 3 The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services activated the community Health Emergency Coordination Center to support state and local response.

On February 28, Governor Gretchen Whitmer activated the State Emergency Operations Center to coordinate state-government resources. Four days later she announced the creation of four task forces to combat the spread of COVID-19 and assess the impact is may have on Michiganders’ day-to-day lives.

As of Thursday, March 12, Whitmer ordered all K-12 schools to close from Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5 as a precautionary measure to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The next day she issued a temporary prohibition on large assemblies (over 250 people) through April 5. On Monday, March 26 this was further extended to assemblies of 50. Following these announcements, many area businesses, groups and organizations began rescheduling or cancelling planned events.

A national emergency was declared by the President on March 13. The following Monday Whitmer ordered the temporary closure of bars, theatres, casinos, and similar public spaces. Restaurants were restricted to delivery and carry-out orders.

The following organizations and events have been affected by the COVID-19 precautionary measures (as of Friday, March 13):

Alger County Sheriff’s Office – March 13 all inmate visitation was cancelled and a limit was placed on front office non-essential business.  The front door will be locked until further notice. The office will reevaluate on April 6.

American Legion – Newberry – Starting March 16 will be closed until further notice. All planned activities cancelled.

Bay College – Spring break will be extended two days so classes will not resume until March 18. Instructors are revising most face-to-face classes for online delivery. Events and community meetings happening on campus are cancelled or postponed through April 12.

Bay Mills Indian Community – Bay Mills Resort & Casino will close on Friday, March 20 through (tentatively) April 10. No new hotel reservations are being accepted. Hotel guests will check out on Friday morning. Bay Mart Gas Station will remain in operation from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. daily. Four Seasons Grocery Store will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., though it will only be open to those 55-years-old and up between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 noon.

Cloverland Electric – The walk-up window in Dafter will be closed to the public until Monday, April 6. Seven bill payment options are available: postal mail, online (, Pay-by-phone (1-844-843-6837), AutoPay, SmartHub, 35 authorized pay stations and the payment drop box in Dafter. These bill payment options are available to members free of convenience service fees. Members with questions or concerns are encouraged to contact member services at 1-800-562-4953.

Eastern Upper Peninsula Intermediate School District – Closed Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5. All extracurricular activities cancelled.

Engadine BINGO – As of March 12 cancelled until further notice.

Engadine Consolidated Schools – Closed Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5. All extracurricular activities cancelled as of March 14. Pickup food services will be offered during this time free of charge.

Engadine Library – Closed March 16 through April 6. All scheduled programs cancelled.

Erickson Center for the Arts – Rescheduled Family Fun Night for April 25 (previously March 21). The Student Art Show Reception was also cancelled.

First Presbyterian Church – Announced Friday, March 13 they would be cancelling the March Free Community Fellowship Meal, which is normally held the third Thursday of each month.

Helen Newberry Joy Hospital – Visitor restrictions implemented Friday, March 13. While restrictions were in place, visitation was still allowed under specified circumstances. Updated March 14 to suspend all routine visiting and close the HNJH cafeteria dining area and both Wellness Centers to the public. The upcoming blood drive scheduled for March 23 has been changed to Trinity Lutheran Church from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. due to the restrictions.

Lake Superior State University – Face-to-face instruction suspended from March 16-April 17 (announced Thursday, March 12).

LINK – Closed to the public as of March 16.

Luce County Sheriff Department – Closed their office to walk-in traffic Monday, March 16, until further notice.

Mackinac County Sheriff Office – Traffic at the office has been restricted to the lobby as of Monday, March 16. No inmate visits or entry into the interior offices will be allowed. Legal counsel and clergy will still have access.

Mackinac Bridge Authority – The Driver Assistance Program was suspended indefinitely as of March 13 in an attempt to discourage spread of COVID-19.

Mackinac Straits Health System – Visitor restrictions went into effect Friday, March 13. This covers the entire St. Ignace Campus, including Mackinac Straits Hospital, St. Ignace Medical Clinic, and the Evergreen Living Center, along with the Tribal Health Clinic. It also applies to outlying clinics, including the Mackinac Island Medical Center, Mackinaw City Medical Clinic, Mackinaw City Specialty Clinic, and Rivertown Medical Clinic in Cheboygan.

Michigan High School Athletic Association Winter Tournaments – Strict attendance guidelines were announced March 12. All games were suspended later that day for the remaining 2020 season.

MSU Extension – Meetings for Beekeeping Workshop (April 4, Ewen Trout Creek School) and “Recipes for Forage Success” (March 26, Escanaba and April 6, Mass City) cancelled.

Michigan Welcome Centers – The information lobbies will be closed until further notice. At locations where possible, the restrooms will remain open to the public. For travel information, visit

Newberry Correctional Facility (and all Michigan Department of Corrections prisons) – Suspended visitation as of Friday, March 13, including outside volunteers and tour groups.

NHS Robotics – FIRST Robotics cancelled the March 13-15 tournament on Wednesday, March 11. On the following day it was reported the rest of the 2020 season, including district events, state and world championships, had been cancelled.

Newberry Village – Meter reads will be limited to avoid interaction between individuals. The March 23 Planning Commission meeting was cancelled as of March 16.

92nd District Court – Announced Thursday, March 12 the court will remain open, but under strict safety measures. Jury trials will be adjourned until further notice. All hearings involving vulnerable persons, civil cases, and hearings with criminal defendants not in custody may be adjourned upon request. Access to the court will be limited to necessary parties unless prior authorization is received.

Northern Michigan University – On Wednesday, March 11, classes were cancelled for the following Thursday and Friday. Classes resumed Monday, March 16 in an online/distance delivery format through April 3. As of Friday, March 13 most non-university access to the NMU Sports Complex was suspended. All large events exceeding 150 planned attendees in March and April are cancelled or adjusted. Wildcat Weekend was cancelled.

Pathways – Groups, ABA, Clubhouse, Skill Building, non-essential CLS and routine clinical appointments are suspended for 30 days as of March 16. They will continue to offer 24/7 crisis services.

Schoolcraft County Sheriff Department – As of March 13, all inmate visits except attorney-client visits are suspended until further notice. No fingerprinting will be done, and all deposits for inmates will take place at the first glass door – no entry will be allowed into the office area.

Secretary of State – All Secretary of State visits are now by appointment only until April 6. Late fees will be waived during this period.

Tahquamenon Area Schools – Closed Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5. All extracurricular activities cancelled. Free boxes of breakfast and lunch will be offered to anyone 18 or younger.

Tahquamenon Area Public Library – As of Thursday, March 12, all programs through March 27 were cancelled, including Storytime, Music and Movement, Teen Writing Workshops, Geek Night, and 3D Printing Workshops. On Friday, March 13 the library announced they will be closed Saturday, March 14 until Monday, April 6 following TAS’s closure schedule.

Three Lakes Academy – Closed Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5. All extracurricular activities cancelled.

Trinity Lutheran Church – Fellowship Hour has been suspended until April 5. Lenten dinners will continue. An offering basket will not be passed, but will be located in the back of the church.

United Way of the EUP – Retired and Senior Volunteer Program activities suspended and Citizen Review Panel postponed as of March 13.

UP Health System – Beginning March 13 all routine visiting was suspended.

War Memorial Hospital – Beginning March 14 WMH started screening visitors and limiting points of entry. Additional restrictions were placed on visitors. On March 16 the hospital suspended all visitation that was not necessary for medical care.

White Breakfast – The Newberry United Methodist Church’s annual White Breakfast was cancelled as of Monday, March 16.

Whitefish Township Schools – Closed Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5. All extracurricular activities cancelled. The school year will be extended 5 days to end on June 17. Food boxes available.