By Jessica Mathews/

A COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan for Brighton Township has been adopted - despite some curveballs associated with a new executive order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The board met Monday night and held a virtual work session during which the plan and changes were discussed. A previous order required businesses adopt a preparedness and response plan prior to re-opening. Township Manager Brian Vick told the board there was already a plan in place for the skeleton crew operating at the township hall but a complete plan was prepared based on resources from the Livingston County Health Department and the township’s insurance carrier, as well as other feedback from the Michigan Township Association and Michigan Municipal League. Vick stated the goal of the document is to make sure proper protocols and safeguards are in place for when all employees return to work, adding it addresses a variety of items identified in the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-97 about safeguards to protect Michigan workers. Vick stated the plan is pretty straightforward with common sense-type protocols and safety measures such as requiring staff to come in a certain door, wash their hands and wear masks when coming from the door to their workstation. He noted staff has already installed sneeze guards at the main counters and he’s had regular discussion with the treasurer and clerk about different plans for increased foot traffic as they’re anticipating an uptick due to taxes and elections.

Earlier Monday afternoon, Governor Whitmer lifted Michigan’s stay-at-home order and announced that bars, restaurants and some other businesses could re-open June 8th. Vick commented these are strange times and then two hours at the end of the day, the whole agenda topic was thrown on its head and everything changed. Vick said they were originally discussing plans for when the stay-at-home order was lifted on the 12th to have remaining employees come back a few days prior to get acclimated to procedures and then be ready on the 15th should the public come in. He called the new order “a serious curveball at the last second”.

The agenda item was deemed still relevant after insight from the township attorney clarifying that all of the protections and a re-entry plan were still required. The board voted 5-1 to approve the preparedness plan, a COVID-19 screening form, a self-monitoring protocol agreement and designated the manager and assistant manager as COVID-19 worksite coordinators. Member Steve Combs was opposed.