Posted Mar 17, 2020
Rep. Annette Glenn, R-Midland, said she has been in constant communication with community leaders in Bay and Midland counties to assure them of state support as they respond to news that a Bay County man — a physician at Covenant HealthCare in Saginaw — has tested positive for the coronavirus, the first such case reported outside of major population centers in or near Detroit and Grand Rapids.
“I’ve been in constant contact over the weekend with the governor’s office and with other state and local business and community leaders,” Glenn said, “to ensure that state support is immediately available to our local governments, first responders, hospitals, community health services, and senior centers here in Bay and Midland counties.”
Glenn said she communicated Friday and Saturday by phone or text with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office, state Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield, Michigan State Police commanders, Bay County Executive Jim Barcia, Bay County Commission chairman Mike Duranczyk, Midland Mayor Maureen Donker, Midland County Sheriff Scott Stephenson, Auburn Mayor Lee Kilbourn, Midland Public Schools Supt. Mike Sharrow, Midland 911 emergency response officials, Midland Business Alliance director Tony Stamas, and others.
She also spoke with local clergy concerned about how the governor’s order to restrict public meetings might affect Sunday church services, and personally visited businesses that were open in downtown Midland Saturday to learn how they’re being affected by public response to the virus.
Glenn said that in addition to helping ensure government officials are equipped to respond appropriately, she’s been even more encouraged by “how the people of our community are reacting in a time of need, with great kindness, caring, and concern for helping each other, and with a calm, confident attitude that we will weather this unexpected challenge as we have so many before.”
She related the noticeable sense of calm and patience she witnessed at Meijer grocery store Thursday as shoppers showed great courtesy to each other and to store employees despite longer lines and limited supplies of toilet paper and other products, and an elderly man who offered to help her load groceries in her car.
After visiting elementary schools in Midland and Linwood Friday to read to students for “March is Reading Month” or to deliver donated school supplies, she also praised principals and teachers for the calm reassurance they communicated to students concerned by news of the virus.
“Elected officials, including me, bear some responsibility to assure those we serve that our government is doing what it should be doing in response to this challenge,” Glenn said, “but the response I’ve witnessed from my neighbors and fellow community members and leaders the last several days has been even more reassuring and heartwarming to me in return.”
“For all but the oldest among us, who survived the polio epidemic in the mid-20th century,” she said, “this is a once in a lifetime disruption to our day-to-day experience, but the people and families I have the great privilege of representing are giving me as much assurance and confidence as I could ever hope to give them.”
Glenn said the public can be further assured of her attention and diligence, “given that I go to Lansing each week and am exposed to hundreds of people, and when I come home, my husband is in a high risk category, over age 60 with a compromised immune system.”
“My family and I are setting an example in our home that I hope all families take care to follow in the weeks ahead,” she said, “washing hands, keeping surfaces clean, not sharing glasses or dishes, covering our sneezes and coughs, and watching our family members for symptoms that may appear.”
Glenn said she will continue to communicate and coordinate with state and community leaders, plus she’ll ride a Midland Public Schools school bus this week to deliver food to at risk students at home, since school classes are cancelled the next three weeks.
Glenn said she will continue to travel to Lansing each week for sessions of the state House of Representatives, but as chairman of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Military & Veterans Affairs and State Police, she has indefinitely postponed any hearings that are not immediately necessary but will continue to work on making sure state and local governments have necessary resources to combat the virus.
Last week, she voted in favor of a bipartisan appropriation of $25 million in emergency coronavirus funding, on top of $14 million in emergency funding Michigan will receive from the federal government.
Glenn represents the city of Midland, the village of Sanford, and six adjacent townships in Midland County, plus the cities of Auburn, Linwood, Pinconning, and seven rural townships in Bay County.
She urged citizens who have questions or concerns to contact her office at AnnetteGlenn@House.MI.gov or at 517-373-1791.