Car dealerships, medical facilities to re-open statewide

Executive Order 2020-96, another revised Safer At Home Order, allow workers to return at ‘motor vehicle dealerships’ and ‘health-care and veterinary facilities’
More changes are coming. A few days after allowing retail businesses, restaurants, and bars to re-open in Region 6 and Region 8 of the state with the announcement of Executive Order 2020-92, Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-96 – another “temporary requirement to suspend certain activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life” – establishes a statewide date for the restricted re-opening of car dealerships and the resumption of procedures deemed “non-essential” by previous orders at “health-care and veterinary facilities.”
This article is being updated as information is received. Last updated Tuesday, May 26, 2020 at 11:50 a.m.
Table of Contents
01. Munson Healthcare
02. District Health Department #10
03. Crawford AuSable School District
04. Kirtland Community College
Local Government
05. Municipalities 
06. Crawford County Building/Courthouse
Local Services
07. Commission on Aging
08. Library
09. Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce
10. AuSable Valley Animal Shelter
11. Crawford County Road Commission
Sports & Recreation
12. Hanson Hills Recreation Area
13. AuSable River Canoe Marathon
State Services
14. Michigan Department of Natural Resources
15. Secretary of State
16. Restaurants 
17. Financial institutions
18. Personal Care
19. Entertainment
20. Churches
Executive Order 2020-96 also “authorizes small gatherings of 10 people or less starting immediately, as long as participants practice social distancing.”
“The data shows that Michigan is ready to phase in these sectors of our economy, but we must stay vigilant and ensure we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves and our families from the spread of COVID-19,” Governor Whitmer said. “On behalf of our brave first responders on the front lines of this crisis, we must continue to all do our part by staying safer at home. We owe it to them to do what we can to stop the spread of this virus.”
According to Executive Order 2020-96, Governor Whitmer’s latest Safer At Home Order, “motor vehicle dealerships” in Michigan were allowed to re-open “beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 26, 2020, provided that showrooms are open only by appointment.”
The new Safer At Home Order, which went into effect on Thursday, May 21, announces that Executive Order 2020-17, “temporary restrictions on non-essential medical and dental procedures,” and Executive Order 2020-34, “temporary restrictions on veterinary services,” will be rescinded on May 29.
Executive Order 2020-96 also allowed “workers necessary to perform retail activities by appointment” to return to work statewide “beginning at 12:01 a.m. on May 26, 2020, provided that the store is limited to 10 customers at any one time,” but Grayling is in a region that already had its retail sector opened.
Crawford County, along with 16 other northern Michigan counties, is in one of the regions in the state that Executive Order 2020-96 and its predecessor, Executive Order 2020-92, allowed “workers necessary to perform retail activities” to resume business.
Executive Order 2020-96, like Executive Order 2020-92, divides Michigan into eight regions and lists different regulations for some businesses in Region 6 and Region 8.
Crawford County is in Region 6 along with Emmet County, Cheboygan County, Presque Isle County, Charlevoix County, Antrim County, Otsego County, Montmorency County, Alpena County, Leelanau County, Benzie County, Grand Traverse County, Kalkaska County, Manistee County, Wexford County, Missaukee County, and Roscommon County. Region 8 includes the Upper Peninsula.
“We’re confident that in some regions of the state, they’ve just not been hit as hard with COVID-19 and they are in better position to begin phasing in sectors of their economy and enter the ‘improving’ phase of the MI Safe Start Plan,” Governor Whitmer said on Monday, May 18.
The MI Safe Start Plan, according to, includes six phases related to the state’s COVID-19 condition: 1) Uncontrolled Growth; 2) Persistent Spread; 3) Flattening; 4) Improving; 5) Containing; 6) Post Pandemic.
Right now, parts of Michigan are in Phase 3 and others are in Phase 4, based on recent orders.
“Each step forward is contingent on factors relating to the spread of COVID-19 and our ability to detect it, trace, and isolate positive cases,” Governor Whitmer said.
The two latest Safer At Home Orders allowed “workers in restaurants or bars” and “workers who work in an office setting” to return to their places of business in Region 6 and Region 8 effective Friday, May 22. 
The two new orders join previous orders in reducing restrictions put in place by the governor to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Executive Order 2020-77 allowed the re-opening of manufacturing within the state and Executive Order 2020-70 allowed workers in forestry, construction, building trades, and real estate to resume business. Executive Order 2020-59 allowed landscaping, lawn care, and bicycle repair businesses to re-open, and it allowed golf courses to operate.
Governor Whitmer said all of the re-opening businesses must adhere to rules put in place by the state that involve use of “personal protective equipment,” social distancing, increased sanitization efforts, and having COVID-19 plans in place.
“Reopened outpatient health-care facilities, including clinics, primary care physician offices, and dental offices, will have to adopt strict protocols to prevent infection,” according to the governor’s office.
While the new Safer At Home Order does loosen some restrictions, Governor Whitmer said people should still try to limit travel.
“If you don’t live in these regions, Region 6 and Region 8, please think long and hard before you take a trip into them. We’re still seeing positive cases of COVID-19 across the state of Michigan,” Governor Whitmer said. “We still have COVID-19 present in the vast majority of our counties and we’re still losing family members and loved ones to this virus, so please be smart.”
COVID-19 is a contagious respiratory illness believed to have originated in China. Its symptoms, according to the Centers for Disease Control, include “fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell.” In the United States, the CDC – as of May 26 – is reporting 1,662,414 cases of coronavirus (24,958 more than the previous day) with 98,261 deaths from the disease (592 more than the previous day). Michigan is reporting 55,104 cases with 5,266 deaths in the state, according to (as of May 26).
01. Munson Healthcare
Munson Healthcare Grayling Hospital has stringent visitor restrictions and a “universal masking” policy. 
The full list of visitor rules is available at
Munson Healthcare has a COVID-19 Tracker on its website at It has a table that lists the number of patients tested for COVID-19, number of patients who’ve tested positive, number of patients who’ve tested negative, number of pending tests, number of positive testing patients who are in one of the system’s hospitals, and number of deaths within those hospitals from coronavirus.
“These numbers are updated daily with the most recent and accurate reporting available. We hope this information, which reflects patients tested at Munson Healthcare hospitals only, will be helpful to you in understanding the impact of this pandemic on our communities. We also would like you to be aware that these numbers do not reflect the current number of people with COVID-19 in your community. This is due to the amount of time required to obtain test results,” according to Munson Healthcare.
The COVID-19 Tracker includes eight facilities: Cadillac Hospital, Charlevoix Hospital, Grayling Hospital, Kalkaska Memorial Health Center, Manistee Hospital, Munson Medical Center (Traverse City), Otsego Memorial Hospital (Gaylord), and Paul Oliver Memorial Hospital (Frankfort).
The COVID-19 Tracker now features a color graph showing the trend by day of positive tests, negative tests, pending tests, and the total number of tests. 
As of May 26, the Munson Healthcare COVID-19 Tracker listed 4,814 patients tested, 298 positive tests, 4,438 negative tests, 78 pending tests, two currently hospitalized patients, and 17 deaths in a Munson Healthcare Hospital.
02. District Health Department #10
District Health Department #10 offices are closed.
“We will provide emergency services by appointment only,” according to “There will be signage at each building to direct those with appointments on what to do when they arrive. Please contact your local DHD#10 office to schedule an appointment.”
“At this time, and due to the likelihood that individuals have been in public places but unaware that they have COVID-19, DHD#10 suggests that everyone assume they have been exposed to someone with the virus. Please follow CDC Guidelines (at and monitor your symptoms. If symptoms become severe, please contact your medical provider for further instructions,” according to
District Health Department #10, as of May 25, listed 347 confirmed cases of COVID-19 within its jurisdiction, 56 probable cases, and 14 deaths.
03. Crawford AuSable School District
On Thursday, April 2, Governor Whitmer announced Executive Order 2020-35, putting an end to the 2019-2020 school year with regard to “in-person learning.”
School districts had to come up with their own plans for alternates to “in-person learning” such as teaching through online methods, mail, or telephone.
Crawford AuSable School District has implemented its Grayling Viking Distance Learning program, using “online options as well as hardcopy packets of learning materials,” among other methods, to finish the year. 
“We are closing in on the final month of our traditional year calendar and also our final weeks with our graduating seniors. Looking ahead, each building will be releasing information about important end of the year items, including Chromebook/device returns and locker cleanout,” said Justin Gluesing, Crawford AuSable School District Superintendent.
Grayling High School will conduct a limited, private graduation ceremony for the Class of 2020 at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday, May 31. Coverage of the event will be available on the radio on WQON, school officials said.
04. Kirtland Community College
Kirtland’s campus is closed.
The commencement ceremony slated for May 1 has been “postponed indefinitely.” 
The college has also postponed new student orientation, which was scheduled for May 5, “until further notice.”
“Summer classes will start on June 1, 2020. Published course schedules will continue as planned, and we will continue to update students on the status of in-person courses. Students are encouraged to register for their courses as soon as possible,” according to “Fall semester will begin on August 24, 2020.”
05. Municipalities
Local municipalities – the City of Grayling, Grayling Charter Township, Lovells Township, Frederic Township, Beaver Creek Township, Maple Forest Township, and South Branch Township – closed their offices to the public and have been trying to conduct business through alternate means such as telephone and email. A few have announced when they will re-open to the public.
Grayling Charter Township re-opened on Thursday, May 21. All people must wear a face covering before entering township hall. The City of Grayling announced it will re-open on June 1 and all visitors must wear masks. Lovells Township also plans to re-open on June 1. Frederic Township re-opened its offices on May 26; township officials said “anyone entering the building will be required to wear a mask.”
For more information on each individual municipality, these are their websites and phone numbers: City of Grayling –, (989) 348-2131; Grayling Charter Township –, (989) 348-4361; Lovells Township –, (989) 348-9215; Frederic Township –, (989) 348-8778; Beaver Creek Township –, (989) 275-8878; Maple Forest Township –, (989) 348-5794; South Branch Township –, (989) 275-8232.
06. Crawford County
The Crawford County Building/Courthouse “has closed all buildings to the public. At this time we are asking the public to conduct any necessary business with the county via alternative means such as using this website (, the U.S. Postal Service, email, fax, and/or telephone,” according to
The Crawford County Board of Commissioners is meeting online through Zoom. For details to attend, visit
07. Commission on Aging
The Crawford County Commission on Aging & Senior Center “will be closed to the general public until further notice,” according to the Crawford County Commission on Aging, but the COA “will continue to staff the office Monday (through) Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If you need assistance, please call the office at (989) 348-7123.”
Many COA activities have been halted, but some programs will continue.
“All activities, events, classes, and trips have been suspended until further notice,” but “Congregate Meals will continue to be offered Monday through Friday on a curbside take-out basis from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Meals can be picked up at that time for both lunch and dinner as well as meals for the weekend. Please call the COA at (989) 348-7123 to order your meal for take-out,” COA officials said.
“Meals on Wheels will continue to be delivered on an alternative schedule. Telephone reassurance calls will continue to be made to clients at home for safety checks. In-Home Services will continue to be offered with priority given to our clients in greatest need,” according to the COA. 
08. Library
The Crawford County library facilities – the Devereaux Memorial Library and the Frederic Community Library – are closed.
“Devereaux Memorial Library will remain closed until construction is allowed to resume and the library can be deemed safe and operational for our patrons,” according to “Interlibrary loans via MelCat have been suspended. Fines will be suspended during this time. Downloadable eBooks, audio books, and streaming videos are still available.”
09. Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce
The Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce closed its “office to walk-in traffic until further notice,” according to “We will still be available to assist our business members and community via phone and email inquiries.” 
The phone number for the Chamber of Commerce is (989) 348-2921. Email addresses are: Traci Cook, Executive Director,; Hayley Strohpaul, Event Coordinator,
The Chamber of Commerce’s Business Expo, which was rescheduled for May 19, has been cancelled.
The Grayling Chamber of Commerce Golf Outing has been rescheduled from June 5 to August 28.
The Chamber has a COVID-19 Resource Page online at
10. AuSable Valley Animal Shelter
The AuSable Valley Animal Shelter is closed to the public but it has resumed adoption efforts through online methods.
“While our shelter will remain closed to the public for the foreseeable future, we are conducting virtual visits and no-contact placement of animals to homes within 30 miles of Grayling,” according to the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter’s Facebook page.
A list of the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter’s adoptable pets is available at
“We continue to lodge stray animals brought in by Crawford County Animal Control (no public intake) and work diligently to get them home as fast as we can. If you see or have a stray, please call Kari at 989-344-3273,” according to the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter.
The Animal Shelter has cancelled its 2020 golf outing fundraiser.
“Our annual golf outing was cancelled for this spring, but we are exploring other fundraising and community engagement opportunities,” according to the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter’s Facebook page.
If you need to contact the AuSable Valley Animal Shelter, the number is (989) 348-4117.
11. Crawford County Road Commission
The Crawford County Road Commission office is currently closed to the public. The Road Commission has also suspended “non-essential” projects.
“The Crawford County Road Commission is suspending all non-essential infrastructure and maintenance work during the COVID-19 outbreak per Governor Whitmer’s executive order to ‘stay home, stay safe.’ The Crawford County Road Commission will continue to monitor the safety of our roads as this pandemic runs its course. The Road Commission is still under contract with the Michigan Department of Transportation to maintain their highways as well as ensuring our local roads remain navigable.  Our staff will be working remotely to assist our residents. Please contact us via phone (989) 348-2281 extension 11 or email to,” according to
The Road Commission is conducting its board meetings online through Zoom. Go to for the meeting links.
12. Hanson Hills Recreation Area
One exception in the Safer At Home Order allows for people “to engage in outdoor recreational activity, consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household. Outdoor recreational activity includes walking, hiking, running, cycling, boating, golfing, or other similar activity, as well as any comparable activity for those with limited mobility.” 
Most of Hanson Hills Recreation Area is still open for use by the public. Hanson Hills has a large trail system for hiking and cycling, a softball field, two disc golf courses, a 3-D archery range, and a kids’ fishing pond for public use. The playground and the lodge at Hanson Hills, however, are closed. Also, with the lodge closed and no outdoor portable toilets in place, Hanson Hills currently does not have any bathrooms available to the public.
“Disc golf, the trails are open for use,” said Justin Andre, Director of Operations for Grayling Recreation Authority and Hanson Hills. “As far as the grounds and the trails and the softball fields, if people want to enjoy the outdoors they can do that at Hanson Hills. The hill is very much available for outdoor use.”
Andre said people must adhere to the social distancing guidelines outlined by the State of Michigan, staying at least six feet from others while using the outdoor facilities at Hanson Hills Recreation Area.
The Ragnar Michigan Trail Relay to be held at Hanson Hills has been moved from its original date of June 27-28 to September 4-5.
The 2020 Black Bear Gran Fondo – a bicycling event conducted by the Grayling Rotary Club that offers a 100-mile “century ride” option, a 62-mile “metric century ride” (100 kilometers), and a 45-mile loop – has been cancelled. The Gran Fondo, which starts and ends at Hanson Hills, was slated for July 11.
13. AuSable River Canoe Marathon
The AuSable River Canoe Marathon Committee announced on Wednesday, May 6, that the 2020 AuSable Marathon – an annual 120-mile nonstop race from Grayling to Oscoda – has been cancelled due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation in Michigan. The AuSable River Festival, which features a variety of activities during the days leading up to the Marathon, has also been cancelled for 2020.
“The decision to cancel this year’s festival and race festivities does not come easily, however, with the uncertainty that we are all facing at these times, concern for the health and safety of community members, volunteers, guests to our community, stability of the business community, along with the current guidelines set by the Governor to reopen Michigan, we are unable to predict the state of our economy and health of our region for July 2020. Therefore, our team of festival and race officials, local authorities, and emergency management team made the tough decision to cancel the 2020 AuSable River Festival and 2020 Consumers Energy AuSable River Canoe Marathon,” local officials said in a press release.
The AuSable River Canoe Marathon is the second leg of the Triple Crown of Canoe Racing. The first leg, the General Clinton Canoe Regatta, slated for Memorial Day weekend in New York, was also cancelled due to COVID-19.
The Spike’s Challenge – a race series that includes a C-2 event, C-2 sprints for position, and a C-1 race during the weekend prior to the AuSable Marathon – has also been cancelled for 2020, event organizers announced on Monday, May 11.
14. Michigan Department of Natural Resources
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is cancelling events and closing its buildings to the public.
“We have closed public access to many facilities and are canceling all group events and programs until further notice. In addition, we are closing customer service centers and field offices to the public,” according to
Starting on April 27, the DNR began issuing burning permits again.
“The DNR issues burn permits online at if weather and fire danger conditions are favorable,” according to the DNR.
State parks in Michigan – “with the exception of Tippy Dam Recreation Area in Manistee County” – are open for now with some restrictions, according to the DNR.
“State parks, recreation areas, trails, and other state-managed lands remain open, provided all visitors adhere to the requirement for proper social distancing – at least six feet between yourself and another person,” according to 
“State park headquarters buildings and contact stations are closed to the public. All bathroom buildings and vault toilets are closed. Playgrounds located in state parks and recreation areas are closed until further notice,” according to
Camping is not open at this time.
“Michigan state park and recreation area campgrounds and overnight facilities are closed though at least June 21. State forest campgrounds are closed through at least June 9,” according to 
15. Secretary of State
Michigan’s Secretary of State offices “are temporarily closed until further notice,” according to
“Customers can still complete certain transactions online at, although processing may be delayed. All transactions that cannot ordinarily be completed online will be temporarily suspended. All Secretary of State offices will be closed through the duration of Governor Whitmer’s Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order,” according to
Transactions through the mail to the Secretary of State offices are also suspended during the closure.
“Transactions cannot be completed by mail during the temporary Secretary of State office closure. Please do not attempt to complete your transaction by mail during this period. Your transaction will not be processed while our offices are closed and may be delayed once offices are reopened. Transactions mailed before the closure will be processed when mail operations resume,” according to
Governor Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-78 offers state residents “temporary extension of the validity of certain driver’s licenses, state identification cards, and vehicle registrations” due to the current limitations in service from the Department of State.
According to the order, licenses, identifications, or registrations “set to expire between February 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020” are now valid “until July 31, 2020.” The order also protects against arrest and late fees with regard to expired licenses and registrations.
“Law enforcement officials must not arrest any person nor impound any vehicle for the sole reason that a vehicle registration, operator’s license, chauffer’s license, or some combination thereof had expired on or after February 1, 2020. The Department of State must not assess a late fee for the renewal of a license or registration that expired between February 1, 2020 and June 30, 2020, so long as renewal occurs by July 31, 2020,” according to Executive Order 2020-78.
16. Restaurants 
Executive Order 2020-92, announced on Monday, May 18, offers new rules for restaurants and bars in Region 6 and Region 8 in Michigan. (Crawford County is on Region 6.) It allows “individuals in Regions 6 or 8 to go to a restaurant or a retail store or to attend a social gathering of up to 10 people,” but the businesses must adhere to distancing rules and other regulations.
17. Financial institutions
Local banks and credit unions have closed their lobbies to the public, but they are still offering service with drive-through and ATM options. The Safer At Home Order allows “financial services” to remain open with restrictions.
18. Personal Care
Executive Order 2020-69 mandates the closure of “non-essential personal care services” such as hair salons, tanning facilities, and nail care businesses, among others. Executive Order 2020-100 extends this order through June 12.
19. Entertainment
Executive Order 2020-69 forces the closure of exercise facilities, theaters, museums, and other “places of public amusement.” Executive Order 2020-100 extends this order through June 12.
20. Religion
The governor’s executive orders do not specifically order churches to close for services, but they do prohibit gatherings of more than 10 people.
Executive Order 2020-11 encourages “electronic communication platforms in lieu of in-person interaction as feasible,” and many area churches are offering their services online via Facebook or YouTube.
For regular updates on the coronavirus situation in Crawford County, visit our website at


Crawford County Avalanche

Mailing Address
Box 490
Grayling, MI 49738

Phone: 989-348-6811
FAX: 989-348-6806

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