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COVID-19 in Grand Rapids: Tuesday, March 24 updates

City of Grand Rapids announces additional service changes following Gov. Whitmer's executive order, State of Michigan adds alternate languages to COVID-19 resource site, DASH implements reduced service schedule, and more statements from local organizations issued March 23-24, 2020.
City of Grand Rapids announces several parking services changes on Tuesday, March 24, 2020.

City of Grand Rapids announces several parking services changes on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. /John Rothwell

One day into Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s issue of a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order, the requiring of all Michigan residents and nonessential businesses to stay home unless necessary for sustaining or protective life has inevitably brought further significant changes at the local level.

Shared in this Tuesday, March 24, 2020 update are statements impacting Grand Rapids residents from the City of Grand Rapids, the State of Michigan, Spectrum Health, and the Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) service.

City of Grand Rapids

City Manager Mark Washington announced today, March 24, several additional service changes in the city following Gov. Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order that went into effect today at 12:01am. The statewide order will remain in effect until Monday, April 13, at 11:59pm.

Regarding the city’s parking services, Washington announced the temporary suspension of metered parking enforcement downtown and in neighborhood business districts, temporary suspension of enforcement in residential parking permit zones, halted enforcement of the seasonal odd/even and same-side parking restrictions set to end April 1, and the launch of a temporary free parking zone program for downtown and neighborhood businesses to help them with their drop-off and takeout services.

We have a responsibility to do our part in the global fight against the spread of COVID-19 at the local level and support our residents, businesses, and employees,” John Naramore, director of Mobile GR and Parking Services, said of Washington’s announced services changes. “Businesses have joined to cope with the current reality of social distancing and are innovating to adjust. Residents are doing their part by teleworking and sheltering in place. It is for these reasons that we are reprioritizing parking enforcement and making these changes.”

Additional city service changes include the extended closure of city buildings to walk-in traffic until Tuesday, April 14, such as City Hall and the Grand Rapids Police Department Headquarters, and a new filing deadline for 2019 City of Grand Rapids income tax returns of Friday, July 31.

We are committed to helping to prevent the spread of COVID-19, protect the health of community members and City employees, and ensure the continuity of essential City services,” Washington said.

More information about these additional service changes is available on the City’s website.

State of Michigan

The State of Michigan has now added an Alternate Languages section to its COVID-19 resource page so Michigan residents not proficient in English may stay up to date about statewide resources and announcements regarding the outbreak, without previous language barriers.

Alternate languages already available on the resource page are Spanish, Arabic, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Korean, Burmese, and American Sign Language. The full and growing list can be found in the dedicated Alternate Languages section on the state’s COVID-19 resource page.

Spectrum Health

Spectrum Health has announced a shared list of supplies that are being accepted at 14 of their locations to help respond to the ever-growing number of positive COVID-19 cases. This list includes protective gear such as N95 and surgical masks, face shields, and isolation gowns, as well as additional supplies such as bleach wipes, flexible mini-tip swabs, pocket-sized sanitizer, and digital, disposable, or temporal thermometers.

“We are extremely grateful for the outpouring of requests from the community to help during this COVID-19 pandemic,” a representative from Spectrum Health announced. “So many within our community have asked about ways to help during this time of need.”

Supplies Spectrum Heath will be unable to accept include painters masks, swabs that are made with a wooden tube or stick, perishable food, blankets, medical equipment, medication or other supplies.

A list of donation drop-off site’s is available on Spectrum Health’s website.

Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH)

Following The Rapid transit service’s reduced service schedule announced yesterday, March 23, the City of Grand Rapids announced today, March 24, changes to their Downtown Area Shuttle (DASH) service, effectively immediately.

DASH service hours are now weekdays only from 6:30am to 6pm. DASH West will be operating with a 15-minute frequency and DASH North will be operating with a 20-minute frequency.

More information about DASH schedule changes are available on the DASH page of the city’s website.

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