St. Clair County rescinds quarantine order

(ST. CLAIR COUNTY) – The St. Clair County Health Department (SCCHD) regretfully rescinds the September 8, 2021
Public Health Order requiring residents in St. Clair County to quarantine after a close exposure with a person infected with COVID-19. The order is rescinded as of 11:59 pm on September 30, 2021. SCCHD is simultaneously issuing a Public Health Quarantine Policy and strongly encourages all to follow.

The decision is a result of Gov. Whitmer signing the 2022 state budget which includes language from Senate Bill 82 and House Bill 4400 that threatens public heath funding. According to pertinent language, any health officer that has an emergency order under section 2453 of the public health code, 1978 PA 368, MCL 333.2453, in effect of October 1, 2021, will lose funding.
St. Clair County Health Department could face a funding loss of $573,000 in essential public health programming. Those dollars support important community programs and services such as immunizations, infectious disease control, sexually transmitted disease control and prevention, hearing & vision screenings, and food protection.
Although Gov. Whitmer stated Wednesday that this language was “unconstitutional”, SCCHD has been advised that this issue needs to be resolved in the court of law. Until then, further public health orders under MCL 333.2453 will be paused. However, it is SCCHD’s intention to closely monitor COVID-19 case and transmission rates and will not hesitate to issue further orders to control increasing threats as allowable under law.
Dr. Annette Mercatante, Medical Health Officer emphasizes, “Despite the rescission of the Order, the value of quarantine is irrefutable. Quarantine is still one of the best ways to control a communicable infectious disease. We urge citizens to follow public health guidance and continue to quarantine when exposed to COVID-19 as our policy states.
Mercatante continued “Our concern is that failure to comply with public health guidance will disproportionately affect those unable to get vaccinated and our most vulnerable. Taking care of our weakest will make us all stronger.”
St. Clair County is experiencing ongoing, sustained high transmission of COVID-19 since late summer. Businesses, educational institutions, and individuals, are urged to wear a mask when in indoor public spaces, to stay home and get tested when they have symptoms of COVID-19, and to quarantine after they have had a close contact exposure with someone who has COVID-19.