GENESEE COUNTY, MI — If you’re planning to attend a large wedding in Genesee County this weekend, there could be uninvited guests from the county Health Department.
Acting Health Officer Jim Henry told the county Board of Health Wednesday, Dec. 2 that his office is investigating reports of a planned wedding with more than 100 guests and said the department wants “to put a stop to that one before it occurs.”
Multiple cases of COVID-19 were linked to an indoor wedding reception with more than 100 people at the Flushing Valley Golf & Country Club in August, and since that time, the county has experienced its sharpest rise on coronavirus cases since the pandemic began.
Henry did not name the banquet facility where this weekend’s wedding is reported to take place, and MLive-The Flint Journal could not immediately reach the interim health officer Thursday, Dec. 3, for additional information.
Henry said when representatives of the hall were contacted by his office, they said they weren’t aware of the event.
“We’ve been in touch with the state Department of Health and Human Services and liquor control,” Henry told the Board of Health. “They’ve asked us to do a site visit at the time of the event and document it.
“I don’t think that’s good enough, but that’s what their advice for us was — they would issue a citation based on our site visit.”
Henry said his office is continuing to investigate reports of the wedding.
“What I would like to do is get some better confirmation that this is actually occurring and work with out local law enforcement to tag the building (indicating) that this cannot be occupied for this type of event,” he said.
“We completely understand that this situation has put a lot things on hold for people. It’s not what we want to do at all, but we’ve had experience with a wedding (reception) and an outbreak resulting from it. Not only does it impact our community, it impacts our office (because we have to try) to keep up with the cases.”
In Michigan, indoor gatherings at non-residential venues are prohibited under COVID-19 rules issued by the MDHHS.
Gatherings of more than 10 people from more than two households are also prohibited under the rules and gatherings are prohibited at entertainment venues, including banquet halls.
There have been 13,965 cases of coronavirus and 416 deaths reported to the county Health Department as of Thursday, Dec. 3, including 800 cases in the past five days.
Just last month, county health officials said there so many cases of coronavirus locally that they can’t keep up with the demand for contact tracing.
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