A new website offers help to Bay County businesses making plans to re-open

Bay County government and business leaders launched a website this week offering guidance for businesses as they re-open.

The website, https://www.reopenbaycounty.com/, was launched on Tuesday and will be updated frequently, says County Executive Jim Barcia.

The site includes sections detailing health and safety guidelines, where to find Personal Protection Equipment, links to events and webinars to help employers, and the Bay County COVID-19 dashboard.

Bay Area Chamber of Commerce President Ryan Tarrant says the website gathers all the information businesses need in one place. As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announces new guidelines, the site will be updated. The current stay-at-home executive order expires May 28. The guidelines already are being loosened in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Bay Future President Trevor Keyes said local officials will be watching carefully what works in those communities in order to share best practices on the website.

“We’re really looking forward to successfully and safely re-opening Bay County,” Keyes adds.

Bay County Public Health Officer Joel Strasz added that no matter what happens, it’s critical that people isolate themselves from family members and the community at the first sign of COVID-19 symptoms. Typical symptoms include cough, fever, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell.

The best practices for avoiding the infection include frequent handwashing, staying at least 6 feet away from other people, and wearing a mask in enclosed spaces, Strasz says.

“We need to take these elements seriously,” Strasz says. “Don’t get complacent.”