Coronavirus Updates & Resources
Updated March 30, 2020 - The COVID-19 outbreak is currently disrupting normal hospitality operations in the Ann Arbor area. We encourage visitors to check with local businesses and organizations before assuming they’re currently operating.
As always, our region remains committed to the health and well-being of all our residents and visitors. It is our top priority. Our area colleges and universities are closely monitoring the situation and have enacted sweeping measures to promote the safety of students, staff, faculty, and visitors. We remain in close contact with local, county and state public officials as this situation evolves. Our entire community has come together to support each other and ensure that communication is transparent and collaborative. We couldn’t be more appreciative of the work that’s being done in Washtenaw County by so many outstanding organizations to promote the safety and prosperity of our region.
As always, we encourage residents and visitors to follow the advice of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and their health care providers when travel is under consideration. We also encourage everyone to follow CDC guidelines with regard to:
- Cleaning hands often
- Avoiding close contact
- Staying home when ill
- Covering coughs and sneezes
- Cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces
Washtenaw County Health Department has issued guidelines for responding to the coronavirus situation. The State of Michigan also has resource for those with questions, through the Department of Health and Human Services.
We’re actively working with industry professionals to continue marketing our destination under these evolving circumstances. Our local hospitality businesses employ over 9,000 people, and the prosperity of those businesses and employees is extremely important to us. We encourage residents and visitors alike to patronize Washtenaw County businesses in ways that align with the requirements and recommendations set forth by governmental health officials and their health care providers.
There are a multitude of ways to continue enjoying some of the outstanding experiences that Ann Arbor and its surrounding communities have to offer. We have included many ideas into the blog stories below.
F.A.Q. - Below are some Frequently Asked Questions, with our responses as well:
Will public events in the Ann Arbor area be impacted?
Many events have been cancelled or postponed as a result of this evolving situation. We hope and expect that a good deal will be rescheduled for later dates, and we look forward to welcoming visitors to those events when revised details are announced. Click here to see a list of cancelled events.
Are hotels and motels to remain open after Governor Whitmer's Executive Order 2020-21?
Things are changing quickly. Reach out to the individual property for the most up-to-date status. Here’s the official word from the State of Michigan regarding hotel operations:
"In general, hotels and motels may remain open, but should limit functions.
Under the order, workers at hotels and motels are critical infrastructure workers to the extent they “provide temporary or permanent housing for… shelter ... for ... otherwise needy individuals.” For purposes of the order, the term “otherwise needy individuals” includes anyone currently residing in a hotel or motel or anyone seeking shelter during the current pandemic. Hotels and motels may also remain open to the extent they are used for COVID-19 mitigation and containment efforts and to serve critical infrastructure workers.
Hotels and motels may therefore remain open, but should limit guest-to-guest, guest-to-staff, and staff-to-staff interactions, and may only engage in activities providing shelter and basic needs (carry out/delivery/room service food, laundry, etc.). They may not provide additional in-house amenities such as gyms, pools, spas, entertainment faculties, meetings rooms or like facilities, or provide in-house dining."
What is our message to visitors who want to come to Ann Arbor or have made plans to do so?
We want current and future travelers to feel as safe and informed as possible. We encourage residents and visitors to practice good hygiene, including hand cleanliness, staying home when ill, covering coughs and sneezes, and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces. We also advise residents and visitors alike to follow the requirements and advice of local and state officials, the CDC and their health care providers.
We encourage visitors and residents alike to confirm whether a business or organization is open and operational during this time. Restaurants and bars are temporarily closed for dine-in services, effective Monday, March 16 at 3:00 pm. Many restaurants are offering curbside pickup or delivery services. Please check with individual establishments for more details.
What impact will the coronavirus pandemic have on our visitor economy?
It’s clear that this situation will have an adverse effect on the local visitor economy. The quantifiable impact is unknown at this time. Over 9,000 people in the Ann Arbor area hold jobs related to our hospitality businesses and visitor economy. We implore residents and visitors to patronize our Ann Arbor area businesses however possible, in ways that are compliant with the requirements and recommendations of local and state officials, the CDC, and their health care providers.
Have conferences and events been cancelling?
This is a global situation and companies, associations, and social groups are responding in a variety of ways. Some organizations have restricted travel, and therefore we have, unfortunately, seen some cancellations as a result.
What is Destination Ann Arbor doing?
- We’re serving as conduits of information from local, county and state officials and keeping our stakeholders informed as this situation evolves.
- We’re encouraging residents and visitors to adhere to the requirements and recommendations of local and state officials, the CDC, and their health care providers.
- We’re working with industry professionals to continue actively marketing our destination while being cognizant of our changing conditions.
- We’re encouraging our residents and visitors alike to support and patronize our local Ann Arbor area businesses in ways that comply with recommendations from local and state health officials, the CDC, and their health care providers.
- We’re helping the media and the public understand the adverse effects that this situation will have on our visitor economy and how residents and visitors can help to minimize the impact to our local small businesses and hospitality community.
- We’re actively working with legislators on behalf of our local hospitality industry to advocate for assistance and relief for businesses impacted by this crisis
- Click Here: For Our COVID-19 BUSINESS TOOLKIT
With the situation evolving rapidly, below are resources from national agencies that have put together guides and tools specifically for businesses in the hospitality industry and small business owners.