Bay County starts website to help businesses, employees returning to work

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Bay City (WJRT) - Bay County unveiled a new website today, a guide for business owners and workers to use once the state lifts restrictions in the region.

"Bay County, the whole state of Michigan, the whole country is anxious to see our economy open up and people get back to work," says Bay County Executive Jim Barcia.

Reopenbaycounty.com is the one-stop website where people who operate or work at restaurants, bars, retail shops and other businesses can go and find guidelines on what they should and shouldn't be doing to stay safe once they re-open.

"At this point everyone is itching to open, and looking at what sort of questions need to be answered, I think that's where this Bay County website will come into play," says Ryan Tarrant of the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce.

The county, Bay Area Chamber of Commerce and Bay Future collaborated on the website. They will all be watching the two northern Michigan regions that will partially re-open this weekend.

"It gives us an opportunity to learn from them and to see what things are working really well, what things need to be worked on," says Trevor Keyes of Bay Future.

The county has had 250 positive COVID-19 cases, with 116 recoveries and 16 deaths. Health Officer Joel Strasz is advising people to continue social distancing, even as the unofficial start of summer, Memorial Day weekend, is just a few days away.

"Don't become complacent about this, these things are very much real, I know this is an unprecedented time, but we need to take it seriously, don't grow complacent, don't think you are not going to be affected," Strasz says.

Of the 250 positive COVID-19 cases in the county, about 70 have been recorded over the past two weeks.

There is still a concern that if people let down their guard, it could lead to more community spread.