GRAND RAPIDS, MI (March 15, 2020)– This afternoon, Kent County Health Officer Dr. Adam London signed a Public Health Emergency Order for control of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The Order reduces occupancy load – or limits – for licensed food service establishments, entertainment venues and physical fitness centers by 50%, excluding employees.

The order is intended to support recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to practice social distancing measures. It will go into effect at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, March 16, 2020 and will remain in effect through 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, April 5, 2020.

“We did not make this decision lightly,” said Dr. London. “We recognize that this will present significant challenges for hundreds of businesses and local establishments throughout the county, as well as for thousands of people who rely on those establishments for their jobs. But I believe it’s essential for protecting this community.”

Leaders from the Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce, West Michigan Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, Experience Grand Rapids, City of Grand Rapids, City of Walker, City of Wyoming, as well as the Kent County Sheriff’s Office and Grand Rapids Police and Fire Departments joined Kent County and the Kent County Health Department for this announcement.

“We will work collaboratively with our local business owners to implement this public health order,” said Kent County Sheriff Michelle LaJoye-Young. “Our primary purpose is to educate the business community on how to comply. As a first step, we’re asking that business owners limit the number of patrons as they come in the door. This will minimize the need for law enforcement to step in and ask patrons to leave.

The full Order is posted on the Kent County Health Department COVID-19 page under Latest Updates at