MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) – A rise in COVID-19 cases has prompted the CDC to recommend masking for those at high-risk in several counties.

In Meridian Township, all city offices were closed Friday due to a handful of staff calling out with COVID-19.

Those looking to get their bills paid Friday were met with closed signs rather than township employees.

“It really just came down to the uptick we saw in the last 24 to 48 hours on Wednesday and Thursday,” said Assistant Township Manager Dan Opsommer.

Opsommer said that at least 15 employees tested positive out of 170 staff members. 

Despite the township closure, police and fire crews are still on duty.

County health officials confirmed this week that there were a total of 41 people at Sparrow and McLaren.

“I think that speaks to some cross-immunity from the previous variants to vaccination rates increasing as well and more protection,” said Dr. Paul Entler with Sparrow Hospital. “We’re looking at predictive modeling and it’s projecting that we’re going to see more cases than what we saw in January but less hospitalization.”

Dr. Entler said health models show the current uptick should peak in late June or early July.

While allergy symptoms are common this time of the year, Entler said testing for COVID-19 can be a proactive step in preventing further cases.

As for township offices, Opsommer said he expects them to re-open on Monday.

“The health and safety of our residents and employees is always top of mind and is always first priority. But certainly, we all wish we could be beyond the pandemic, and return to a sense of normalcy. That just isn’t the reality today, unfortunately,” he said.

Opsommer says the township relaxed its masking policy back in March.

Right now, masks are only encouraged, unless people are in a space where social distancing can’t be done- then they are required.