Wayne County CPL division closes after worker tests positive for COVID-19

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

The Wayne County CPL Division will be further delayed in processing concealed pistol license applications and renewals when it closes at least three days after a worker tested positive for COVID-19, officials said Tuesday.

While the division is closed through Friday, customers with appointments will be contacted to reschedule, the county said in a statement.

Updates are available online on the Wayne County Clerk’s website. Staffers can be reached for questions at (313) 967-6938.

Before reopening, the office will undergo deep cleaning and the entire staff must be tested and cleared to return to work, county officials said.

“The CPL Division has been working overtime to meet the demand of CPL applicants in Wayne County," said Wayne County Clerk Cathy M. Garrett. "This is an unfortunate occurrence, however the safety of our staff and the public are paramount during this time of increased COVID-19 cases in Michigan.”

The closure comes after a group of gun ownership groups and county residents filed a lawsuit suit last month alleging Michigan's largest county is slow in processing concealed pistol license applications and renewals. CPL applicants in Wayne County have been faced with long waits of a year or more for an appointment, advocates say. 

 The clerk's office declined to comment on the lawsuit last month, but a lack of staffing at the CPL call center was discussed by a Wayne County Commission committee in March. On Tuesday, the Wayne County Clerk's website said its eScheduler system upgrades were in progress. "Please check back in the coming weeks ..." Another message indicated the temporary closure of the CPL Division.

Meanwhile, Michigan and Wayne County are seeing rising COVID-19 cases.

On Tuesday, the county reported 654 new cases on its online dashboard, bringing the total to 80,192. New cases have steadily risen in the last month, according to the data, which excludes Detroit.

Statewide, there were 4,964 new cases and 58 deaths on Tuesday as Michigan continues to lead the nation in new cases by population.

The latest figures bring the state's total number of cases to 707,463 and deaths to 16,297 since the virus was first detected in March 2020, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.