Gov. Whitmer Talks Nursing Home Changes, Water Investment and COVID-19
It has been two weeks since Governor Gretchen Whitmer last held a news conference addressing the state on the fight against COVID-19.
That doesn’t mean major steps haven’t been taken since. Governor Whitmer signed the state budget, extended the state of emergency and adjusted nursing home restrictions this week.
Seven months into the battle against COVID-19 and Whitmer says the end is coming, just not sure when.
“That’s why it’s so critical, as we continue to learn about the virus, that we make changes along the way to keep people safe,” says Whitmer.
That includes long term care facilities. On Wednesday her office announced tighter restrictions on where COVID positive residents can be and allowing more freedoms for the healthy.
This has been her most contentious issue, with nearly a third of Michigan’s COVID deaths coming from these facilities.
“I know that there are Republican talking points that Democratic governors have higher rates,” says Whitmer, “That’s just not true.”
Next week, even more changes as public venues and theaters open. This comes as Michigan’s numbers have stayed steady and not spiked as other segments open up.
“We’ve pushed our fatality rate low. We have pushed our positivity rate low. We’re doing 30,000 tests a day,” says Whitmer, “We’re doing a lot of things that I think make us a leader, however we recognize that it’s all very precarious. If people just drop their guard, we can heat up like Wisconsin. Right now they’re a national hotspot.”
The most recent announcement shows there is non-COVID work to be done still. Thursday she announced a $500 million investment to drastically renovate and secure Michigan’s water infrastructure.
“It will go toward upgrading lead service lines and fixing old sewer systems, so there are a lot of aspects to this that will make drinking water safer for people,” says Whitmer, “It will help municipalities with their water infrastructure that has been under invested as a state wide issue.”