Governor Whitmer Moves U.P. Back to Phase 4 After Surge in COVID-19 Cases
Following a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the Upper Peninsula, or Region 8, Governor Gretchen Whitmer is moving the region back to Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan, effective Friday, Oct. 9.
The executive order will go into effect Friday, Oct. 9 at 12:01 a.m.
Phase 4 requires people who can work remotely to do so, schools to enforce mask requirements with limited expectations, and place limits on social gatherings and stores that match those in place in most of the state.
“After seeing the increase in cases in the U.P. region over the past several weeks and consulting with medical experts, I have decided to take action to protect U.P. families and move the region back a phase. I know this is hard. I know it will be an adjustment. But we can’t let our guard down,” said Governor Whitmer in a release. “COVID-19 is still a very real threat to our families, frontline workers, and small businesses. Everyone should implement these changes as swiftly as possible. This virus doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, a Republican or a Democrat, young or old. No one is immune. Right now the most effective weapon we have is pretty simple: it’s wearing a mask that covers your nose and mouth. It’s washing your hands with soap and water. And maintaining six feet of physical distance from one another. Let’s all be smart and stay safe.”
The state says the although the Upper Peninsula had low numbers from March through most of June, the region’s numbers began rising in late June, persisted at an elevated level through mid-September, and then began sharply increasing at that time, making is the most concerning numbers in the state.
“The governor is taking necessary action today to protect families, frontline workers, and vulnerable populations in the U.P. region,” said Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “We will continue to monitor the spread and work together to fight this virus. With the 2020-2021 flu season fast approaching, we must also stay laser-focused on protecting ourselves and our loved ones. Get your flu vaccine, wear a mask, and maintain six feet of physical distancing. We will get through this together.”