Gov. Whitmer Announces Tighter COVID-19 Restrictions Starting Wednesday
Sunday’s announcement from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer came as a surprise, being a weekend late evening press conference.
Gov. Whitmer used the unique platform to express how dire the situation is right now as Michigan fights COVID-19.
“This action today is not a stay-at-home order, but it is geared toward limiting indoor gatherings of groups of people,” Whitmer says.
“Let me be clear, the entire state is seeing an alarming number of cases,” says Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive.
The list of new restrictions takes effect Wednesday and includes high schools all moving to virtual, restaurants and bars not having indoor dining, and all work must be done from home, if possible. The list extends from there and will last three weeks. Read more about what’s open and not open here.
“No country or state has brought COVID down from spread like ours without terrible loss of life or the force of law,” says Robert Gordon, director of MDHHS. “Responses like ours have worked.”
To enforce order herself, Whitmer would need the approval of the legislature. As she was making her announcement Sunday, Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said, “We are disappointed that Gov. Whitmer chose to go it alone again. The Senate Republicans will continue working with our doctors and medical community on ways we can combat the virus and we are ready to work with the governor when she decides to work as a team to fight the virus.”
Whitmer says these calls have been made.
“After that I said, ‘well what is your plan?” Whitmer says. “There wasn’t one other than doing some public service announcements.”
For now, the pause is set for three weeks and Whitmer says she hopes that is all it takes for it all to click.
“Our hope is that everyone takes this seriously and does their part,” Whitmer says. “And we will see a drastic improvement in our positivity rates and this sheer number of cases that we’re seeing.”