The Huron Hub
Posted Friday, June 19, 2020
Governor Whitmer on Thursday extended the state of emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic through July 16.
Whitmer joined nearly every state in the country in maintaining a state of emergency to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
The state of emergency allows Whitmer to put orders in place and take actions unilaterally.
It is not the same as the stay-at-home order, which was recently lifted.
The order will allow her to continue taking action to protect Michigan families and workers, the governor said.
“The aggressive measures we took at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic have worked to flatten the curve, but there is still more to be done to prevent a second wave,” Governor Whitmer said. “We owe it to the heroes on the front lines to keep doing our part by wearing a mask when in public and practicing social distancing. Now is not the time to get complacent. We must continue to stay vigilant and flexible in order to reduce the chance of a second wave.”
Whitmer said a recent report released by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team shows the aggressive actions taken to protect Michigan families from the spread of COVID-19 have significantly lowered the number of cases and deaths that would have occurred had the state done nothing.
Without intervention, Michigan might have experienced 28,000 more positive cases before June 1, the report stated.
“The data backs it up: The Stay Home, Stay Safe Order undeniably saved lives,” Governor Whitmer said. “Very few states dropped their infection rate as low and for as long as Michigan has, and I want thank everyone who stepped up to do their part to protect our communities.”
With the reduction in COVID-19 case counts, Whitmer has relaxed restrictions over the last several weeks on business activities and daily life.
On June 1, she announced that most of the state would move to Phase 4 of the governor’s Start plan, allowing retailers and restaurants to resume operations. Hair salons and other personal care services followed two weeks later.
On June 10, the Upper Peninsula and the region surrounding Traverse City were moved to Phase 5 allowing for the reopening of movie theaters, gyms and bowling alleys. If current trends continue the rest of the state will be moved to Phase 5 by July 4.