Gov. Whitmer: ‘Whether our kids go to school depends on what we do today’
LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference Wednesday providing an update on the state’s continued response to COVID-19.
She began her press conference announcing a campaign, “Mask Up Michigan,” bringing coaches from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University together to encourage Michiganders to wear masks to protect against COVID-19.
As of Wednesday, July 15, state health officials reported almost 900 new cases, reaching over 71,000, with four additional deaths as a result of COVID-19.
During her press conference, talked about the possibility of kids returning to school in the fall. The governor said most schools are set to return to school by Sept. 8, which 55 days away.
She said the decision to send kids back to school comes down to the work we do to fight this virus at this time.
The governor says if numbers continue to rise, the state will have to take steps backward in the MI Safe Restart Plan.
“Everyone needs to step up,” said Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist.
During the press conference, Gilchrist stressed the importance of wearing a mask, saying he’s lost 23 people in his life to the virus.
MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said the percentage of tests coming back positive has increased.
“This is an indicator that there is ongoing spread of the disease,” Khaldun said.
She said the highest age group for the virus currently is 20-29.
“Young people can get very sick from this disease, they can be hospitalized and they can even die,” Dr. Khaldun said.
Dr. Khaldun said wearing masks isn’t about politics, but it’s about saving lives.
In response to the stabbing incident at Quality Dairy Tuesday as a result of an altercation about masks, the governor said violence is never the answer.
She said her administration never anticipated a lot of people would be arrested or fined for not wearing masks, but she said the main goal is to get people to wear masks so the state doesn’t have to take steps backward in its economy and keep people safe.
“Let’s recognize we’re all on the same team,” Gov. Whitmer said.
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