Whitmer extends coronavirus emergency through Sept. 4

((source: WJRT))
Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 2:45 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich (WILX) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in an news release today, announced that she has extended Michigan’s coronavirus emergency through Sept. 4.

““We are in a crucial time in our fight against COVID-19, and we must do everything we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis from a second wave,” said Whitmer “Today, I signed new emergency and disaster declarations using independent sources of statutory authority to continue saving lives. I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to protect Michiganders from the spread of this virus. I want to remind everyone in Michigan to wear a mask, practice safe physical distancing, and do everything in your power to fight COVID-19,” she said in a release.

Every region in Michigan has seen an uptick in new cases over the past several weeks, and daily case counts in late July exceeded 50 cases per million statewide.

Michigan’s statewide positivity rate has also increased, from a low of 2% in mid-June to 3.5% in late July. The increase in cases reflects a national trend: COVID-19 cases are growing or holding steady in 40 states and deaths from COVID-19 are increasing in most of those states as well.

While cases in Michigan have increased since June, the numbers are below the national average, with roughly a 3.5% positivity rate in Michigan compared to 9% nationally, and considerably lower than surrounding states.

As Michigan experiences unemployment rates not seen in decades, federal pandemic unemployment assistance has expired, Congress remains deadlocked over a renewal of pandemic assistance.

Until it is renewed, Michigan families will not have the $600 of pandemic assistance.

Michigan students are scheduled return to in-person instruction over the next month, increasing the risk of outbreaks.

“The health, economic, and social harms of the COVID-19 pandemic remain widespread and severe, and they continue to constitute a statewide emergency and disaster. Though local health departments have some limited capacity to respond to cases as they arise within their jurisdictions, state emergency operations are necessary to bring this pandemic under control in Michigan and to build and maintain infrastructure to stop the spread of COVID-19, trace infections, and quickly direct additional resources to hot-spots as they emerge,” Whitmer said in the release.

Copyright 2020 WILX. All rights reserved.

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