Governor Whitmer Signs New Executive Orders for Lower Michigan
LANSING - On July 1st, Governor Whitmer strongly recommended that Michiganders keep fighting against COVID-19 as new cases surface, especially in regions one through five. Whitmer signed an executive order on Wednesday closing indoor service at bars throughout most of lower Michigan to keep the increase of COVID-19 cases at bay.
This executive order applies to on-premises retailer liquor licenses that earn more than 70% of their gross receipts from alcohol sales. Most brewpubs, distilleries, and vineyards are exempt from this ruling. All nightclubs, strip clubs and traditional bars will also have to temporarily shut down indoor service.
Daily case counts now exceed twenty cases per million in the Grand Rapids, Lansing and Kalamazoo regions. Nearly 25% of diagnoses in June were of people ages twenty to twenty-nine, up from roughly 16% in May.
Michigan is not exempt from the bar outbreaks that are an issue nationwide. Within the span of a two-week period there has been over one-hundred cases linked to a bar in East Lansing. Because of multiple locations such as these, the highest number of cases are now being seen in people under fifty.
To date, there have been sixty-four thousand confirmed cases, three hundred deaths and the state is averaging four deaths per day. Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said in a media briefing on June 30th that the rise in cases is now affecting millennials.
“Everyone, including young people, need to understand that they are not immune to this disease. Not only can they spread it to those who are older, who may have underlying medical conditions or are likely to get very ill from the disease,” Khaldun said. “But young people themselves can still get very sick from COVID-19 and they can even die from COVID-19.”
Michigan was hoping to move to phase five by July 4th, but the governor made the comment that “That’s not going to happen, let’s take that off the table right now”. The progress Michigan made thus far has not only plateaued but is starting to regress.
“I urge all Michiganders to double down on mitigation tactics like wearing masks, practicing physical distancing, and washing hands, so we can get our trajectory headed in the right direction again,” said Whitmer.
Whitmer also signed Senate Bill 942 and House Bills 5781 and 5811 into action, which allow some bars to sell cocktails to-go and expand social districts to allow for more outdoor seating for social distancing.
“If we open up our economy too quickly, the efforts of the last three months will be for nothing and we will have to go through this pain all over again and put our economy, health and medical system at risk. Nobody wants to move backward. Everyone, please do your part, and let’s show the nation and the world how smart we are.”
The governor implores citizens not to let their guard down while continuing her six-phase plan to protect people from this pandemic.