Gov. Whitmer Urged Michiganders to Be Smart amid Rising COVID-19 Cases
LANSING - With COVID-19 cases increasing in Michigan and around the country, Governor Gretchen Whitmer urged Michiganders to be smart with Thanksgiving two weeks away.
The state reported 6,940 COVID-19 cases and 45 deaths on Thursday. The test positivity rate is around 11% according to the state.
“The second wave of COVID-19 is hitting us and it’s hitting us hard,” Whitmer said. “We are in the worst part of this pandemic to date.”
She used the analogy of 10 Boeing 737’s airplanes crashing every day to tell people what the state is facing and that the state could reach its daily peak in COVID deaths by Christmas.
Whitmer said that hospitals are nearing capacity and that nurses are burning through personal protection equipment because of the increase in COVID hospitalizations.
Whitmer made clear that despite the Michigan Supreme Court ruling her emergency powers unconscionable, there is still a statewide mask mandate through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
“These rules have the force of law,” Whitmer said “These are epidemic powers that were not affected by the courts decision.”
With Thanksgiving two weeks away, Whitmer acknowledged that Thanksgiving will look different this year and urged people to make a plan to celebrate Thanksgiving safely and to not travel.
“Medical experts strongly recommend that we do not host thanksgiving with people from outside of our households,” Whitmer said. “We can’t afford people to head to a family member, friend or loved one’s house for thanksgiving, contract the virus and bring it back to their communities at home.”
The Governor said she is watching the numbers closely and will take any actions she can to keep people safe.
MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said the overall case rate is 416 cases per million people with the Upper Peninsula, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo and Saginaw regions having the highest case rates. The Lansing region has a case rate in the 300 people per million range.
Khaldun also talked about getting tested before traveling and emphasized that the test may not give you a full picture.
“A test only tells you about your virus level on the day that you had your sample taken,” Khaldun said. “No test is perfect and it can take up to 14 days after being exposed to the virus to come down with symptoms or for a test to be positive.”
Khaldun acknowledged that people are tired of COVID-19 but now is not the time to double down.