LANSING - In her latest press briefing, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued voluntary COVID-19 restrictions as cases and the positivity rate rise but did not order any new restrictions.
According to the state's Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s case rate is 515 cases per million people per day which is four times higher than the middle of February. The percentage of COVID-19 tests coming back positive is 18% which is also four times higher than February. Hospitalizations have also increased with 15.2% of hospital beds in Michigan occupied with COVID patients.
These are some of the highest COVID-19 numbers in the country.
Whitmer urged high schools to return to remote leaning for the next two week after spring break so that cases can fall. She also urged youth sports to voluntarily suspend games and practices for two weeks as well as getting carry-out, eating outdoor and wearing masks even during small gatherings.
Whitmer attributes the rise in COVID cases to the lack of compliance with health measures as well as variants popping up around the state. She said there are more tools to combat the virus including vaccines which could mean less restrictions but acknowledged that nothing is off the table.
“Policy change alone won’t change the tide,” Whitmer said. “We need everyone to step up and take personal responsibility here.”
Whitmer also addressed the progress of the vaccine rollout. The state has received about 5.7 million vaccine doses and it is expected that the state will hit more than 5 million shots in arms by the end of Friday.
More than 3 million Michiganders have received at least one dose of the vaccine.