After every region in Michigan saw an uptick in new COVID-19 cases over the past three weeks, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a new executive order Tuesday extending the governor’s emergency and disaster declaration until 11;59 p.m., Aug. 11.
“COVID-19 has now killed more than 6,000 people in Michigan,” Whitmer said. “That’s more than 6,000 of our parents, grandparents, friends and neighbors. And the rising numbers we’ve seen over the past few weeks prove that this virus is still a very real threat in our state.”
“Today, I signed new emergency and disaster declarations using independent sources of statutory authority to continue saving lives and ensure that the brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis have the tools they need,” she added.
Whitmer acknowledged the “vast majority” of Michiganders have “done their part,” but urged residents to “remain vigilant.”
“That means wearing a mask over your mouth and nose and practicing safe physical distancing when going out in public,” she said. “If we all do our part now, there is a greater chance that schools can resume in-person learning in the fall. Be smart, be safe, and mask up.”
Daily COVID-19 case counts now exceed 20 cases per million in the Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, and Kalamazoo regions. Positivity rates are creeping upward. The increase in cases reflects a national trend: COVID-19 cases are growing in 39 states and in some are surging uncontrollably. Two days ago, for example, Florida recorded 15,300 new cases in a single day, the highest one-day total for any state so far during the pandemic.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said the virus “still poses a threat” to families in Michigan.
“Michiganders should all continue to do their part by wearing a mask and practicing safe physical distancing,” Khaldun said. “We will get through this when we work together.”
The severe economic toll of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to mount. During this crisis, Michigan has often processed more unemployment claims in a single day than in the most painful week of the Great Recession, and the state already saw its highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression.
The Michigan Department of Treasury predicts that this year the state will lose between $1 and $3 billion in revenue. At the same time, continued federal support is by no means assured. Unless it is renewed, for example, Congress’s emergency infusion of money into the unemployment system will cease at the end of this month. Without that money, many families in Michigan will struggle to pay their bills or even put food on the table.