Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Sunday evening measures to try and slow the growing spread of COVID in the state.
In a press conference held Sunday evening, Whitmer and state health officials announced a "Three-Week Pause" aimed at mitigating the spread of the virus.
During these three weeks, which are between Nov. 18 and Dec. 8, the state will mandate that these operations be closed:
- in-person learning at high schools, colleges and universities
- theaters, stadiums and arenas
- All who are able to work from home will be required to do just that
- dine-in restaurants and bars
- organized sports, except professional sports
- bowling centers, ice skating, indoor water parks
- bingo halls, casinos, arcades
- group fitness classes
Related: Related: MHSAA suspends fall sports tournaments, winter sports amid 3-week pause
There will be several areas that will remain open, according to the state. Those include:
- Hair salons, barber shops & other personal services
- Gyms and pools for individual exercise
- Retail stores
- Indoor gatherings limited to two households & 10 people
- Small outdoor gatherings limited to 25 people
- Preschool through 8th grade
- Public transit
- Manufacturing, construction, other work impossible to do remotely.
“In the spring, we listened to public health experts, stomped the curve, and saved thousands of lives together. Now, we must channel that same energy and join forces again to protect our families, frontline workers and small businesses,” Whitmer said in a release. “Right now, there are thousands of cases a day and hundreds of deaths a week in Michigan, and the number is growing. If we don’t act now, thousands more will die, and our hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed. We can get through this together by listening to health experts once again and taking action right now to slow the spread of this deadly virus."
“Indoor gatherings are the greatest source of spread, and sharply limiting them is our focus,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “The order is targeted and temporary, but a terrible loss of life will be forever unless we act. By coming together today, we can save thousands of lives.”
Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey released this statement in response to the announcement.
“The health and safety of our communities is our top priority. The Senate Republicans have been engaged in thoughtful conversations with our doctors, hospitals, and the Whitmer administration on ways to combat the spread of this insidious virus and help support our healthcare workers. While were meeting in good faith, Gov. Whitmer was working on her own strategy that did not include input from the Senate Republicans and we see the result of her plans in this latest round of restrictions.”
“The Senate Republicans still have faith in our fellow citizens and encourage them to protect themselves and others by adhering to the practices we know can help combat the spread of this insidious virus: washing hands, maintaining distance, and wearing a mask when it’s appropriate.
“We are disappointed that Gov. Whitmer chose to go it alone, again. The Senate Republicans will continue working with our doctors and the medical community on ways we can combat this virus and are ready to work with the Governor when she decides to work as a team to fight this virus."
The state has seen an upward trend in cases, with record single-day numbers. On Saturday, the state reported 7,072 new positive virus cases and 65 more deaths. On Friday, the state reached its highest single-day record to date with 8,516 new coronavirus cases reported.
In the last five days, between Nov. 9 and 13, there were 35,009 cases of COVID-19 and the daily record was broken three times.
Also, more than 1/4 – about 27% – of the total cases since the pandemic began have come since the beginning of November.
In one month, from Oct. 13 to Nov. 13, hospitalizations in Michigan increased 232%. There were 999 total hospitalizations on Oct.13 and 3,320 hospitalizations on Nov. 13.