LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said that as the state surpassed 500,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Monday, the pandemic didn't end with the new year.
But the governor also said there's "hope on the horizon" with coronavirus vaccines being approved for emergency use and vaccinations beginning.
Until those vaccines become widely available, however, Whitmer says Michiganders must continue to follow precautions like wearing masks and social distancing.
"There is still more work to do to beat this virus, but I know that Michiganders are up to the challenge," Whitmer said. "Let’s harness our Michigan grit and eliminate this virus once and for all.”
Read Whitmer's full statement:
“Since the first cases of COVID-19 were recorded in Michigan, the vast majority of Michiganders have done their part to protect themselves, their families, and our frontline workers and small business owners. Now, there is hope on the horizon. My administration, led by Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, has been working with local health officials and health care providers to begin distributing the safe and effective vaccine, starting with our most vulnerable populations like health care workers and skilled nursing home residents and staff. We must remember that it will take some time for the vaccine to be widely available to all Michiganders, and until then, we must continue to do our part to keep ourselves and our fellow Michiganders safe. That means masking up, practicing safe social distancing, and avoiding indoor gatherings where the virus can easily spread from person to person.
“I was proud to work with the Legislature to pass and sign a bipartisan $106 Million Relief Plan for Michigan workers, small businesses, and more. I proposed this stimulus plan to the legislature in November because I know how much our families, frontline workers, and small businesses need relief as we head into the winter. This bipartisan relief bill will provide families and businesses the support they need to stay afloat as we continue working to distribute the safe and effective vaccine and eradicate COVID-19 once and for all.
“We still need our leaders in Washington to pass a relief bill that includes federal funding for states to fund crucial services like police and fire, emergency responders, Medicaid, higher education, and more. These services could face cuts without help from the federal government. I will continue holding our leaders in Washington accountable.
“COVID-19 didn’t end with the new year. There is still more work to do to beat this virus, but I know that Michiganders are up to the challenge. Let’s harness our Michigan grit and eliminate this virus once and for all.”