By Bria Brown

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday extended Michigan’s coronavirus emergency through Sept. 4, enabling her to keep in place restrictions designed to curb the spread of COVID-19.

The governor pointed to an uptick in cases and noted that many students will return to in-person instruction over the next month. Since nearly two months ago, the seven-day statewide average is up six-fold, to about 700 cases per day, according to an Associated Press analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University. The rate of tests coming back positive also has trended higher since early June.

“I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to protect Michiganders from the spread of this virus,” Whitmer said in a statement.

The Democratic governor has used the emergency declaration to issue orders to close certain businesses, limit gathering sizes, and require masks in enclosed public spaces and crowded outdoor places.

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