LANSING, Mich. (CBS DETROIT) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference Wednesday afternoon providing updates on the state’s response to COVID-19.
Whitmer said Michiganders should start taking action now with the November election in 48 days. She said Michganders should act swiftly and if those who have not requested their ballots, they should request it here. Ballots will begin being mailed on Sept. 24.
“This year, Michigan has emerged as a leader in facilitating safe elections during a pandemic,” she said.
- On Tuesday, the Senate passed Senate Bill 757 which allows clerks to begin processing absentee voter ballots prior to election day.
- We are not out the woods yet when it comes to fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. She reminded Michiganders to be smart, mask up and stay safe.
Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.
Khaldun says Michigan’s overall case rate is at 57 cases per million people per day. The state’s positivity rate is at 3.7 percent (of tests coming back positive).
- Detroit and Saginaw Regions: have more than 40 cases per million people per day.
- Khaldun said while the cases in these areas are declining, test positivity is increasing.
- Traverse City Region: 31 cases per million people per day.
- Test positivity is below 3 percent.
- In this region, both indicators are declining.
- Kalamazoo and Jackson Regions: over 40 cases per million people per day.
- Grand Rapids, Lansing and UP Regions: increased to more than 70 cases per million people per day.
- These increases are in large part because of outbreaks associated with universities and colleges.
“Our deaths remain steady averaging under 10 deaths per day,” said Khaldun. “We’re glad this number is not as high as it was back in March and April, but our hearts are still with those who are still losing loved ones to this disease. We also know people are surviving after being infected with Covid-19. There are over 85,500 people in Michigan who have survived and are alive at least 30 days after their symptoms, that’s a good sign but I want to be very clear, death is not the only outcome that matters. Many people who survive Covid-19 do not immediately get back to their normal state of health.”
Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson called on Michigan citizens and the state legislature to take action now ahead of the Nov. 3 general election.
“Already we’ve had three successful elections this year which saw record turnout, record numbers of citizens voting by mail, and little to no crowding on Election Day. We are on track to replicate this success in November,” said Benson. “Our clerks are doing their part, working tirelessly as they have all year to juggle unprecedented challenges while embracing record turnout. But they and voters need support from the federal government and our state legislature.”
Benson noted that while other states provide days for pre-processing of absentee ballots, Senate Bill 757, passed yesterday by the Michigan Senate would allow only a few more hours, and only limited pre-processing, which is not enough to make a significant difference. Benson also pointed out that thousands of voters were disenfranchised in the August primary because their ballots arrived late or without a signature matching the one on their voter registration. The legislature has not advanced the bills that have been introduced to prevent such disenfranchisement in November.
Sept. 2 Press Conference Updates
Here’s Whitmer’s Sept. 2 updates:
- Whitmer said she had two announcements that will help the state slow the spread of Covid-19 and provide some much needed support to small business owners.
- MDHHS is partnering with community organizations to launch 12 neighborhood testing sites by the end of the week and more than 20 across the state in the coming weeks.
- Huntington Bank is making a $5 billion investment to boost Michigan’s economy
- This plan is part of a $20 billion corporate initiative.
- “In this critical time when businesses are confronting the extreme challenge of a public health crisis, recession and issues related to social equity, Huntington’s purpose of looking out for people calls us to do more for Michigan’s small businesses, consumers and communities,” said Sandy Pierce, Huntington’s director of Private Banking, Insurance Agency, Vehicle Finance and Regional Banking.
- Tuesday, General Motors announced they would donate two million face masks to Michigan Public Schools as part of the MI Mask Aid Partnership.
- Whitmer said these initiatives will help the state continue fighting the pandemic and protect small business owners.
- Whitmer met with White House coronavirus task force coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx in Lansing Wednesday to discuss Michigan’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Whitmer expressed the need for clear, consistent guidance from the federal government including a national mask mandate that could save thousands of American lives.
- She also expressed the need for full federal funding for the Michigan National Guard to support Michigan’s testing operations in vulnerable settings like nursing homes and prisons.
- She added the announcement she plans to make in the coming days will protect athletes, coaches, families and small business owners.
- “I will have more to say on this topic very soon, so stay tuned, keep your eye on the ball and keep working to beat this virus together,” she said.
Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced 524 coronavirus cases in the state and an additional 14 deaths Wednesday.
Khaldun said this brings the state’s total of COVID-19 cases to 103,710 and 6,509 deaths.
The rate of new cases continues to vary by region. Here’s the data update as of Sept. 2:
Michigan’s overall case rate is at 59 cases per million people per day and has declined in the past week. The state’s positivity rate is at 3.1 percent (of tests coming back positive). This number has decreased over the past week, Khaldun said.
- Detroit Region: has the highest case rate at 66 cases per million people per day.
- Khaldun said this trend is declining.
- Traverse City and UP Regions: over 40 cases per million people per day.
- Both regions are being watched very closely.
- Traverse City has had an increase over the past three weeks.
- Both regions continue to have higher cases than there were a few months ago.
- Grand Rapids Region: 59 cases per million people per day.
- This region has seen a recent increase in case rate as well as the percentages of positive cases.
- Saginaw and Kalamazoo Regions: about 56 and 50 cases per million people per day.
- The Saginaw Region has seen a decreasing trend.
- Kalamazoo’s case rate has increased.
- Jackson and Lansing Regions: under 40 cases per million people per day.
- Last week the health department identified 93 new outbreaks.
- Khaldun said the state is working with local health departments to gather names of specific schools that have outbreaks associated with them, receiving accurate data. This information is expected to be posted within the next two weeks.
Aug. 25 Press Conference Updates
Here’s Whitmer’s Aug. 25 updates:
- Ikea donated $1.2 million to Michigan’s Covid-19 response and recovery initative. Whitmer said it’s the largest donation to date.
- Flu season is around the corner. Whitmer said preventing the flu will help save lives and preserve health care resources needed to fight Covid-19.
- Michigan has set a goal of achieving a 33 percent increase in flu vaccinations this season.
- Whitmer says there are still crucial precautions everyone must take to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the flu. She added until there is a coronavirus vaccine, everyone must do everything in their power to protect each other.
“It’s more important than ever for Michiganders everywhere to get your flu vaccine. Preventing the flu will help us save lives and preserve the health care resources we need to continue fighting COVID-19,” said Whitmer.
In Michigan, 3.2 million people got the flu vaccine last year. At the end of Tuesday’s press conference, Whitmer received her Flu vaccination. For a list of flu vaccination clinics near you, visit www.flu.gov.
Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.
The rate of new cases continues to vary by region. Here’s the data update as of Aug. 21:
- Detroit Region: has the highest case rate at 69 cases per million people per day.
- Khaldun said this trend has been decreasing over the past week.
- UP and Saginaw Regions: about 57 cases per million people per day.
- The UP has seen a decrease in case rate over the past week.
- The Saginaw Region has seen an increase.
- Kalamazoo Region: 53 cases per million people per day.
- This region has seen a decrease over the past two weeks.
- Grand Rapids Region: 40 cases per million people per day.
- This region has seen a decrease over the past two weeks.
- Traverse City Region: about 32 cases per million people per day.
- This region has seen an increase over the past two weeks.
- Jackson and Lansing Areas: around 25 cases per million people per day.
- This region has seen decreases over the past one-to-two weeks.
Khaldun says overall the percent of positive coronavirus tests are at a 3.3 percent an is holding steady.
“Ideally we would want that number to come down even lower, below three percent” she said.
The state is aggressively tracing coronavirus outbreaks which according to Khaldun are happening in every region of the state.
Last week, local heath departments identified 70 outbreaks they were investigating. Now, information about these outbreaks will be posted weekly here.
Khaldun said with flu season just around the corner and the continuation of the coronavirus, it is very concerning.
“People with symptoms of the flu will need to stay out of school and work or they can get very sick and need to be admitted to the hospital and even, God forbid, they could lose their life. This is not a joke,” she said.
Aug. 5 Press Conference Updates
It’s been nearly five months since the first cases of COVID-19 hit Michigan. Here’s Whitmer’s Aug. 5 updates:
- The governor says it’s time for President Donald Trump and congress to work together to pass a recovery package to support state governments, families, frontline workers and small business owners.
- Whitmer took action to elevate Black voices in state government signing an executive order which creates the Black Leadership Advisory Council.
- To apply to the Black Leadership Advisory Council visit Michigan.gov/appointments and click “Black Leaders Advisory Council” from the drop menu of the application. Applications are due by Wednesday, August 19 by 5 p.m.
“These past several months have been difficult for all of us, but they have been especially tough for Black and Brown people who for generations have battled the harms caused by a system steeped in persistent inequalities. These are the same inequities that have motivated so many Americans of every background to confront the legacy of systemic racism that has been a stain on our state and nation from the beginning,” saidLt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist II. “That is why, today, we take the much-needed and long-overdue step of recognizing racism as a public health crisis. It is only after we have fully defined the injustice that we can begin to take steps to replace it with a greater system of justice that enables all Michiganders to pursue their fullest dreams and potential.”
- The governor also signed an executive directive declaring racism as a public health crisis in Michigan.
- Under this order, the governor asked MDHHS to make health equity a major goal, as well as required implicit bias training for all state employees, including the governor’s executive office staff.
- Whitmer says there is a lot of work to do to eradicate the systemic racism that Black Americans have faced for generations.
- Overall Khaldun says Michigan is seeing a plateau in cases after seeing an uptick in June and July. Khaldun says the disease spread looks different by region.
The rate of new cases continues to vary by region:
- Detroit, Grand Rapids and Kalamazoo Regions: just over 40 cases per million people per day.
- There has been a steady decrease in the past two to three weeks.
- Jackson and UP Regions: about 35 cases per million people per day.
- These regions have seen a decrease in cases in the past one to two weeks.
- Saginaw Region: just under 30 cases per million people per day.
- This region has seen a decrease in the past week.
- Lansing Region: just under 30 cases per million people per day.
- There has been a two week increase in the rate of cases.
- Traverse City Region: the only region in the state that has under 10 cases per million people per day.
- This region continues to see a decrease over the past three weeks.
On Tuesday, Michigan reported 664 new Covid-19 Cases and eight deaths. This brings the state total of COVID-19 cases to 84,050 and 6,220 deaths as of Aug. 4 at 2:45 p.m.
Coronavirus Testing: Michigan conducts about 28,000 tests per day which is about 2 percent of the state’s population per week, Khaldun says.
The percent of positive tests is also trending down. Khaldun says positive tests in the state are now at 3.4 percent, which is down from 3.7 percent the previous week.
Hospitalizations and deaths continue to remain steady and low, particularly the deaths Khaldun said.
“These are all good signs, and we will continue to monitor these metrics. But as we all know, even if a trend is stabilizing it only takes a few people to create an outbreak and have the disease spread rapidly. These plateauing trends are not reasons to let our guard down,” she said.
The top category for outbreaks are:
- skilled nursing facilities and other long term care facilities
- social gatherings and schools
- childcare centers
- day camps
“Please know even though our recent numbers of deaths are low, we’re still learning everyday about new research on the longterm health impacts of Covid-19,” said Khaldun.
July 28 Press Conference Updates
Here’s Whitmer’s update:
- She said Michigan’s case numbers have continued to increase since June.
- The vast majority of Michiganders have been doing their part to fight this virus. As a state, Whitmer says tremendous work has been done.
- The governor is urging President Donald Trump to issue a federal mask mandate like Michigan’s.
- Whitmer says there needs to be a strong recovery plan from the federal government to help Michigan’s small business owners, first responders and state governments recover.
- The governor says at a time when the country needs strong federal leadership, the Trump Administration and Mitch McConnell have once again fallen short.
- Michiganders are doing their part, Whitmer said. The state is showing the rest of the county what it looks like to work together against the crisis, she added.
- The governor said she will continue to do her part by calling on the federal government to help Michigan and states across the county.
Cases have been increasing overall across the state which Khaldun says is concerning.
Overall for the past two weeks, Khaldun says there has been a plateau in the number of daily new cases.
“We continue to see low levels of deaths and hospitalization rates remain steady. These are both very good signs,” said Khaldun.
The rate of new cases continues to vary by region:
- Detroit, Grand Rapids and Saginaw Region: a little over 40 new cases per million people per day.
- There is good news: the Grand Rapids region has seen a two week steady decline in the rate of new cases and on July 28, Grand Rapids will be moved out of the high risk category.
- Kalamazoo and Lansing Regions: over 30 cases per million people per day.
- These regions have seen a recent decrease in cases as well.
- Jackson Region: just under 30 cases per million people per day.
- This region has seen a continued slow increase in the case rate for the past six weeks.
- The UP and Traverse City Areas: under over 20 cases per million people per day.
Each region of the state is now meeting the goal for testing in their region which is a good sign Khaldun said.
“Over the past week we’ve tested an average of 27,000 people per day. That’s 5,000 more people than the previous week. However, we continue to see the percent of tests done, that are positive, slowly creeping up. Last week, that was about 3.7 percent up from 3.6 percent the previous week,” she said.
Three percent is the cut off that many experts say you want to be under to know you’re not having community spread of the disease.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced 669 coronavirus cases in the state and an additional 16 deaths Tuesday.
This brings the state total of COVID-19 cases to 79,176 and 6,170 deaths as of July 28.
Khaldun also explained an outbreak is defined:
- Every time there is a positive case, an initial case investigation is conducted.
- It’s then identified where the person has been, who they’ve been in close contact with and those close contacts are called.
“If we find that there is a close contact that’s associated with that initial index case, then that’s how we define and outbreak. Outbreaks can be different sizes but once you have an index case and it spreads to other people that’s how we define an outbreak,” she said.
- It’s unknown sometimes how the disease gets into nursing homes, but the contact tracing is conducted, it is also identified if staff may have contracted the disease. There is still visitation limitations with nursing homes.
“We continue to emphasize PPE for them, testing of residents and staff and the best sanitation protocols that they can implement,” said Khaldun.
July 15 Press Conference Updates
The governor opened with a video from the University of Michigan and Michigan State University men’s and women’s basketball coaches calling on Michiganders to wear a mask while they’re out in public.
“It doesn’t matter who you root for or who you vote for, I am encouraging everyone to wear a mask,” said MSU Men’s Basketball Head Coach Tom Izzo. “It’s simple, but we all have to commit to it to make it work. This is a decision about the health of each person and the health of our greater community. Wearing a mask will protect you and can help save lives.”
“We are all in this fight together, and one of the best ways to reduce the spread of COVID-19 is to wear a mask,” said MSU Head Women’s Basketball Coach Suzy Merchant. “We all want to get back on the court, return to school and to get back to cheering on our favorite teams, so we all have to do our part. As a parent and a coach, I firmly believe that there is nothing more important than making sure that we keep our kids safe and healthy. We all have to make sure we mask up, Michigan!”
“As a parent and a coach, there is nothing more important to me than the health and safety of our children and community,” said University of Michigan Head Women’s Basketball Coach Kim Barnes Arico. “Whether you live in Ann Arbor, East Lansing or Northern Michigan, we are all on the same team in this fight. Together, we can mask up for Michigan and make a difference.”
“As Michiganders, we will do anything to support our team. But right now, we need to come together as one to ensure that we ‘Mask Up, Michigan,’” said Lt. Governor Gilchrist II. “If we all take appropriate and responsible actions now, we can slow the spread of this virus, save lives, and be in a better position to get back to the rivalries that we know and love.”
Here are Whitmer’s July 15 updates:
On Friday, Whitmer signed an executive order requiring mask use in all indoor public public spaces.
- The executive order also requires the use of face coverings in crowded outdoor spaces.
- Most significantly, the order requires any business that is open to the public to refuse entry or service to people who refuse to wear a face covering, with limited exceptions.
- Whitmer said wearing a mask can significantly help our economy.
Michigan Small Business Restart Program
- Whitmer said while businesses are reopening the impacts of COVID-19 are still creating difficult situations for small businesses to overcome.
- The governor signed into law the Bipartisan Supplemental Budget that directed $100M of Federal CARES Act funding to the Michigan Strategic Fund to implement the Michigan Small Business Restart Program.
- The grants are up to $20,000 each and will support Michigan’s small businesses and nonprofits that are reopening but have experienced a loss of income as a result of COVID-19
- Whitmer said as of Wednesday morning, small businesses and nonprofits can submit their application for restart grants to michiganbusiness.org/restart.
- There will be a three week application window
- 30 percent of grants awarded will go toward minority owned, women owned or veteran owned businesses.
- On Wednesday, applications for the Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant Program went live.
- In response to the economic impact of the COVID-19, the State of Michigan has allocated $15 million of CARES Act funding to implement the Michigan Agricultural Safety Grant Program to support the needs of Michigan’s agricultural processors and farms.
- On July 1, 2020 Governor Whitmer signed Senate Bill 690 allocating $10 million in grant funding for eligible agricultural processors and $5 million in grant funding for eligible farms. The Agricultural Safety Grant Program supports the implementation of COVID-19 monitoring and mitigation strategies to protect agricultural employees and the state’s overall food production industry.
- Applications can be submitted at michiganbusiness.org/agsafety
Most districts in the state are planning to return to in-person learning on Sept. 8. Michigan is currently in Phase 4 of Gov. Whitmer’s 6 Phase Plan to reopen the state. The governor said Wednesday if the uptick in coronavirus cases continue some regions may have to move back to Phase 3. That means there will not be in-person instruction for students and remote education will be utilized.
“If the numbers keep going where they’re going, it’s going to be very problematic. We may very likely have to take some steps backwards,” said Whitmer.
As of Wednesday, July 15 Michigan reported 71,197 cases and 6,085 deaths. That’s 891 new cases, which is the highest number of new cases reported since May 14. The state also reported an additional four deaths.
Cases have been increasing overall across the state which Khaldun says is concerning.
- Grand Rapids Region: has the highest rate of cases at 53 new cases per million people per day.
- Detroit and Kalamazoo Regions: over 30 cases per million people per day.
- Saginaw, Jackson, Lansing, UP Regions: over 20 cases per million people per day.
- The UP: cases have been rising for six weeks. This is the highest rate the UP has had during the entire outbreak.
- Traverse City: over 15 cases per million people per day with cases steadily rising over the past three weeks.
Overall Khaldun says the state has significantly increased testing numbers to over 21,000 tests per day over the past week. This continues to steadily increase.
“What is concerning, however, is that as we increase our testing the percent of those tests that are coming back positive is also increasing. That number is now up to 3.4 percent. That is up from 2.8 percent the previous week. Three percent is the cut off that national experts say you really want to be under,” she said.
Khaldun says this is an indicator that there is an ongoing spread of the disease in multiple settings. This includes bars, churches, offices, gyms and long-term care facilities. She said the multiple settings of coronavirus being spread also includes weddings, family dinners and parties.
There have been many cases where Khaldun says the source of the spread is unknown.
“This is really important, this means it is spreading in the community,” she said.
The age distribution for cases has also changed, according to Khaldun.
The group with the highest rate of new cases is now individuals ages 20-29 followed by individuals ages 30-39.
“This is really an important point, young people have to understand that they are not immune to this disease. Young people can get very sick from this disease, they can be hospitalized and they can even die,” she said.
July 7 Press Conference Updates
The governor said July 9 over the past week, there has been an uptick in COVID-19 cases in Michigan.
Whitmer said as lives continue to be saved and the state works to avoid a second wave of coronavirus, she wanted to again thank those who have stepped up to manufacture and donate personal protective equipment.
Here’s the governor’s updates:
- COVID-19 has had a disproportionate impact on communities of color in Michigan and across the country.
- COVID-19 has shined a light on the staggering heath disparities Black Michiganders have faced long before COVID-19 hit Michigan.
- On Thursday, Whitmer signed an executive order requiring all health care professionals to undergo implicit bias training to obtain or renew their license.
- Michigan has an opportunity to make the state a national leader in addressing health disparities.
As of July 5, Black Michiganders represented 14% of the state population, but 40% of confirmed COVID-19 deaths in which the race of the patient was known. COVID-19 is over four times more prevalent among Black Michiganders than among white Michiganders.
The National Healthcare Disparities Report concluded that white patients received care of a higher quality than Black, Hispanic, Indigenous and Asian Americans. People of color face more barriers to accessing health care than white people and are generally less satisfied with their interactions with health care providers.
- As of Wednesday, Michigan reported 67,237 cases and 6,015 deaths. That’s 610 new cases which is the highest number of new cases reported since May. The state also reported an additional 10 deaths.
Cases have been increasing overall in the state for the past three weeks. Dr. Khaldun says some areas are seeing higher cases than others.
- Grand Rapids Region: three weeks of increasing rates of cases, now having 45 cases per million people, per day which is the highest of any region in the state.
- Detroit, Lansing, Kalamazoo Regions: over 20 cases per million people per day
- Traverse City, Jackson, UP Regions: under 20 cases per million people per day, but these regions have seen a steady increase in cases for the past two to three weeks
- The UP: had previously seen consistently low levels of cases is now seeing the highest rate of cases seen throughout the entire pandemic.
Testing is being increased across the state. Dr. Khaldun says over the past week, there’s been an average of over 18,000 tests done per day, which is 3,000 more tests conducted than the previous week.
- The percent of tests done that are coming back positive has also slowly increased from two to three percent.
June 30 Press Conference Updates
The governor led her press conference saying Michiganders cannot let their guard down and hopes they choose to celebrate the Fourth of July safely. As of June 30, Michigan is in Phase 4 of the governor’s six-phase plan which was announced on May 7 to stop the spread of COVID-19 and reopen Michigan’s economy.
Here are Gov. Whitmer’s June 30 updates:
- The Bipartisan Budget Agreement: this agreement proves that in times of crisis, we can come together and build a budget that reflects a bipartisan commitment to the things Michiganders value most.
- Michigan still needs support from the Federal Government
- Monday, June 29, Whitmer proposed several more police to reform policing in Michigan
- Tuesday morning, Whitmer signed an executive order to rename the state-owned Lewis Cass building in Downtown Lansing to the Elliott-Larsen Building honoring the legislators who sponsored Michigan’s Landmark Civil Rights Act.
- Over the last month, the Return To School Advisory Council and the COVID-19 Task Force on Education worked tirelessly to present recommendations for a safe and equitable return to in-person instruction.
- Tuesday, Whitmer signed an executive order requiring every school district to develop and adopt a plan based on various public health scenarios.
- Whitmer released MI Safe Schools Roadmap which includes guidance on PPE, hygiene and cleaning protocols, athletics and more.
- In recognition that these protocols will cost money, the Governor also announced that she was allocating $256 million to support the districts in implementing their local plans as part of the bipartisan budget agreement the Senate Majority Leader, the Speaker of the House, and the governor announced Monday.
Michigan officials report 373 new coronaviruses (COVID-19) cases and an additional 32 deaths on June 30. This brings the state’s total to 63,870 cases and 5,947 deaths. As of June 26, there have been 51,099 recovered Covid-19 cases in the state.
June 17 Press Conference Updates
Michigan is currently in Phase 4 of her MI Safe Start Plan and the governor is optimistic that schools will be able to conduct in person meetings with safety measures in the fall.
One of the number one questions Whitmer has gotten when speaking to Michiganders about Covid-19 is whether or not children will return to school in the fall.
Here’s the Governor’s updates:
- The governor said as always, public health data will inform the state’s decision about opening and closing school buildings to students.
- Schools will be able to resume face-to-face instruction in phase four, if school implement strict health and safety protocols.
- Her administration plans to release an executive order and a robust document called Michigan’s Return To School Road Map on June 30. It will provide details on what will be required and recommended for Michigan schools. The requirements will apply to all schools: traditional, charter, public, private and parochial.
Over the past week, Michigan has emerged as a national leader in Covid-19 mitigation.
“This crisis is not over. Covid-19 is still very present in Michigan and if we drop our guard, we’ll end up on the map the way those other states are so we’ve got to stay disciplined. Let’s maintain this lead for the sake of our health and our economy as well,” said Whitmer.
- Michiganders must continue to do their part by social distancing and wearing masks.
- Whitmer is hopeful to move the state into Phase 5 of her MI Safe Start Plan before July 4.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun says Michigan’s fight of Covid-19 is not over.
As of June 16, there are 60,189 total confirmed coronavirus cases in the state and 5,790 coronavirus deaths. Khaldun said as of Friday, June 12, the number of people who have recovered from coronavirus in Michigan is 44,964.
June 1 Press Conference Updates
On Monday, Whitmer lifted the stay-at-home order across the state.
Whitmer says the state is in Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan.
- Groups of 100 or less can gather outdoors so long as they can maintain strict social distancing.
- Outdoor fitness classes are permitted as long as participants can remain six feet from one another.
- Office work that isn’t capable of being performed at home can resume, though you still have to work from home if at all possible.
- Housecleaning services and other in-home services can resume.
Thursday, June 4:
- retailers that have been closed can reopen with capacity limits.
Monday, June 8:
- Restaurants can reopen for indoor and outdoor seating, so long as tables can be kept six feet from one another.
- Day camps can resume their activities, subject to further guidelines on how to can keep kids safe
Whitmer has also called on the Federal Government to ensure flexibility and financial support for states like Michigan to recover from this pandemic.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced additional positive cases of coronavirus disease bringing the state total of COVID-19 cases to 57,532 and 5,516 deaths as of June 1 at 3 p.m.
May 29 Press Conference Updates
- On Friday, May 29 Whitmer signed an executive order creating the Michigan Workforce Development Board.
- The Governor said the state must engage the economy thoughtfully and deliberately to avoid a second wave
Last year, Governor Whitmer committed Michigan to reaching 60 percent postsecondary educational attainment by 2030. The new Workforce Development Board will be an essential part of this effort as they work to ensure Michiganders can acquire the skills and credentials they need to secure and advance in jobs with family-sustaining wages, as well as give Michigan’s job providers the access they need to skilled workers so they can continue to succeed in a global economy.
The Board will consist of the Governor or her designee, the director of the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity or his designee, and the following members appointed by the Governor:
Steve Claywell, of Battle Creek, is the president of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. Mr. Claywell is appointed to represent the workforce and general labor in Michigan for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2024.
Awenate Cobbina, of Detroit, is the vice president of business affairs for Palace Sports and Entertainment and the chair of the MEDC Executive Committee. Mr. Cobbina is appointed to represent businesses and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation Board for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2024.
Robert Davies, Ph.D., of Mount Pleasant, is the president of Central Michigan University. Dr. Davies is appointed to represent a president of an institution of higher education described in or established pursuant to section 5 or 6 of article 8 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2023.
Mike Duggan, of Detroit, is the mayor of the City of Detroit. Mayor Duggan is appointed to represent a chief elected official of a city or county in this state for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2023.
Jennifer A. Geno, of Bay City, is the executive director of career and technical education for the Saginaw Intermediate School District. Ms. Geno is appointed to represent a director of a Michigan high school career and technical education program for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2024.
Lee Graham, of Holly, is the executive director of Operating Engineers 324’s Labor Management Education Committee. Mr. Graham is appointed to represent an apprenticeship coordinator of a joint labor-management apprenticeship program for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2022.
Peter T. Hungerford, of Grand Rapids, is the chief operating officer of ADAC Automotive. Mr. Hungerford is appointed to represent manufacturing business enterprises for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2021.
Russ Kavalhuna, of Dearborn, is the president of Henry Ford College. Mr. Kavalhuna is appointed to represent a president of a community college district organized under the Community College Act of 1966, for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2024.
Leigh A. Kegerreis, of Monroe, is an administrative assistant to the president of the UAW. Ms. Kegerreis is appointed to represent the workforce and general labor in Michigan for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2023.
Birgit M. Klohs, of Grand Rapids, is president and CEO of The Right Place, Inc. Ms. Klohs is appointed to represent businesses for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2022.
Rachel E. Lutz, of Detroit, is the owner of the Peacock Room Boutique, Yama, and Frida clothing stores. Ms. Lutz is appointed to represent small business owners for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2023.
Dave Meador, of Bloomfield Hills, is vice chairman and chief administrative officer of DTE Energy. Mr. Meador is appointed to represent business enterprises employing veterans, returning citizens, or persons with disabilities, for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2022.
Cindy Pasky, of Detroit, is the president and CEO of Strategic Staffing Solutions. Ms. Pasky is appointed to represent female-owned business enterprises for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2023. The Governor has designated Ms. Pasky to serve as Chairperson of the Board.
Patti Poppe, of Grass Lake, is the president and CEO of CMS Energy and Consumers Energy. Mrs. Poppe is appointed to represent businesses for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2022.
Tony Retaskie, of Marquette, is the executive director of the Upper Peninsula Construction Council. Mr. Retaskie is appointed to represent the workforce and general labor in Michigan for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2024.
Jessica L. Robinson, of Detroit, is the co-founder of the Detroit Mobility Lab and Michigan Mobility Institute and the co-founder and partner of Assembly Ventures. Ms. Robinson is appointed to represent mobility business enterprises for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2022.
Ari Weinzweig, of Ann Arbor, is the co-founder and CEO of Zingerman’s Community of Businesses. Mr. Weinzweig is appointed to represent businesses for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2021.
Matthew J. Wesaw, of Lansing, is the tribal council chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and the chairman and CEO of the Pokagon Gaming Authority Board. Mr. Wesaw is appointed to represent businesses for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2021.
George Wilkinson, of Grand Blanc, is the president of NorthGate and a pastor at Word of Life Christian Church. Pastor Wilkinson is appointed to represent minority-owned business enterprises for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2021.
Martha Zehnder Kaczynski, of Frankenmuth, is the vice president of the Frankenmuth Bavarian Inn Corp., Bavarian Inn Lodge, and the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus. Mrs. Kaczynski appointed to represent businesses for a term commencing May 29, 2020 and expiring May 29, 2021.
- Whitmer says as the state has begun to phase in sectors of the economy and her number one priority has been doing so in a way that protects workers, customers and their families.
- Work share gives flexibility to employers and allows workers to keep their jobs and collect unemployment insurance.
- On Wednesday, the MEDC announced that the Pure Michigan Business Connect Program has developed a portal to support the PPE needs of Michigan businesses as they start the process of re-opening.
- As of Friday, more than 900 Michigan companies with procurement needs registered through the portal, along with nearly 1,800 suppliers.
- To reopen sectors of the state’s economy the right way Whitmer said everyone must work together. Whitmer also says she will keep putting the workers’ health and safety first.
May 28 Press Conference Updates
Whitmer says Michigan’s coronavirus cases are declining and the state has ramped up testing and secured PPE to last several weeks for hospitals. The governor is also counting on support from the federal government saying she hopes President Donald Trump and U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell step up and help the state with its budget.
Over the last 10 weeks here’s how the state has taken actions to protect Michiganders:
- Hospitals: $25M
- Direct Care Workers: $22.1M
- Nursing Homes: $3.4M
- Federally Qualified Health Centers: $5M
- Community Mental Health Grants: $5M
- PPE (Hospital Gowns, Ventilators, Sanitizer, N95 Masks, Hospital Beds): $251M
- Support for working families
- Child care: $181M
- Unemployment $8.5B paid to Michigan workers
- Work share
- Small Business Grants
- $1M to small businesses that retooled
- $10M to small businesses relief grants
- $3.3M to bars and restaurants
Whitmer says state re-engaged sectors of the economy such as construction, manufacturing retail and more.
Whitmer and senior members of her staff took pay cuts as the state tightened its budget during the coronavirus outbreak:
- Whitmer pay cut: 10 percent
- Executive team pay cut: 5 percent
- Cabinet pay cut: 5 percent
- Two rounds of state employee layoffs: $80M gross savings
Michigan budget priorities:
- Prioritize funding for school classrooms and literacy
- Protect police, fire and local communities
- Worker protections:
- Hazard pay for first responders
- Extend unemployment benefits
- COVID-19 office of worker safety
- Fund vaccine research at Michigan research universities
- Rebuilding Michigan bonding program to start fixing state roads right now and keep drivers safe
- Paid sick and family leave
Policy Priorities To Help Michigan Families:
- Access to health care
- High quality childcare
- Worker retraining: future for frontliners
- Return to school plan
- Supporting small businesses
- Enhanced consumer protections
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced additional positive cases of coronavirus disease bringing the state total of COVID-19 cases to 56,014 and 5,372 deaths as of May 28 at 3 p.m. The deaths announced on May 28 includes 17 deaths identified during a Vital Records review.
May 26 Press Conference Updates
On Tuesday, Whitmer signed an executive order expanding the types of medical personnel that can order a coronavirus test.
Michiganders eligible for testing include someone who:
- Exhibits any symptom of COVID-19, including mild symptoms
- Has been exposed to a person with COVID-19
- Has been working outside their home for at least 10 days
- Resides in any congregate setting, such as a long-term care facility, prison or jail, homeless shelter, or migrant camp
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced additional positive cases of coronavirus disease bringing the state total of COVID-19 cases to 55,104 and 5,266 deaths as of Tuesday at 3 p.m. EST.
The governor also announced a new, online dashboard that visually illustrates COVID-19 risks and trends in Michigan, providing residents with important information about the pandemic status where they live and work. Michiganders can find the dashboard at MIstartmap.info.
The governor was joined by MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Dr. Emily Martin, Associate Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Michigan School of Public Health, and Beverly Allen, Chief Executive Officer of Aetna Better Health of Michigan, a subsidiary of CVS Health.
May 21 Press Conference Updates
On Thursday, Whitmer signed a number of executive orders that will phase more sectors of Michigan’s economy.
Thursday’s updates include:
- Lifting the requirement that health care providers delay some nonessential medical, dental and veterinary procedures. This goes into effect statewide on Friday, May 29.
- Statewide reopening of auto showrooms by appointment only. This goes into effect. This goes into effect Tuesday, May 26.
- Allowing statewide retail, by appointment only. Stores are limited to 10 customers at any one time. This goes into effect Tuesday, May 26.
- Allowing statewide gathering of 10 people or less immediately, as long as people are practicing social distancing. This goes into effect immediately.
Businesses that reopen MUST adhere to strict safety measures to protect employees, customers, clients and patients.
May 18 Press Conference Updates
Whitmer signed an executive order to further protect Michigan workers as the state begins to re-engage sectors of the economy.
- This executive order requires all businesses to adhere to strict safety guidelines to protect their workers, their patrons, and their communities from infection. To foster compliance, the governor also signed an executive directive to appoint a Director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety within the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity.
- Under the executive order 2020-91, businesses that resume in-person work must, among other things, develop a COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and make it available to employees and customers by June 1.
- Businesses must also provide COVID-19 training to workers that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions.
Whitmer also announced the reopening in two regions of retail business, office work that cannot be done remotely, and restaurants and bars with limited seating. The two regions are both in the northern part of the state—specifically, MERC regions 6 and 8, as detailed in the governor’s MI Safe Start Plan to re-engage Michigan’s economy.
- The partial reopening will take effect on Friday, May 22. Cities, villages, and townships may choose to take a more cautious course if they wish: the order does not abridge their authority to restrict the operations of restaurants or bars, including limiting such establishments to outdoor seating.
- Region 6 in the governor’s MI Safe Start Plan includes the following counties: Manistee, Wexford, Missaukee, Roscommon, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Crawford, Leelanau, Antrim, Otsego, Montmorency, Alpena, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Presque Isle, and Emmet.
- Region 8 in the governor’s MI Safe Start Plan includes the following counties: Gogebic, Ontonagon, Houghton, Keweenaw, Iron, Baraga, Dickinson, Marquette, Menominee, Delta, Alger, Schoolcraft, Luce, Mackinac, and Chippewa.
May 15 Press Conference Updates
- On Thursday Whitmer and Plaintiffs in the Gary B. Literacy case initially filed against Governor Rick Snyder, signed a settlement agreement
- Whitmer says she remains committed to ensuring paths to literacy for children across Michigan. She says this was a landmark ruling and she is proud to fight to defend it.
- On Friday Whitmer announced a process for how the state can begin planning for when and how students and staff may begin safely returning back to school buildings
- Whitmer signed an Executive Order to establish a return to learn advisory council.
- The panel – which will be comprised of students, parents, frontline educators, administrators and public health officials – will be tasked with providing the COVID-19 Task Force on Education within the State Emergency Operations Center with recommendations on how to safely, equitably, and efficiently return to school in the fall.
- It will also align with the MI Safe Start Plan
- Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced May 7 her six phase plan to stop the spread of COVID-19 and reopen Michigan’s economy. The governor has worked with leaders in health care, business, labor, and education to develop the plan and says Michigan is in phase three.
- The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced additional positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This brings the state total of COVID-19 cases to 50,079 and 4,825 deaths as of Friday at 3 p.m. EST.
May 13 Press Conference Updates
Whitmer opened the conference taking a few moments to remember former Sen. Morris Hood who died at 54 from COVID-19.
Whitmer also mentioned that 10,000 protective gowns were donated to the city’s first responders in honor of Skylar Herbert, the first child to die in the state from COVID-19.
Here’s Whitmer’s updates:
- Wednesday morning her administration announced the state of Michigan will participate in the Federal Unemployment Insurance Agency Work Share program to help offset budget implications as a result of the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Michigan is currently in the 3rd of 6 phases of the MI Safe Start Plan to re-engage the state’s economy.
Whitmer was also joined by business leaders from across the sate who are committed to ensuring the safety of their employees and customers.
As of Wednesday there were 48,391 cases of coronavirus in Michigan and 4,714 deaths. 22,686 people have recovered in Michigan from the coronavirus as of May 8.
May 11 Press Conference Updates
Whitmer said Tuesday will mark nine weeks since the coronavirus first appeared in the state.
- As of Monday, May 11 COVID-19 is present in 79 of Michigan’s 83 counties.
- The state has provided more than 1.1 million unemployed Michigan workers more than $4 billion in benefits.
- Businesses cannot punish a worker who must stay home because they’ve tested positive for COVID-19, are experiencing symptoms or have come in contact with someone who has.
- The Department of Corrections has taken a number of measures to protect people serving time, expanding testing protocols and expedite paroles.
- Whitmer’s administration will continue to monitor the data and reports from Michigan’s state parks.
- Until there is a vaccine, social distancing is the only real tool to prevent spreading of coronavirus.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced additional positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This brings the state total of COVID-19 cases to 47,552 and 4,584 deaths as of Monday at 3 p.m. and 22,686 people have recovered in Michigan from the coronavirus as of May 8.
May 7 Press Conference Updates
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an Executive Order Thursday to extend Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order to May 28. Under this order, Michiganders still must not leave their homes except to run critical errands, to engage in safe outdoor activities, or to go to specified jobs.
The governor’s order will allow manufacturing workers, including those at Michigan’s Big 3 auto companies, to resume work on Monday, May 11 as part of her MI Safe Start Plan.
After announcing that Michigan’s manufacturing workers will return to work on Monday, May 11, Whitmer detailed the six phases of her MI Safe Start Plan to re-engage Michigan’s economy.
The phases of the pandemic include:
- UNCONTROLLED GROWTH: The increasing number of new cases every day, overwhelming our health systems.
- PERSISTENT SPREAD: We continue to see high case levels with concern about health system capacity.
- FLATTENING: The epidemic is no longer increasing and the health-system’s capacity is sufficient for current needs.
- IMPROVING: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are clearly declining.
- CONTAINING: Continued case and death rate improvements, with outbreaks quickly contained.
- POST-PANDEMIC: Community spread not expected to return.
Whitmer announced Michigan is in Phase Three as of May 7.
The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced additional positive cases of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This brings the state total of COVID-19 cases to 45,646 and 4,343 deaths as of Thursday at 3 p.m. EST.
- Pfizer announced the first participants have been dosed in the U.S. in a clinical trial for the BNT162 vaccine program to prevent COVID-19 infection.
- More than 2,700 businesses around Michigan were awarded a total of $10 million in Michigan Small Business Relief Program.
- DHHS announced that close to 90,000 low-income college students in Michigan who are enrolled in career or technical education programs are eligible to receive food assistance benefits effective this week.