By Bria Brown

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Monday that a statewide mask requirement remains in effect despite the Michigan Supreme Court’s invalidation of a law that underpins her orders to control the coronavirus pandemic.

She asked the court to declare its Friday ruling not binding until Oct. 30, to give her administration, the Republican-led Legislature and local health departments time to transition. Whitmer warned that people could lose unemployment benefits as a result of the court’s decision and called on lawmakers to return to session instead of recessing until after the November election.

She pointed to a separate order issued by the state Department of Health and Human Services in June — under a 1978 public health law — mandating face coverings in enclosed public spaces and crowded outdoor places.

“We know that masks work. It’s on all of us to do our part and to have some personal responsibility keeping ourselves, our families and our economy going,” Whitmer told reporters following a campaign event for a lawmaker in Davison.

Violators can be fined up to $1,000 under state Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon’s order. They faced a misdemeanor charge under Whitmer’s orders but not jail time.

The governor said the “fallout” from the high court’s decision was “still being ascertained.” The ruling means she needs approval from legislators to extend a state of emergency and cannot act on her own. GOP lawmakers have criticized Whitmer’s unilateral approach.

“We’re studying it to make sure that where we can act we do, where there are gaps to be filled we work to do that as well,” she said. “I am by no means undeterred or finished trying to protect the health of the people of this state.”

In asking the Supreme Court to clarify when its opinion should be enforced, the state cited a court rule to argue it should take effect after 21 to 28 days.

Over the weekend, some large counties issued their own COVID-19 restrictions, which included mask requirements.

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