By Bria Brown

(CBS DETROIT) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference on Dec. 7 on the state’s response to COVID-19.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has extended Michigan’s partial shutdown by 12 days that restricts indoor social gatherings and other group activities. The order — which was set to expire Dec. 8 — will now be in place through Dec. 20.

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Whitmer says the additional 12 days will allow the department to determine the full impact of the Thanksgiving holiday on the spread of COVID-19 across Michigan.

Here’s everything to know about the extension:

  • MDHHS continues to urge families to avoid indoor gatherings, and only two households may gather inside, with strict protocols recommended.
  • Individuals should wear masks consistently whenever they are inside with individuals not in their household, and are recommended to pick only a small group to see regularly.
  • Bars and restaurants must remain closed for dine-in service, but can remain open for outdoor dining, carry-out and delivery.
  • Gyms are open for individual exercise with mandatory masking and additional strict safety measures.
  • Casinos, movie theaters and group exercise classes remain closed.
  • Professional and college sports meeting extraordinary standards for risk mitigation may continue without spectators.
  • Colleges, universities and high schools will continue with remote learning, with no in-person classes.
  • Employees who work in jobs that cannot be performed from home can continue to go to work, including those in manufacturing, construction and health occupations.
  • Outdoor gatherings, outdoor dining and parks remain open.
  • Individualized activities with distancing and face masks are still allowed: retail shopping; public transit; restaurant takeout; personal-care services such as haircuts, by appointment; and individualized exercise at a gym, with extra spacing between machines.

What happens after the 12 day extension?

MDHHS also identified three key metrics that will be utilized in determining whether to slowly reopen at the end of the 12 days.

Specifically, the department will be looking closely at the percentage of hospital beds with COVID patients, the number of COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate. With improvements in those numbers in context, MDHHS will carefully reopen, with in-person learning at high schools first. Next in line will be entertainment venues where people can maintain consistent masking, such as casinos, theaters and bowling, with concessions closed.

Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

“While we have seen early signs of progress in our case rates and hospitalizations, unfortunately our rates are still alarmingly high and we need more time to understand the impact that Thanksgiving travel may have had on the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health at MDHHS.

Khaldun says over the last week, there’s been an average of 522 cases per million people. Cases have declined for 16 days but are still seven times what they were at the beginning of September.

Percent positivity remains high with a 14.1 percent positivity rate over the last week. The positivity rate was declining after Nov. 19 but in the last week began increasing.

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Vaccines may potentially be available later this month, but will have a very limited supply Khaldun said.

“I am hopeful because vaccines will be available soon, potentially later this month. However, it will take time for the vaccine to be widely available to the general public, and it is important that we continue to do what we can to contain this virus.”

To learn more about the coronavirus vaccine, visit here.

MDHHS Director Robert Gordon said each person in the state has “a personal responsibility to wear a mask consistently.”

Gordon also added to “minimizing indoor gatherings,” so “frontline heroes and loved ones” could continue to be protected. “If we don’t, the disease will continue to spread and people will continue to get sick and die,” he said.

On Monday, Michigan reported 9,350 new coronavirus cases for Sunday and Monday and an additional 93 deaths. Monday’s daily case count represents new referrals of confirmed cases to the MDSS since Saturday, Dec. 5. Over the two days, Sunday and Monday, the average number of new confirmed cases is 4,675 per day. This brought the state’s total number of confirmed cases to 404,386 and 9,947.

As of Dec. 4, there’s been 197,750 people that have recovered from COVID-19 in the state.

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