MICHIGAN — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended the state’s state of emergency until Oct. 27. The current emergency declaration was set to expire Thursday.
“We have saved thousands of lives in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among our most vulnerable populations – people of color, seniors, and people with disabilities,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Because we took swift action, the health of our families and our economy are faring better than our neighbors in other states.
“This emergency will end, and it is a matter of months. But we are not out of the woods yet. Right now, the federal government and all 50 states have been under some form of state of emergency. We must continue doing our part to fight this virus on behalf of our families, frontline workers, and our small businesses.”
Where Michigan was once among the states most heavily hit by COVID-19, its per-capita rate of new daily cases has plateaued at a level well below the national average, Whitmer’s office said. Despite gradually reopening the state’s economy, Michigan’s seven-day case positivity rate has remained between 3 percent and 3.7 percent since early July. Over the same time period, case growth has also remained within a narrow band of 61 to 71 daily new cases per million population, by date of symptom onset, according to a news release.
More than 123,000 cases of the coronavirus have been reported in Michigan as of Tuesday, according to the state. Over 6,700 people have died from the coronavirus in Michigan.
The health, economic, and social harms of the COVID-19 pandemic remain widespread and severe, and they continue to constitute a statewide emergency and disaster, Whitmer said.
Though local health departments have some limited capacity to respond to cases as they arise within their jurisdictions, Whitmer said state emergency operations are necessary to bring this pandemic under control in Michigan and to build and maintain infrastructure to stop the spread of COVID-19, trace infections, and to quickly direct additional resources to hot-spots as they emerge.
The emergency declaration is different than the stay-home order, which was lifted in June.
Other orders extended
The four other executive orders the governor signed today include:
Executive Order 2020-188 which extends the limited and temporary restrictions on the entry of individuals into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities. The Department of Health and Human Services will continue to issue orders to specify exceptions to this order.
Executive Order 2020-189 which extends through Oct. 31 protections for prison and jail populations through enhanced cleaning protocols and implementation of testing protocols by Michigan Department of Corrections prisons and any jails that transfer inmates to MDOC prisons.
Executive Order 2020-190 which adds protections for workers and customers at food-selling establishments to the Workplace Safeguards order, including the requirement to maintain two hours a week of reserved shopping time for vulnerable populations.