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Gov. Whitmer: If COVID-19 cases continue rising, we could take steps backward

Virus Outbreak Michigan
Posted at 9:20 AM, Oct 25, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-25 09:45:23-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said that if hospitals begin to get overwhelmed as COVID-19 cases increase once again, Michigan could take a step backwards.

Whitmer spoke with 7 Action News This Morning just one day after the state set a record for a one-day increase in COVID-19 cases.

On Saturday, the state reported 3,338 cases and 35 deaths. MDHHS Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh

The MDHHS also stated that "while the data represents the date that the information was delivered to MDHHS from reporting labs, it does represent more current trends in disease occurrence. In fact, more than 96% of the test results being reported today originated from specimens that were collected from individuals in the past five days."

Speaking to 7 Action News, Whitmer said that if numbers keep rising and the trajectory for new cases, there's a possibility we have to take a step backwards.

"If we get overwhelmed and we have hospitals on the verge of overrun, then we will have to take steps backwards," Whitmer said Sunday morning.

Earlier this month, Whitmer moved the Upper Peninsula region back to Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan. Every region in the state is in Phase 4, except the Traverse City area, which is in Phase 5.

Despite the Michigan Supreme Court invalidating the governor's executive orders on the pandemic, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director did issue epidemic orders mandating mask-wearing, which are treated as law.

"That fact of the matter is we still have a mask mandate, and I want people to hear that loud and clear," she said.

"We need our residents to double down on what it takes to keep our economy engaged, to keep our kids in school," Whitmer added.

According to Whitmer, the data shows that positive tests are a lagging indicator that hospitalizations are two to three weeks away.

"Everyone one of us should be concerned. We're barrelling toward the holiday season, the flu season," Whitmer said. "We have to mask up."