(WXYZ) — Michigan House Republicans on Monday unveiled their plan for the state's future response to coronavirus in what they're calling the "roadmap to Michigan's recovery."
House Speaker Lee Chatfield released the suggestions which include transitioning to a risk-based, regional approach with three different tiers.
“The people I talk to are understandably worried about the future and the uncertainty of what tomorrow will bring for their families, friends and loved ones during this pandemic,” Chatfield said in a release. “Between health concerns, lost employment, and changes to our very way of life, this is an unprecedented and unsettling situation for all of us. We need clear answers from our elected leaders about where we go from here and how our lives can go back to normal as safely as possible. This proposal contains our suggestions for the best way forward to prioritize public safety and make responsible, scientific decisions to guide Michigan’s comeback.”
Republicans were against Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extending the stay-at-home order, which is set to expire on May 1.
House Democratic Leader Christine Greig released this statement:
“There is no doubt that this is a difficult time for all Michiganders. But no one is suffering more that the families and loved ones of the almost 2,500 members of our communities who have passed as a result of this virus. This Republican plan claims it will put Michigan back to work, but there is no work without a workforce. A re-opening that is rushed without adequate safety protocols and robust testing ensures that workers, and those that come in contact with them, will continue to be at risk for contracting COVID-19 and passing it along to others. Let’s work together to create a plan that re-opens our neighborhoods and communities safely and confidently - a realistic plan that protects workers, consumers and business to ensure a re-opening plan doesn’t become a re-infection plan.”
According to the plan, Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties would be in tier 1 – the highest risk – which would have the same restrictions as the stay-at-home order and without restrictions on retail stores over 50,000 square feet.
Tier 2 – heightened risk – would have the same restrictions as tier 1 but with a heightened cap on necessary gatherings like for funerals, relaxed travel restrictions, allowance for businesses to perform remote and curbside sales, relaxed ban on elective and outpatient healthcare procedures and reduced restrictions on outdoor recreation.
For tier 3 – standard risk – Republicans say the "stay home, stay safe" provisions would not apply to the non-vulnerable, but public accommodation limitations would remain in effect.
The plan would also have a transition task force would would have nine voting members. Those include:
- Chief Medical Officer
- MIOSHA Director
- One economist
- One epidemiologist
- Representative of a regionally diverse hospital system
- Representative of labor
- Representative of a small business over
- Representative of a manufacturer headquartered in the state with operations in other states or countries
- Representative of the public who became unemployed.
Step two would be reassigning metro Detroit counties as "heightened risk" and the rest of the counties to tier 3, and step 3 is "returning to a new normal."
“The millions of people who are struggling and concerned about the future need answers, and they need a light at the end of the tunnel," Chatfield said. "I know we can all work together to come up with a real, tangible plan that both keeps people safe and helps get our lives back to normal as quickly as possible.”
View the details below.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
See all of our Helping Each Other stories.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.