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Whitmer: Re-opening Michigan's economy depends on continued decrease in COVID-19 cases

Posted at 4:54 AM, Apr 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 07:20:27-04

(WXYZ) — Governor Whitmer spoke with 7 Action News about her fight to stop the spread of COVID-19 before re-opening the economy.

As of Monday morning, there have been 2,391 deaths in Michigan.

Whitmer said where we are today is much further along than where we were 10 days ago. However, she said Michigan still has a disproportionately large number of COVID-19 cases compared to larger states.

"We can't let up too early...or we could have to be back at stay-home again with a second wave, nobody wants that."

Whitmer reiterated the need for staying the course with her stay-at-home executive orders. She said the only way to allow people back to work is on a case-by-case basis and their job's particular level of risk.

"It's going to come in waves," she said. "We are analyzing the state in terms of the labor shed ... in terms of trends ... in terms of health care capacity ... in terms of what kind of work that it is you do. If you're inside or outside ... if you share tools or machinery. how closely it interfaces with the public. Each of these are factors we have to take into consideration."

Whitmer said re-opening the economy depends on a continued decrease in COVID-19 cases, which can only be monitored by an increase in testing. She said there still aren't enough testing supplies.

Although she has received criticism for her executive orders, House Speaker Lee Chatfield said he believes the governor's decisions are in the best interest of the state.

"No manual was given to the governor or to the Legislature on how to deal with the pandemic and COVID-19," Chatfield said. "And I've reminded my caucus and people across the entire state that the less political we are right now, the sooner this can be behind us."

Chatfield went on to say that some people think they have to choose either-or; either re-opening the economy or solely focus on public health. Chatifeld said that's not the case and agrees with the governor on re-opening in steps.

"We're going to be smart. we're going to be strategic. we're going to be data-driven so we are safe, and that mitigates risk," Whitmer said.

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Read our daily Coronavirus Live Blog for the latest updates and news on coronavirus.

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.

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See all of our Helping Each Other stories.

See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.