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Gov. Whitmer urges community to stay home for Thanksgiving, underscores need for more unemployment relief

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Posted at 11:37 AM, Nov 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-11-19 17:29:20-05

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun spoke Thursday on the state's continued effort to slow the spread of the virus.

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In her last press conference before Thanksgiving, Governor Whitmer urged the community to stay home during Thanksgiving.

"By not gathering with people outside of your household this Thanksgiving, it is an act of kindness and love," Gov. Whitmer said.

Dr. Khaldun echoed her sentiments, noting that at Michigan's current case count, there is a risk to gathering.

"At the rates we’re seeing in the state, it is very likely that if you’re gathering for Thanksgiving, the virus will also be around the table with you," she said.

Dr. Khaldun said these bad decisions at Thanksgiving will mean that "people will be mourning the deaths of their loved ones by New Year's."

Gov. Whitmer also took time Thursday to underscore the need for more support in order to protect families, front line workers and local businesses, in addition to the need for more unemployment relief.

"It's imperative that Congress take action now to extend UI provisions of the CARES Act," said Gov. Whitmer.

She also called on the community to help support local businesses during this time while practicing safety guidelines like masking up and social distancing.

The state is currently under a "3-week pause" putting a temporary end to in-person dining and shutting down places such as movie theaters and gyms.

For now, the order is set to last until Dec. 8, depending on whether Michigan can flatten the curve again.

During these three weeks, the state will mandate that these operations be closed:

  • in-person learning at high schools, colleges and universities
  • theaters, stadiums and arenas
  • All who are able to work from home will be required to do just that
  • dine-in restaurants and bars
  • organized sports, except professional sports
  • bowling centers, ice skating, indoor water parks
  • bingo halls, casinos, arcades
  • group fitness classes