7 UpFront: Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director on rising COVID-19 numbers

Posted at 6:05 PM, Oct 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-13 19:42:39-04

(WXYZ) — Michigan is seeing a troubling rise in the number of COVID-19 cases that have been confirmed.

We're talking with Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon about the increase in our 7 UpFront segment.

"Cases are up. Hospitalizations are up. Sadly, fatalities are up and it's about people moving indoors, students back in school, colleges back in session," Gordon says. "So all of those things, I think, are contributing."

The higher numbers are leading many to think we may be at the leading edge of a second wave.

"We've got to keep doing the things science tells us to do. Which means wearing masks over our nose and mouth," Gordon says. "It means social distancing, keeping 6 feet from people who are in our family, particularly when we're indoors, washing out hands, and, if you haven't gotten your flu shot, it's time, and please do that."

You can see the full interview in the video player above.

Gordon also addressed the health orders his department put into place after the Michigan Supreme Court invalidated Governor Whitmer's Executive Orders.

"So this is an order, it's under a law that was enacted after the Spanish Flu, so it's a 100-year-old law for exactly this time and it just says simple stuff: no gatherings in households of more than 10 people, outside up to 100, below capacity in restaurants, bars, businesses," Gordon says. "People can still do things that make them happy, they just have to be safe and smart. And if we do that, if we wear masks, if we socially distance, those are the things that are going to help us bend the curve down."

He also spoke about the high level of asymptomatic transmission.

"There's so much risk. Just because you feel well doesn't mean that you're not spreading the virus, unfortunately," Gordon says. "Just because you see someone that looks well doesn't mean that they couldn't give it to you. Those are the big risks. One thing I want to say, folks in Detroit have done a great job. Spring was such a terrible time. Detroit has bent the curve as much as anyone in the state and it's really succeeding right now, so we just gotta keep at it. That's the most important thing."

Gordon also addressed Michigan being added to New York's quarantine list, something he says Michigan may also consider.

"It's something that we've talked about," Gordon says."It's, I think, something that we will have to look at going forward. Unfortunately, while we are facing challenges right now, there are other states facing a lot more because we've been doing our work. So, yeah, it is something we will be looking at."