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Whitmer extends COVID-19 state of emergency to July 16

Whitmer joins nearly every state in the country in maintaining a state of emergency to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Credit: Courtesy photos
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer providing an update on when schools can resume in-person learning at a June 17 press conference.

LANSING, Mich. — Governor Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-127, which extends the state of emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic until July 16. 

In doing so, Governor Whitmer joins nearly every state in the country in maintaining a state of emergency to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The aggressive measures we took at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic have worked to flatten the curve, but there is still more to be done to prevent a second wave,” Whitmer said in a press release Thursday. “We owe it to the heroes on the front lines to keep doing our part by wearing a mask when in public and practicing social distancing. Now is not the time to get complacent. We must continue to stay vigilant and flexible in order to reduce the chance of a second wave.” 

View the executive order in full here.

The press release cited a report by the Imperial College COVID-19 Response Team, saying the aggressive actions taken to protect Michiganders from the spread of COVID-19 have significantly lowered the number of cases and deaths that would have occurred had the state done nothing. Without intervention, Michigan might have experienced 28,000 more positive cases before June 1, the press release detailed.

“The data backs it up: The Stay Home, Stay Safe Order undeniably saved lives,” Whitmer continued. “Very few states dropped their infection rate as low and for as long as Michigan has, and I want thank everyone who stepped up to do their part to protect our communities.” 

With the reduction in COVID-19 case counts, Gov. Whitmer has relaxed restrictions over the last several weeks on business activities and daily life. 

On June 1, she announced that most of the state would move to Phase 4 of the governor’s Start plan, allowing retailers and restaurants to resume operations. Hair salons and other personal care services followed two weeks later. 

On June 10, the Upper Peninsula and the region surrounding Traverse City were moved to phase 5 allowing for the reopening of movie theaters, gyms and bowling alleys. 

If current trends continue the rest of the state will be moved to phase 5 by July 4. 

The state of emergency also is the foundation for previous orders that make a larger range of people eligible for unemployment for an additional six weeks, pauses evictions, and requires masks and continued social distancing.

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