Gov. Whitmer addresses rise in Michigan COVID-19 cases, says more health department guidance is coming soon

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Tuesday that new guidance is expected soon from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as COVID-19 cases surge.

More: Where Michigan stands with COVID-19 heading into Thanksgiving

Last week, the health department issued an advisory urging people to wear masks at indoor gatherings and businesses to implement mask mandates.

"I think you'll see something coming out today or tomorrow," she said. "We recognize that our healthcare workers are exhausted."

However, Whitmer believes lockdowns like the ones in 2020 are unnecessary because of the vaccine.

She gave her input during a turkey giveaway in River Rouge.

"As the holidays happen I’m concerned. We've got multiple generations of families gathering, some of whom will bring COVID into those events, and sadly some family members could get sick," she said.

Read: What doctors say about gathering for Thanksgiving

While discussing COVID in the state, she urged Michiganders to get vaccinated, saying that it was the best way to slow the illness.

"All of us in the Midwest are in this group right now and it is a collision of unvaccinated people," she said. "And I'm not criticizing. I'm just observing this is what is feeding this growth of COVID-19 in the state of Michigan and in Wisconsin and all of our neighboring states." 

Dr. Matthew Sims, the director of Infectious Disease Research at Beaumont Health, echoed the governor's call to get vaccinated.

"We’ve had a continuous rise for months and now we have a surge," he said. "The fact that most of the patients are not vaccinated tells us that the vaccine works."

Sims said that if Michigan could increase its vaccine rate to the 90% range, the number of cases would be more under control.

Michigan has been leading the nation in COVID cases.