(FOX 2) - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer joined FOX 2 for an update on the COVID-19 pandemic in Michigan.
FOX 2: The feds this week have said if it's at all possible don't go to the grocery store because the next week or two are so critical. what are your thoughts on that?"
Whitmer: "I'm grateful that at the federal level they have started to articulate the seriousness of this, extending, saying we should have 30 days of staying at home. And that Dr. Anthony Fauci is explaining to people wear a mask - if you have to be out - which we recommend you are not out, unless it is absolutely necessary. Fewer trips to the grocery store, the pharmacy. Wear a mask and do all of the precautions by the CDC. We know right now that we've got a lot of hospitals at capacity. A lot of nurses and doctors have tested positive for covid-19 and not are able to be on
the front line.
"We are working incredibly hard to make sure we get the personal protection equipment. We have a few days’ worth and it's not a lot, but a vast improvement from where we were a week ago. We will continue on all of those fronts but the general public has to do their part by staying home. I know it is a sacrifice but it's critical.
FOX 2: "When you look at the TCF Center you see hundreds of beds indicating there may be a need for that. How do you tell people what that's all about?"
Whitmer: "That's the hope, but we have to prepare for what we think we are going to be confronting. The worst would be, to just have people lining the hallways at the hospitals. We want to make sure that where people need a bed they can get one, that we can segregate people depending on what situation they are in with COVID-19. We are working with the hospital leaders, the Army Corps of Engineers, and FEMA. All of these are important partners to make sure we are able to make this need. But even with these great partnerships it's going to be hard to make sure we have all of the qualified healthcare providers. That's why we put the call out nationally to come to Michigan and help on the front line."
FOX 2: "When you think about the number of ventilators that are actually on the ground in the state of Michigan, do we have enough for today, this week, the next few days?"
Whitmer: "We've done well in terms of getting ventilators from FEMA, we've gotten about 700 ventilators from FEMA. Maybe 1,400, if we can double people up which is a possibility. I am not saying it works but it could work. What we know is we probably need thousands more. And so I just share that because we don't know how our bodies are going to react to COVID-19. What might be a cold feeling, you know, feeling like I have a bad flu for me could be fatal to my husband. And that's true for households across the state. And that's precisely why it's important each of us act as if we are all carrying COVID-19. We do the physical distancing and hand washing and all of the important hygienic suggestions by the CDC because it is really critical we don't fill those off-site alternative care places up."
FOX 2: "We had someone ask a question that her mother-in-law wanted to drive up north and take care of things around there and also take care of the lawn. Is had an advisable? What do you tell her?"
Whitmer: "It's not essential. and she shouldn't go and by going she will have to stop to get gas and touch a gas pump - that can hold on to COVID germs for 72 hours. Stopping to grab a bite to eat is more travel that is unnecessary for life sustaining activity. And so I would tell her as I've told my own husband, it's not permitted under the stay at home order. The grass will get unruly and we will tackle that when it's safe to do it. But right now it's not, and we need you to do your part and stay home."