Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday she has signed an executive order to extend the state of emergency through at least July 16.
Gov. Whitmer announced the signing of the order, which she indicated on Wednesday that she would do, as the state slowly reopens businesses. The state of emergency had been set to expire on Friday, June 19.
“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,” Governor Whitmer said. “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.”
The governor cited a report that Michigan is one of just two states on track to contain COVID-19 and claims that if it were not for her aggressive action, the state would not be winning the fight against the virus.
Without intervention, she said, Michigan could have experienced 28,000 more positive cases before June 1. As of Wednesday, there were 60,393 confirmed cases and 5,792 deaths linked to the virus.
“The data backs it up: The Stay Home, Stay Safe Order undeniably saved lives,” Governor Whitmer said. “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.”
In the past few weeks, Gov. Whitmer has loosened restrictions and just Monday, hair salons and barbers were able to reopen while the Upper Peninsula and Traverse City areas have moved into the next phase that allows the reopening of movie theaters, gyms, and bowling alleys.
Gov. Whitmer said if the trends continue, the rest of the state will follow suit into the next phase by July 4.