Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says cases plateauing, not ready to reopen yet

During her typical Monday afternoon press conference from Lansing, Governor Gretchen Whitmer, again said the state's positive cases every day are plateauing and even decreasing but said the state is not ready to fully reopen, yet.

The governor is in a routine of speaking at 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays to give updates on how the state is responding to the crisis. From the virus to unemployment to the future of the state in general, Whitmer has touched on every topic as it relates to COVID-19 in Michigan.

It's been 8 weeks since the first positive case in Michigan and Gov. Whitmer said our daily numbers are going down or, at least, plateauing. Gov. Whitmer credits that to the ability to test but says we have to remain vigilant.

"We must continue to stay home until at least May 15. We will only loosen when public health and data say it's safe to do so," Whitmer said.

The governor said the state has to be smart in allowing people to return to work to prevent a second wave.

"If we open up too fast, we will have to go through this pain all over again. let's not do that," she said."The bottom line is can't move forward until it's safe to do so."

Whitmer said that means having enough tests, being able to trace people with the virus, having fewer cases, and making sure hospitals are ready for patients.

On May 7, construction, real estate, and other outdoor jobs will be reopened. Gov. Whitmer said they're still evaluating the next wave of jobs that will reopen and expect to make announcements on those jobs later in the week.

She said she expects industries to be released every two weeks for the foreseeable future. 

This past weekend was the first time Michigan hit 80 degrees since October and people sought out state parks. She said she was concerned that people are making themselves vulnerable and said they are evaluating the closing of state parks.

The Governor was asked about the murder of a Flint security guard who was killed on Friday after telling a Family Dollar customer that he needed to wear a mask. Gov. Whitmer offered her condolences to the family and asked everyone to consider everyone else before they walk into a store.

"It is incredibly sad that during this crisis that a life was lost," Whitmer said. "(I ask that all Michiganders do the right thing: keep their wits about them, and take actions to protect themselves during this incredibly stressful time."

The governor has come under fire in recent weeks after extending the Stay Home order through May 15 and then extending the state of emergency and disaster declaration through May 28th. Last Thursday, protesters, some armed, rallied in Lansing against the governor's orders.

Over the weekend, Gov. Whitmer signed an executive order that extends measures for consumers and employees by requiring customers to wear face masks in public enclosed spaces, dedicate two hours per week for vulnerable populations, and business must notify employees if a worker has tested positive for the virus. 

“We must continue protecting the health and safety of both consumers and employees at our grocery stores and pharmacies, which we rely on more than ever during this unprecedented public health crisis,” Governor Whitmer said. “Michigan has begun flattening the COVID-19 curve, but we must not take our progress for granted and continue taking aggressive action to avoid further spread of this deadly disease.”  

Also this weekend, Governor Whitmer told CNN that gun-toting protesters "depicted some of the worst racism" and "awful parts" of U.S. history.

This follows similar comments she made last week during her press conference regarding COVID-19 in Michigan. Gov. Whitmer said the scene was 'disturbing' and that "swastikas and confederate flags, nooses and automatic rifles do not represent who we are as Michiganders."

RELATED: Second wave of protests hit Lansing capitol on Thursday

Earlier in the day on Friday, President Donald Trump said Whitmer suggested Whitmer needed to work with the protesters.

"These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal."

During her Friday briefing, Whitmer said the state is working to determine when it's safe to start to reengage and the decision is based on data on infection rates and medical results.