Whitmer explains why she hasn't implemented COVID-19 mandates in Michigan despite high case rate

When the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020, mask mandates were implemented and businesses went to takeout-only. 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said she hasn't taken actions like she did early in the pandemic because vaccines are now available.

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"At the beginning of the pandemic, we didn't know that a mask was such an important tool that each of us could utilize to keep ourselves safe. We just knew this virus was spreading fast, and it was taking a huge toll," she said. 

Shed noted that Michigan was a virus hot spot in March and April of 2020.

"We had to act quickly with blunt tools just to keep people from getting the virus," she said. "Here we are, almost two years later. We have vaccines that work, boosters that are incredibly effective at keeping people from getting really sick."

The state's current surge of infections is unlike previous increases, the state's chief medical executive said Tuesday. The increase over the holidays was expected, but the emergence of omicron has pushed that trend into unprecedented numbers

Dr. Natasha Bagdarsarian did say bright spots amid the surge include the arrival of oral antiviral treatments that when prescribed at the right time, can decrease an infection's symptoms. She also said more than 2.5 million COVID-19 booster shots had been administered. 

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Whitmer added that her husband currently has a mild case of Covid because he has his booster.

Watch the full interview above.