FOX 2 - Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the State of Emergency until October 27, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. with Executive Order 2020-186 on Tuesday.
The move extends her powers allowing the state to continue to mobilize resources to protect Michiganders and their families. The governor also extended four executive orders to protect Michigan families and our most vulnerable populations.
The health, economic, and social harms of the COVID-19 pandemic remain widespread and severe, her office said, and they continue to constitute a statewide emergency and disaster.
“We have saved thousands of lives in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among our most vulnerable populations - people of color, seniors, and people with disabilities. Because we took swift action, the health of our families and our economy are faring better than our neighbors in other states,” Whitmer said in a release. “This emergency will end, and it is a matter of months.
"We are not out of the woods yet. Right now, the federal government and all 50 states have been under some form of state of emergency. We must continue doing our part to fight this virus on behalf of our families, frontline workers, and our small businesses.”
Where Michigan was among the states most heavily hit by COVID-19, but the state is touting drops in cases. The per-capita rate of new daily cases has plateaued at a level well below the national average. Despite gradually reopening our economy, Michigan’s seven-day case positivity rate has remained between 3.0 percent and 3.7 percent since early July. Over the same time period, case growth has also remained within a narrow band of 61 to 71 daily new cases per million population, by date of symptom onset, the state said.
Though local health departments have some limited capacity to respond to cases as they arise within their jurisdictions, state emergency operations are necessary to bring this pandemic under control in Michigan and to build and maintain infrastructure to stop the spread of COVID-19, trace infections, and to quickly direct additional resources to hot-spots as they emerge.
“The Governor’s swift actions have saved thousands of lives during this pandemic, and she must be able to continue taking swift action to save lives,” said Chief Medical Executive and MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “As we approach the 2020-2021 flu season, it is vitally important that all Michiganders get their flu vaccine, wear a mask, and maintain physical distancing. We will get through this together.”
The state said the four other executive orders Whitmer signed today include:
- Executive Order 2020-187 which protects vulnerable populations and strengthens our economic recovery by extending through October 31 the governor’s previous order allowing business to be conducted remotely through expanded use of e-notaries and e-signatures.
- Executive Order 2020-188 which extends the limited and temporary restrictions on the entry of individuals into health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities. The Department of Health and Human Services will continue to issue orders to specify exceptions to this order.
- Executive Order 2020-189 which extends through October 31 protections for prison and jail populations through enhanced cleaning protocols and implementation of testing protocols by Michigan Department of Corrections prisons and any jails that transfer inmates to MDOC prisons.
- Executive Order 2020-190 which adds protections for workers and customers at food-selling establishments to the Workplace Safeguards order, including the requirement to maintain two hours a week of reserved shopping time for vulnerable populations.