Governor one-on-one: 'Important everyone does their part' during pandemic

Posted at 4:02 PM, Mar 17, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 20:46:15-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Governor Whitmer's made multiple executive orders in the past few days that are meant to slow the spread of COVID-19. However, those changes are impacting a lot of people from restaurant workers to gym owners.

Practicing what she's been preaching on 'social distancing', the governor spoke with FOX 17 via Skype.

She said, "If you are sick, you don't go to work. Period. If you're medically vulnerable, stay home as well. If you are a person who doesn't fall into either of those categories and is seemingly healthy, you can still be a carrier and that's why it's important that everyone does their part."

Whitmer told FOX 17 the executive orders she's made limiting business and social interaction were difficult decisions, but she says they're in the best interest of public health during this pandemic.

However, some viewers have expressed concerns to FOX 17 about companies with far more than 50 employees who aren't following or required to follow any sort of protocol.

"In the place of employment, what we have encouraged our employers to do is ensure that people are able to protect themselves by observing the 6-foot radius that the CDC is recommending to prevent community spread. We are encouraging employers to consider creating shifts or if they do have close quarters, they're figuring out how to alternate who is on and when," Whitmer explained.

She noted it's St. Patrick's Day which is a time when people like to gather and celebrate. However, she says that's about the worst thing you can do right now.

"I'm recommending against any sort of gathering of any size, frankly. It's the best way to blunt the impact of COVID-19, is by avoiding any sort of a get together," she said.

As far as what the remainder of the school year looks like, the governor says officials will likely have a better idea around early April.

"I'm hoping that this 3-week period is the whole story. But I'm recognizing that what we see in Italy and what we see around the world is that areas that don't take the aggressive positions seriously end up prolonging how long they have to confront some serious social distancing," she said.

Whitmer continued, "So that's why we're imploring everyone to do their part. Obey the order, and recognize the importance of the CDC recommendations so that we can speed up when we can recover from this and have the economy recover as well."