Whitmer: Michiganders must 'do their part' and take COVID-19 surge seriously

Posted at 3:24 PM, Dec 03, 2020

Governor Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist provided an update on the state's COVID-19 Racial Disparities task force.

RELATED: MI task force made significant progress protecting minority communities from COVID-19, report says

An interim report from the Michigan COVID-19 Task Force on Racial Disparities, which is chaired by Gilchrist, found that the average number of cases per million per day among African Americans in Michigan dropped significantly.

Gilchrist said the work "is not done," and that it emphasized the many challenges that vulnerable communities in Michigan face. Going forward, the task force will continue to identify and recommend immediate and long-term solutions.

Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said Michigan's case rates still remain alarmingly high. They are five times what the state saw in the beginning of October.

She also said many hospitals in the state are near or at capacity; 81 percent of ICU beds are full.

Dr. Khaldun also mentioned that Michigan will begin following new CDC guidelines on the recommended length of quarantine after COVID-19 exposure, shortening the quarantine time from 14 days to 10.

RELATED: Michigan will follow CDC guidelines on 10-day quarantine for COVID-19 exposure

For the past few weeks, the state of Michigan has been under a "three-week pause," implemented by the governor to mitigate the spread of the virus. The mandate ends on Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Under the pause, the operations of in-person learning, dine-in restaurants & bars, movie theaters, gyms, organized sports and other enclosed social activities were mandated to shut down temporarily.

Whitmer evaded questions on whether the pause will be extended, but reiterated that Michigan residents must take the current surge seriously. If they do, she said, life would be very different three weeks from now.

On Wednesday, the state reported 373,197 total cases of COVID-19 and 9,405 total deaths in Michigan.

CDC Director Robert Redfield gave a dire warning of a “rough” winter ahead as hospitals fill with coronavirus patients across the United States, he said in a discussion with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation on Wednesday.

According to data compiled by the COVID Tracking Project, COVID-19 hospitalizations nearly reached 100,000 on Tuesday, a point much higher than the spring and summer surges of the virus. There were nearly 2,500 coronavirus-related deaths throughout the US reported on Tuesday, marking levels not seen since the spring

Additional Coronavirus information and resources:

Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.

View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.

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