(WXYZ) — Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Elizabeth Hertel announced Friday the epidemic order has been extended through the end of May with the goal of bringing down COVID-19 cases in the state.
The order keeps the same restrictions already in effect on indoor dining, gatherings, gyms, event spaces and more. It only announced one new restriction, strengthening the mask requirement for children ages 2-4.
There must be a good faith effort made for kids in that age group to wear a mask while at a childcare facility or a camp.
You can read the entire epidemic order below.
Many have pushed the state to tighten restrictions, but the governor has shied away from doing so, instead focusing on increasing vaccinations.
Michigan's metrics have been increasing for the past few weeks, although the rate of increase is declining, the state says.
Michigan's coronavirus case rate has been one of the worst in the nation. As of Thursday, there have been more than 770,000 total cases of the virus, with nearly 200,000 coming since the start of March.
According to The New York Times, Michigan has nine of the top 10 metro areas in the country with the greatest number of new COVID-19 cases. Owosso, Jackson, Flint, Detroit and Bay City are in the top five.
There are also around 166,800 active cases of coronavirus in Michigan as of Thursday, the highest it's been since Dec. 21 when the state was in the middle of a massive surge and a partial shutdown. Active cases have gone up nearly 415% since March 1.
Younger age groups are also getting COVID-19 more as older age groups are vaccinated. According to Beaumont Health, the fall and winter surge saw the average age of hospitalization around the mid-to-late 60s, but in this surge, it's in the early 50s.
As of April 15, there are nearly 4,000 people across the state hospitalized with COVID-19, and many hospitals are near capacity.
There are also 41 children hospitalized in the state with COVID-19, one of the highest numbers Michigan has seen since the pandemic bean last March.
Vaccinations are continuing, and the state has pushed vaccination as the best way to fight the virus. So far, there are more than 3.5 million Michiganders who are vaccinated, which accounts for 43.3% of the population.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.
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