Whitmer extends lockdown to Dec. 20

Mandy Petkovich, Page Editor

On Dec. 7 Governor Gretchen Whitmer and her team had a press conference at 2:30 p.m. to discuss further actions Michigan will take against Covid-19. She and her team decided to extend the three-week pause of the state for 12 more days up to Dec. 20. The restrictions are scheduled to be lifted four days before Christmas.

The extension will have the same restrictions as before. Restaurants can only have outdoor dining and carry out orders. Universities, colleges, and high schools will continue online and will not have sporting events. Movie theatres, casinos, and group exercise classes will all be closed.

She and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, reported that Michigan hit over four hundred thousand cases of Covid-19, and the daily death toll has reached over a hundred a day.

In addition, the state of Michigan has yet to see the effects of Thanksgiving, which was 15 days prior to the announcement. 

The hospitals of Michigan are filling up to up to 79 percent capacity, Khaldun reported. Hospitals can no longer transfer patients to other hospitals for help, because none of them have room.

Whitmer explained that she does not want the state to go backwards.

“We won’t lift all our protocols at once,” said Whitmer. “We will do it in a measured way so we don’t undo the progress we have made. We’ve all got to be in this together.”

Khaldun also emphasized how real of a threat Covid-19 is to the people of Michigan.

“This virus is real, people are still coming into emergency rooms even weeks after being diagnosed,” said Khaldun. “We need to take this [virus] seriously and do what we can to prevent it from spreading.”

The director of MDHHS, Robert Gordon, spoke about the improvements that MDHHS is looking for and how they intend to build on them.

“That’s what we’re looking for: flat or declining hospitalizations, fewer cases, and lower positivity rates,” said Gordon. “We will be reviewing this data and we will be transparent with the public about exactly what the next steps will be.”