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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is following the lead of many blue state governors across the nation in announcing plans to extend the lockdown orders and restrictions in that state. She said that the new extension would go on for 12 days.
"We've got to all do our part to protect one another until we eliminate COVID-19 once and for all. It's imperative that we protect one another by doing the things we know to do: wearing a mask, practice social distancing."
"Our progress is fragile," she said, "and we cannot let up yet." She blamed Thanksgiving, as well, saying that there would be a big increase beginning on Thursday, which was 14 days since the holiday. She noted that hospitals were near 75 percent capacity.
She said to small business owners "I appreciate you," but went on to say that there was "more work to do."
These plans come after the Nov. 18 announcement of a "three-week pause" which closed indoor dining in restaurants, closed organized sports, casinos, and classroom learning for college and high school students.
Employers were required to allow employees to work remotely where they are able, and gatherings have been restricted to no more than two households at a time, according to local news.
This announcement begins the short-term extension of order that were intended to be short term when enacted in the spring, that were meant to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Whitmer spoke alongside the chief medical executive for the Department of Health and Human Services, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, as well as MDHHS director Robert Gordon. The Michigan Health and Hospital Association has stated their support for the lockdown continuation plans, saying that:
"Michigan was on the path to record COVID-19 case rates, deaths and hospitalizations when this order was adopted in November. Today, our hospitals continue to face critical healthcare worker staffing shortages and troubling bed capacity numbers.
"Our teams on the front lines are exhausted as this second surge continues; we never truly recovered from the first. Now, data is indicating slight declines in COVID-19 emergency department visits, daily admissions and total hospitalizations. As physicians, we're telling you: these measures are working."
The determinations as to when and for how long to shutter the economy is apparently being made on the number of positive coronavirus tests that have been done in the state.
However, while cases are up, hospitalizations for COVID are down. As of Dec. 4, there were 4,113 COVID patients who were receiving in-patient hospital care for the virus, which is a decrease from the 4,326 the state saw on Nov. 30.