Whitmer extends state of emergency to Sept. 4, cites upticks in regional COVID-19 cases 

State reports 762 new cases, 0 deaths on Friday

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and Gov. Gretchen Whitmer give an update on COVID-19 | Gov. Whitmer office photo

Citing regional upticks in COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday signed an executive order that extends her state of emergency and disaster declaration to Sept. 4. 

The order allows Whitmer to continue taking preventative actions to slow the spread of the disease. Her extension of the state of emergency comes after each region in Michigan experienced a rise in COVID-19 case counts over the last several weeks. 

“We are in a crucial time in our fight against COVID-19, and we must do everything we can to protect ourselves, our loved ones, and the brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis from a second wave,” said Whitmer. “… I will continue to use every tool at my disposal to protect Michiganders from the spread of this virus. I want to remind everyone in Michigan to wear a mask, practice safe physical distancing, and do everything in your power to fight COVID-19.”

A press release from Whitmer’s office cited COVID-19 case counts rising or plateauing in 40 states as background for the extension decision. It also noted that Michigan’s case positivity rate went from 2% in mid-June to 3.5% in late July — though it remained below the national rate of 9%. 

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The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) reported Friday that 86,191 total Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 6,247 have died from the virus — an additional 762 cases but zero deaths since Thursday.

DHHS also reports that an additional 9,227 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 259 probable deaths. The department began tracking probable cases on April 5.

Combining the state’s confirmed positive cases with probable cases brings the total up to 94,656 statewide cases and 6,506 deaths.

“COVID-19 is still devastating families across Michigan, and it’s crucial that Gov. Whitmer continue to take swift action to save lives,” said Chief Medical Executive and DHHS Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. 

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The virus has been detected in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state’s COVID-19 fatality rate is now at 7.3%. There are 60,022 people who have recovered from coronavirus.

The first two cases of COVID-19 were reported in the state on March 10. Whitmer declared a state of emergency that day.

Johns Hopkins University reports that there are more than 19.1 million confirmed cases worldwide and 716,669 deaths. One-quarter of those are in the United States, where more than 4.9 million confirmed cases and 160,437 deaths have been recorded.

C.J. Moore
C.J. Moore covers the environment and the Capitol. She previously worked at NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland as a public affairs staff science writer. She also previously covered crop sustainability and coal pollution issues for Great Lakes Echo. In addition, she served as editor in chief at The State News and covered its academics and research beat. She is a journalism graduate student at Michigan State University.