As Michigan is closing in on 230,000 COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer warned residents against having big Thanksgiving celebrations.
“As we get ready for the holidays, every one of us is going to have to have a plan and think long and hard about how to keep our family’s safe,” she said at a Tuesday press conference. “I know that it’s hard. No one likes Thanksgiving more than I do. I love to host and have the whole family come together. We’re not going to do it this year. It’s just too dangerous.”
She also reiterated her call for Michiganders to adhere to mask wearing and social distancing amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.
When asked if she expected a new stay-home order soon, Whitmer responded, “I would love to have a partnership [the GOP-led state Legislature] where we can take the politics out of this moment and do everything we can to stabilize here in Michigan and mitigate the harm that we are feeling. All of that is important. In terms of what possible next steps would look like, I’m having an ongoing, regular conversation with the Department of Health and Human Services.”
Michigan had a stay-home order from late March to early June. Republicans in the Legislature have repeatedly rejected taking up legislation for a mask mandate and other restrictions to stop the spread of coronavirus.
DHHS reported Wednesday that a total of 229,285 Michiganders have tested positive for COVID-19 and 7,766 have died from the virus — an additional 6,008 cases and 46 deaths since Tuesday.
This fall, Michigan’s daily cases have exceeded the spring peak average, following the trend of most other states.
DHHS also reports that an additional 22,587 Michiganders have been identified as “probable” cases for COVID-19, as well as 370 probable deaths. The department began tracking probable cases on April 5.
The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington estimates that Michigan will hit 14,180 coronavirus deaths by Feb. 1 if the state stays on its current trajectory. This is considered the most conservative model.
IHME projects 399,163 deaths nationwide by Feb. 1.
Combining the state’s confirmed positive cases with probable cases brings the total up to 251,872 statewide cases and 8,136 deaths.
The virus has been detected in all of Michigan’s 83 counties. The state’s COVID-19 fatality rate is at 3.4%.
The first two cases of COVID-19 were reported in the state on March 10. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declared a state of emergency that day.
Johns Hopkins University reports that there are more than 51.8 million confirmed cases worldwide and 1.3 million deaths. The United States makes up a significant portion of those, as more than 10.4 million confirmed cases and 240,521 deaths have been recorded nationally.