Whitmer extends state of emergency

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives an update on COVID-19 | Gov. Whitmer office photo

    Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Thursday extended the state of emergency order though Oct. 1 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. That came on the same day that she announced the reopening of gyms at limited capacity and signaled the restart of high school athletics. 

    The governor noted every region in the state experienced an uptick in new coronavirus cases in early August.

    “With over 6,500 deaths, the virus continues to threaten the lives of Michiganders every day,” Whitmer said in a statement. “COVID-19 is a novel virus with many unknowns, but we do know that it is widespread, it is easily transmitted, and its effects can be fatal. We must continue to take this seriously and do everything we can to protect ourselves and all Michiganders from COVID-19. By extending the state of emergency, we can continue the crucial work needed to save lives.”

    Whitmer noted that the virus can affect everyone, including children. Younger people have constituted a growing share of new cases, she said. Whitmer urged that Michiganders continue to wear masks in public places. 

    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. The state’s percent positivity remains below the national average. In Michigan, 3.3% of all COVID-19 tests administered were positive, whereas nationally, it was 6.1%. Additionally, Michigan has a considerably lower percent positivity than surrounding states.

    Each of Michigan’s 83 counties have experienced at least two coronavirus cases. Wayne County has experienced 15,992 total cases; Keweenaw County located in the Upper Peninsula has experienced two total cases.

    Ken Coleman
    Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.