Michigan COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations continue to rise

Negotiations on response bills reportedly underway

LANSING, Mich. – Over the past two weeks, it’s becoming clear Michigan is seeing COVID-19 cases rising along with hospitalizations.

Hospitalizations have increased steadily for the last three weeks, including a slight uptick in critical care and ventilator use.

The Michigan legislature was not in session Friday but there was a lot of activity in Lansing to work out how to deal with coronavirus after the Supreme Court nixed Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Orders.

Whitmer’s orders have given way to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services clamping down with its own orders requiring masks and limiting crowd sizes in bars, restaurants and other enclosed indoor spaces.

Lansing sources tell Local 4 that negotiations are underway between the senate and the governor’s office on more response bills and to reduce the confusion surrounding who should step in and when.

One source said the focus is on making the state’s overall COVID-19 response similar to the Return-to-Learn plan, allowing local control.

One of the things Whitmer has agreed to do is start sharing the data with the legislature she used in her decision making process for much of the year.

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy brought the lawsuit leading to the Supreme Court’s decision earlier this month.

Mackinac Center vice president Patrick Wright said he’s watching the process carefully, because he is still concerned the health department may be overstepping its authority.

Still, there is no doubt the increasing number -- particularly hospitalizations and deaths -- are getting noticed in Lansing.

The Joint Legislative COVID Response Committee will meet Monday to discuss the situation.

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