LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is “strongly considering all actions” to slow the spread of COVID-19 as cases, hospitalizations and deaths surge statewide.
“Right now, my team and I are following the numbers closely and strongly considering all actions that we can take to keep Michiganders safe,” Whitmer said.
Every week, Whitmer faces a question about whether Michigan will need to be shut down again to stop the spread of COVID-19. During the stay-at-home order, the state flattened the curve to the point certain days had fewer than 200 cases and sometimes, no deaths.
But on Thursday, Michigan reported a single-day record 6,940 new COVID-19 cases, along with 45 additional deaths. Overall, the state has reported 236,225 COVID-19 cases and 7,811 deaths.
Single-day totals north of 6,000 cases have become the new norm in November.
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Still, during a virtual conversation Thursday about the state’s COVID-19 situation, Michigan hospital system leaders said they don’t believe a similar government shutdown is necessary.
“None of us want to go through the shut down and the brute force of what happened in the spring,” said John Fox, president and CEO of Beaumont Health. “I think we don’t need to do that, but I do think that government, and frankly all of our communities, play a critical role in reinforcing the way that we can control this virus.”
Wright Lassiter, president and CEO of Henry Ford Health System, agreed with Fox, saying a “blanket shutdown” wouldn’t provide the specific protections Michigan needs.
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“I think it remains to be seen whether or not simply asking Michiganders will be enough,” Lassiter said. “I think that’s where we stand currently, that if doing the right thing and using ration and science isn’t sufficient, then there may be other steps that end up being necessary.”
When she was asked about the possibility of another shutdown during the Q&A section of Thursday’s briefing, Whitmer didn’t say she or the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services are planning another stay-at-home order.
“Every one of us has to play a part," Whitmer said. “We all have a personal responsibility to do our part. Let’s do what we did in the spring and show the rest of the world Michiganders know how to take care of one another.”