Whitmer on possible extension of COVID-19 restrictions: ‘Bottom line is, do the people do their part?’

Whitmer talks about possibility of extending ‘pause’ beyond three weeks

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer holds COVID-19 briefing on Dec. 1, 2020

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said when considering whether or not the three-week COVID-19 restrictions need to be extended, the bottom line is: “Do the people do their part?”

From Nov. 18 through Dec. 8, Michigan is under tightened COVID-19 rules. Indoor dining, in-person college and high school classes and much more is banned.

In addition to those restrictions from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services order, health officials are asking Michiganders to wear masks, practice social distancing and wash hands frequently.

“In the second wave, you know that actions like these have helped to bring those numbers down, and that’s what we’re hoping for,” Whitmer said. “The bottom line really is: Do the masses, do the people do their part? It comes down to individuals, all of us, doing our part and taking this seriously.”

READ: Governor responds to Michigan restaurants considering defying state order, reopening

Whitmer said experts knew nine months ago that if everyone could just stay in place for three weeks, the virus would be conquered. But eight months later, more than 9,000 Michigan residents have died, and more than 300,000 have become infected.

“We could all do our part right now and take this incredible seriously,” Whitmer said. “Three weeks from now, life would look very different.”

Officials are encouraging people to avoid traveling over Christmas so they can do so without fear of COVID-19 next year.

“Right now is a really critical time,” Whitmer said.

There is hope that stems from slowly declining case rates and positive momentum for a COVID-19 vaccine. After rising to nearly 10,000 new COVID-19 cases in a single day, Michigan has seen case rates level off recently, though they are still much higher than officials would like to see.

While there’s a great deal of hope, Michigan is also in a “really dangerous moment,” Whitmer said.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.