“The department issued this order to prevent our hospitals from overwhelming, so that we can protect the brave women and men serving on the front lines of this crisis, so we can protect our small businesses who want to stay open and so we can, of course, slow the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “The good news is that we are making progress. It is working.”
Whitmer said the state’s number of COVID-19 cases is decreasing, and that the dip correlates with the day the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued its three-week “pause.”
“Simply put, what we’re doing is working,” Whitmer said. “The vast majority of Michiganders are taking this seriously and doing their part to help us eradicate this virus.”
On Nov. 15, Whitmer and MDHHS Director Robert Gordon held a news conference to announce stricter COVID-19 rules were being put in place for three weeks -- from Nov. 18 through Dec. 8.
The highlights of this order included shutting down dine-in at restaurants and forcing residents to work from home unless their job absolutely required them to show up in person. High school and college classes were shifted to fully remote formats and most entertainment venues were shuttered for the pause.
On Dec. 7, the pause was extended an additional 12 days -- until Dec. 20 -- so officials could gauge the impact of the Thanksgiving holiday. Experts thought gatherings and increased travel during the holiday would result in a major spike in cases, but on Tuesday, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive for MDHHS, revealed that didn’t end up being the case.
Michigan reported 4,730 new COVID-19 cases and 183 additional deaths (71 from a Vital Records review) on Tuesday, bringing the state totals to 442,715 cases and 10,935 deaths since the start of the pandemic.