Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reflects on COVID, vaccination goals and ongoing battle against coronavirus

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reflects on COVID, vaccination goals and the continuing battle against the virus
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer reflects on COVID, vaccination goals and the continuing battle against the virus

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan has reported more than 7 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine administered as of Tuesday, with 50.6% of eligible residents having received at least one dose while 39.3% of eligible residents are considered fully vaccinated.

More: Whitmer announces Michigan will ease specific COVID restrictions as 4 vaccination goals are reached

The state’s plan is to get 70% of Michiganders vaccinated before things return to what seems like normal life.

In an exclusive interview with Local 4, Whitmer spoke with Rod Meloni about all things coronavirus Wednesday.

Michigan continues to lead the nation in new cases of COVID-19, but the trend is headed in the right direction.

“Our cases are falling dramatically,” Whitmer said.

On April 16, there were 8,955 confirmed COVID cases reported. On Wednesday, the state reported 2,589 -- a 71% drop.

There’s also been a 31% decrease in hospitalizations since April 6.

Gov. Whitmer touts signs of progress in Michigan's fights against COVID-19
Gov. Whitmer touts signs of progress in Michigan's fights against COVID-19

READ: Tracking Michigan COVID-19 hospitalization data trends

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that masks will generally not be required at outdoor gatherings that has less than 100 people.

Will the state of Michigan see any more kinds of moves like that? At this point, it doesn’t look like there’s anything on the horizon.

What about the possibility of getting adolescents teens vaccinated? Recent news seems like that’s it’s a possibility.

Whitmer said children are not going to be counted. The percentage is only of eligible adults and including children would reduce the overall percentage.

With many people deciding to not be vaccinated, what happens if we don’t get to 70%?

“If that’s the case, we’ll have to evaluate,” Whitmer said. “Our goal is 70%. You heard President Biden cite the same goal yesterday. This is our national goal and it’s very similar to Michigan’s. I’m glad we’re on the same page. We can do this. We have access to vaccines now, the question is going to be ‘Are we all going to jump in this together and encourage people?’”

DETAILS: Biden aims to vaccinate 70% of American adults by July 4

One of the things that is helpful is the notion that snowbirds and people who live along the Michigan borders who got their vaccination elsewhere can make sure the state has their vaccination documented.

READ: Snowbirds could be Michigan’s secret weapon in reaching vaccination goals

“If people wondering if perhaps their out-of-state vaccine has been counted, they should call their local health department and make sure they get credit for it,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer said that is something that absolutely needs to happen. Residents can talk to their local county Health Department or even go to places where they are distributing the vaccine -- say a pharmacy or a Kroger -- and show them their vaccination card, so they can record it for the state.


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