Michigan Gov. Whitmer pushes COVID vaccines as state leads country in number of new cases

Health officials may offer new guidance soon

Michigan is leading the country in the number of new coronavirus cases.

RIVER ROUGE, Mich. – Michigan is leading the country in the number of new coronavirus cases.

On Tuesday, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talked about vaccines at an event and hinted at something that could be coming as soon as Wednesday from the health department.

The Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport was busy on Tuesday. There weren’t lines out the door like before COVID, but there was a steady flow of traffic. COVID is at the top of many people’s minds, but not dampening things like it did a year ago.

Read: Mayor: Detroit’s COVID spike could pose ‘serious problem’

Whitmer handed out holiday meals in River Rouge on Tuesday morning. She told Local 4 that we can expect the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services to come out with more COVID guidance on Wednesday.

“We recognize that our healthcare workers are exhausted. They’ve been working for two years straight, many places are understaffed and so the burden that we can ease on them by getting vaccinated is really important,” Whitmer said.

Local 4 asked her about emergency mandates.

“A year ago we did not have vaccines. Now we have the tools to stay safe. We have the information to stay safe when we had to take aggressive actions it was because we didn’t have these tools. We do now,” she said.

Read: Michigan COVID surge: Push for pre-holiday testing, vaccinations

She said 93% of hospitalizations in Michigan are in unvaccinated people across the state. Which is 15% higher than MDHHS guidance last Friday. Local 4 asked her why.

“It is a collision of unvaccinated people. We still have a big chunk of our population that has not yet been vaccinated, for whatever reason. I’m not criticizing. I’m just observing, this is what’s feeding this growth of COVID in the state of Michigan,” she said.

She said that nothing is going to change between now and Christmas.

“We know that as the holidays happen, I’m concerned. We’ve got multiple generations of families gathering. Some of whom will bring COVID into those events and sadly and some family members could get sick,” she said.

As things stand, the indoor mask advisory remains in effect. The MDHHS director said last Friday that families may want to consider having Thanksgiving dinner outdoors, or opening windows to increase ventilation during this year’s dinner.

Read: Complete Michigan COVID coverage

About the Author:

Rod Meloni is an Emmy Award-winning Business Editor on Local 4 News and a Certified Financial Planner™ Professional.