Michigan health officials issue warning during holiday season as COVID cases surge

Whitmer puts support behind Biden’s COVID vaccine mandate

Thursday is expected to be one of the busiest days at the airports and on the roads.

DETROIT – Thursday is expected to be one of the busiest days at the airports and on the roads.

The airport has been busy all week with travelers heading in and out of Michigan for the holiday. The latest surge of COVID has caused health officials to warn against travel for the unvaccinated.

Health officials are urging people who are not vaccinated or are only partially vaccinated not to travel until they are fully vaccinated.

That warning comes as Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer officially threw her support behind President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandate for businesses, despite not putting one in place herself.

In a call with Capitol reporters, Whitmer said she supports Biden’s vaccine mandate for large employers. Her comment seemed to be at odds with what she told business leaders just two weeks ago. She said as an employer of thousands of state employees, the mandate is a problem for all.

Whitmer’s spokesperson, Bobby Leddy, clarified the statements and said Whitmer has not changed her stance.

As Michigan braces amid the spread of omicron, the Department of Health and Human Services, Elizabeth Hertel, released a video on Twitter echoing the administration’s stance to not issue mask or gathering mandates amid the latest surge.

“This year is different because we have the tolls and strategies to gather with family and friends safely,” Hertel said.

Hertel also issued guidance for the unvaccinated or partially vaccinated hoping to travel this weekend.

“If you are considering traveling, it’s recommended that you be fully vaccinated or delay travel until you are fully vaccinated,” Hertel said.

On Wednesday night the Supreme Court announced that it would be taking up Biden’s vaccine mandate in an emergency hearing on Jan. 7. That case is one that Attorney General Dana Nessel said she would sign on to defend.

Read: Complete Michigan COVID coverage

About the Authors:

Grant comes to Local 4 from Oklahoma City. He joins the news team as co-anchor of Local 4 News Today weekend mornings and is a general assignment reporter.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.