Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer declares state of disaster due to coronavirus (COVID-19)

Number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Michigan nears 10,000

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Julia Pickett)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has formally declared a state of disaster due to the economic, educational and civic issues caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.

UPDATE -- April 1, 2020: Michigan coronavirus cases up to 9,334; Death toll rises to 337

“Since Michigan announced our first confirmed cases of COVID-19 three weeks ago, we have taken some of the most aggressive measures in the country to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect Michigan families,” Whitmer said. “Today’s action will allow my administration to respond more effectively to every facet of this crisis. During this time, it’s crucial that Michiganders continue to stay home and keep their distance from others. We will get through this together.”

“The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan is still climbing, and we must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread,” MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun said. “The governor has taken a number of critical steps to protect Michigan families, and this order today will allow that work to continue. I will keep working closely with the governor and our partners across state government to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

Michigan coronavirus timeline: Key dates, COVID-19 case tracking, state orders

Whitmer also sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield requesting a concurrent resolution extending the declared state of emergency and disaster by 70 days from the date of the resolution.

“To meet the steep, varied and ongoing demands created by the COVID-19 pandemic, my administration must continue to use the full range of tools available to protect the health, safety and welfare of our state and its residents," Whitmer said in the letter. "I welcome you and your colleagues’ continued partnership in fighting this pandemic.”

State officials said while Whitmer has multiple independent powers to address the challenges Michigan now faces, the powers of this executive order offer important protections and should remain a part the state’s ongoing efforts to combat the coronavirus.

On March 10, Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Michigan to address the COVID-19 pandemic. In just three weeks, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Michigan surpassed 9,000 confirmed cases. To date, 337 Michiganders have died from COVID-19.

Whitmer has ordered nonessential businesses to temporarily suspend in-person operations and directed all residents to stay in their homes, with limited exceptions.

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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.