Gov. Whitmer says she will provide more details about plan to reopen Michigan economy next week

It will happen in phases

In this image provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Monday, April 6, 2020. Whitmer said Detroit-area hospitals are running "dangerously low" on personal protection equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also reported an "incredible surge" in the number of unemployment claims and promised that people would get paid, despite computer woes and bureaucratic red tape. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP)
In this image provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Monday, April 6, 2020. Whitmer said Detroit-area hospitals are running "dangerously low" on personal protection equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic. She also reported an "incredible surge" in the number of unemployment claims and promised that people would get paid, despite computer woes and bureaucratic red tape. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said during a press conference Friday that she will provide more details next week about her plan to reopen the state’s economy.

Whitmer said this will be determined by a “fact-based, data driven approach."

The coronavirus (COVID-19) curve has plateaued, said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.

April 17 update -- Michigan coronavirus (COVID-19) cases up to 30,023; Death toll now at 2,227

However, Khaldun said it is important to be mindful that there are still many people who have the virus and many people dying.

Both Whitmer and Khaldun said social distancing is the reason numbers aren’t higher.

Gov. Whitmer defends stay-at-home order after president's Tweet
Gov. Whitmer defends stay-at-home order after president's Tweet

Because of this, Whitmer said reopening the economy will involve examining the risks. She encouraged people who even have mild symptoms to get tested because it is important to know how many people have the illness and where it may be as we move forward.

Click here to find a testing site near you

Midwest governors have partnered on a plan to reopen the regional economy.

This plan includes examining four factors: sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations, enhanced ability to test and trace, sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence, and best practices for social distancing in the workplace.

“This doesn’t mean that our economy is going to open all at once," Whitmer said.

VIEW: A timeline of closures, event bans, stay-at-home orders

Whitmer noted that businesses will reopen in phases. She said “any return to work will be phased in carefully” so the impact of social distancing measures can be gauged.

When determining which businesses can begin operating again, Whitmer said she will be considering factors such as how close workers are to each other, how many people work there and if there are shared tools.

Once employees start returning to work, she said officials will "engage and assess” how things are going before moving on to the next phase.

Getting back to work will also involve following social distancing measures and cleanliness standards to help prevent a surge of cases.

“My No. 1 priority is saving lives in this state,” Whitmer said.

Whitmer said more details will be revealed late next week and in the coming weeks.