Michigan, the 10th largest state in the country, has the third highest death count from the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as of Sunday.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says there is much to consider before reopening the economy amid the pandemic -- and she is treating every industry differently.
Whitmer says a large factor in determining when Michigan can reopen is the state’s ability to test more people. Whitmer said she intends to make announcements throughout the week regarding plans for reopening the economy.
Meanwhile, Detroit has received praise from the doctor leading the national COVID-19 response for the progress that’s been made in a short period of time. Dr. Deborah Birx singled out Detroit on a national chart during a press conference with the White House coronavirus task force on Saturday.
“When Dr. Birx put up the national chart and showed the other cities still going up and singled out Detroit for having bent the curve -- there’s no doubt we are slowing the spread of this (COVID-19) at a dramatic rate,” says Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan.
Unfortunately, those in nursing homes are still widely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Duggan says conditions for nursing home residents may be changing soon, as new measures are being taken at facilities across the city.
Duggan says the Detroit Health Department is conducting 15-minute COVID-19 tests at three nursing homes each day in Detroit, testing every single resident.
Even with a flattening curve and new measures being implemented, it still may be a while before things go back to normal.
“Normal maybe a year from now, if your definition of normal is a you can go to a football game and sit with 60,000 other people or you can go to a crowded restaurant and sit down and eat," Duggan said. “That’s going to be a while.”
The state’s economy is expected to reopen slowly in phases, with the first phase focused on testing all frontline workers for COVID-19.