Michigan governor looking at next week to roll out plan for reopening state

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says Friday will be important day in process

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a COVID-19 news conference April 22, 2020.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer a COVID-19 news conference April 22, 2020. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has been promising more details about the state reopening after the coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown, and she’s looking to roll out those details next week.

READ: Michigan Gov. Whitmer mulls short-term stay-home extension, but reopen plan in works

“I’m hoping to say more when we can start loosening restrictions as soon as Friday of this week,” Whitmer said. “I’ll continue this conversation and share more information. I want to be clear: We will likely need another short-term extension of the ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ order.”

Whitmer parceled out her thoughts on reopening the state and acknowledged the curve is flattening. That means we can start hoping for reduced restrictions, and she knows many Michiganders are anxious to get back to work.

“As hard as this is right now, a second wave would be devastating, so when I say I’m hoping to loosen some restrictions, I mean, that’ll only loosen them based on what the facts and data are telling us when it is safe and how it is safe to do so,” Whitmer said.

She’s dropped hints over the last few days that she wants a layered approach to a reopening. It appears she is willing to do so regionally.

One of the few aspects on which she offered specifics was the stay-at-home order for the state’s most vulnerable residents. Whitmer said for the near future, it’s not going to be safer for people who are over the age of 65 or those with COPD. She said they’re going to have to continue to stay home for the time being.

Local 4 reached out to the speaker’s office Wednesday afternoon for a reaction to the governor’s comments, but one wasn’t made available. There have been talks, though, and Whitmer appears willing to work with the Republican Legislature to meet in the middle on the plans they’re released in the last week.

April 30 still looms large. It’s an important day because that’s when lawmakers would hammer out reduced restrictions in the stay-at-home order.

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