Gov. Whitmer announces Michigan will not move to phase 5 of reopening plan before July 4 weekend

Whitmer originally planned to move entire state to phase 5 by holiday

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Uncredited)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the state will not advance to the fifth phase of her reopening plan by the Fourth of July weekend, as she had originally planned.

“My hope was that we would be into phase five by the Fourth of July,” Whitmer said Tuesday during her coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing. “That’s not going to happen. I just think we need to take that off the table right now.”

Click here to read about what it takes to get to phase five of the reopening plan.

Six of the state’s eight geographical regions -- the Detroit, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo and Saginaw regions -- will remain in phase four of the plan. The Upper Peninsula and Traverse City Region are both in phase five.

“The numbers that we’re seeing are increasing across the state,” Whitmer said. “Does that mean that we have to rethink and reanalyze and perhaps take a more conservative approach? Maybe, but I’m not announcing that today.”

Whitmer said she would anticipate being able to offer more clarity about the state’s next steps in the next 24 to 48 hours.

When she moved Northern Michigan to phase five June 5, Whitmer said she hoped the rest of the state would follow “in the coming weeks.”

“The good news is that we are headed in the right direction, and if the current trajectory continues, I anticipate we’ll be able to announce more sectors reopening in the coming weeks,” Whitmer said.

Her office reiterated the possibility of the entire state moving to phase five by July 4 when Whitmer revealed on the radio that the change wouldn’t happen before last weekend.

Whitmer lifted her months-long stay-at-home order June 1 and moved the remaining six regions to phase four of her reopening plan. Over the next three weeks, no single day brought more than 304 new confirmed cases, as Michigan was one of the top states in the nation in terms of flattening the curve.

But the tide started to turn June 24, when Michigan went from a spike of 221 new cases the previous day to 323 new cases -- the highest of the month. The next two days each set new monthly highs, and there have been five total days of more than 300 new cases in the last week.

Tuesday marked Michigan’s second-highest daily increase of June, with 373 new confirmed cases. The only greater single-day total was Friday (June 26), when officials confirmed 389 new cases.

More coverage

Here’s much more coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic from throughout the month of June.

Whitmer’s handling of pandemic:

Reopening Michigan:

Health questions, advice:


Personal stories:


About the Author:

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.