DETROIT – Pointing to seven straight days of spikes in coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said that moving the state to phase five was off the table. Whitmer is urging people to take it easy this 4th of July.
“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.”
Whitmer said she expects to be able to offer more clarity about the state’s next steps in the next 24 to 48 hours.
Whitmer is also planning on students physically returning to school in the fall with the help of a 25-member advisory council and $256 million new budget from her capitol colleagues.
Whitmer is also asking the Michigan High School Athletic Association (MHSAA) to switch the fall and spring sports seasons. Football would move to the spring and the individual sports like track, tennis and golf would move to the fall. A decision is expected in late July.
Leaders from districts across the state are already reacting to the announcement.
Detroit schools superintendent Nikolai Vitti released the following on Twitter:
I appreciate the Return to Learn Task Force recommendations. DPSCD has already developed and vetted our reopening plan. We will make a few adjustments to align with the requirements to submit our plan in advance of the deadline.— Nikolai Vitti (@Dr_Vitti) June 30, 2020
Despite some clarity regarding returning to school in the fall (which we agree with) the state has yet to answer serious questions about the 20-21 budget and fully funding students whose families should be empowered to use a district full-time virtual option.— Nikolai Vitti (@Dr_Vitti) June 30, 2020
We have already engaged many of our high school principals ADs and football coaches and I stand with them to state that the association should not flip fall and spring sports. Football should be played this fall. We believe the association will eventually agree with our position.— Nikolai Vitti (@Dr_Vitti) June 30, 2020