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Gov. Whitmer warns ‘spotty compliance’ has Michigan on track for more COVID-19 cases than first peak

Michigan reports largest daily increase since May 14 by more than 100 cases

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a July 15, 2020, coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing.
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a July 15, 2020, coronavirus (COVID-19) briefing. (WDIV)

LANSING, Mich. – On a day when Michigan reported by far its most new coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in more than two months, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said “spotty compliance” with the rules has the state on track for more cases than the first peak in April.

Michigan officials reported 891 new confirmed COVID-19 cases on Wednesday, which is the most daily cases since May 14. In that time, the highest daily total was 773 on May 18.

The state hadn’t reported more than 659 cases in a single day since.

During Wednesday’s briefing, Whitmer showed a video with University of Michigan coaches Jim Harbaugh, Juwan Howard and Kim Barnes Arico and Michigan State University coaches Tom Izzo, Mel Tucker and Suzy Merchant encouraging Michiganders to wear masks.

But the most telling part of the briefing was when Whitmer referenced a graph that showed the past, current and future trajectories of daily coronavirus cases in the state.

“You can see where we are now, and where our trajectory is headed,” Whitmer said. “If we don’t do anything different right now and keep seeing that our numbers climb, this is where we are headed. As you can see, it’ll be above where we were at the absolute worst time during COVID-19, or during the initial Stay Home, Stay Safe order. So, this is what’s at stake.”

READ: Whitmer extends Michigan state of emergency until Aug. 11

The very peak of Michigan’s daily cases came April 3, when the state reported 1,953 cases. Between March 30 and April 29 (31 days), Michigan had 20 days of more than 1,000 new cases.

Some of the spike in cases can be attributed to specific outbreaks around the state, including:

But Whitmer said the steady increase is also due to Michiganders who refuse to follow the safety guidelines and wear masks in public.

“Research confirms that a big part of the reason is spotty compliance,” Whitmer said. “That means that the requirement that people wear face masks is really important to get a handle on these numbers and to push down these numbers again.

“We’ve seen what can happen when people come together with face coverings, but we’ve also seen what can happen when people show up without a face covering. We have a choice to make: We double down and get more vigilant in our fight against this virus, or do we let all of our hard work go to waste -- all the hard work we’ve done over the past four months?”

More coverage

Here’s much more recent coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitmer’s handling of pandemic:

Reopening Michigan:

Health questions, advice:

Outbreaks:

Unemployment:

Individual stories:

Changes:


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