What Michigan Gov. Whitmer said about allowing businesses that are still closed to reopen

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun says Detroit Region still has highest case rates

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (Uncredited)

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was asked Wednesday what she needs to see to allow businesses that are still closed due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) to reopen.

The question was posed during her COVID-19 press briefing. While she didn’t offer specifics in terms of where the state’s statistics would need to be to reopen certain businesses, Whitmer offered the following answer:

“So, right now, we are working with (the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services) to drill down on that, and I think that you’re asking an important question, and I want to give you an answer with as much specificity as I can, but I’m hampered right now because we’ve asked them to articulate -- all of the businesses that still have zero presence in terms of economic reopening -- where we can do another assessment on risk mitigation and determine if we might consider making some improvements in the policy. We’ve learned a lot, of course. This still is a novel virus. There still is no vaccine and no cure at this juncture, and we’re learning a lot about it every single day, and we have the benefit of learning what is happening in other states, what’s happening that’s bad that we don’t want to do, but perhaps some things that they’ve done that have been successful, and so I would anticipate I’ll be able to share a little bit more on that front with you next week as that work is happening right now.”

Cases by region

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun spoke about how the current case rates are trending across the eight Michigan regions.

The Detroit Region has the highest case rate at 61 cases per million people per day, according to Khaldun. She said that case rate is largely driven by counties outside the city of Detroit.

The Saginaw Region is the second highest at 54 cases per million people per day. This region has seen a slight increase in case rate over the past week, Khaldun said.

Despite seeing a decline over the past two weeks, the Kalamazoo Region has the third-highest case rate, at 50 cases per million people per day, she said.

The Upper Peninsula is at 47 cases per million people per day -- a slight decrease over the past week, Khaldun said.

The Grand Rapids Region has seen a slight decrease over the past two weeks and was at 34 cases per million people per day at the end of last week, she said.

Khaldun lumped the Traverse City, Jackson and Lansing regions together, saying they’re all between 20-30 cases per million people per day. The Jackson and Lansing regions have seen recent decreases, while the Traverse City Region has seen a slight increase, she said.

More coverage

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

Whitmer’s handling of pandemic:

Reopening Michigan:

Health questions, advice:




Individual 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.