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Michigan governor warns rise in cases could force state to move backward in plans to tackle COVID-19

Governor’s interview comes day after state reported record breaking 3,338 new cases

DETROIT – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer talked about the possibility of a second shutdown during an interview with Local 4 News Sunday morning, a day after the state reported an alarming new milestone in coronavirus cases.

The number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan has risen to 158,026 as of Saturday, including 7,182 deaths. Saturday’s update represents 3,338 new cases and 35 additional deaths.

It marks the state’s highest single day increase in COVID-19 cases.

When asked about the possibility of a second shutdown due to the spike in cases Whitmer noted that all Michigan residents need to do their part to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

“If an increase becomes so large it is going to be incredibly dangerous for all of us whether you get COVID or not. And that’s why right now we have to double down on mask wearing, on not having gatherings, having real physical distancing, insuring that we are hand washing. We have pushed our curb down in the past. The good news is we’ve learned a lot about this virus. We know what it takes, but we need everyone to do their part so we can avoid having to take steps backward. And that I think is the call to action, and that is the alarming part of these numbers. We all have to do our part in bringing these numbers down,” said Whitmer.

She also answered questions about the recent Michigan Supreme Court ruling that took away her emergency coronavirus powers. Whitmer talked about the options she has moving forward.

She highlighted that fact that the director of the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services still has powers and authority to use and execute.

“People still aren’t sure whether there is a mask mandate. There is. We have epidemic powers that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is using to continue the mask mandate. We have the force of law. There are limitations on public gatherings. As we navigate our next steps and these numbers continue to rise and our heath systems are under distress then the director will issue additional orders that could mean moving backward. That is what I am hoping to avoid,” said Whitmer.

“No one wants to see us move backward, but if COVID is growing out of control across our state that will be necessary and that is what we are trying to avoid.”

Whitmer was interviewed ahead of Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 3. As of last weekend nearly 1 million people had already voted in Michigan.

On Sunday’s episode of Flashpoint medical experts weighed in on the new spike in coronavirus cases.


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