Gov. Whitmer provides update on Michigan COVID response

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer held a news conference Thursday morning to provide an update on the state’s response to the COVID pandemic.

You can watch the entire news briefing in the video player above.

Whitmer was joined Thursday by Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and MDHHS Director Elizabeth Hertel.

The governor’s update comes just after she hinted that coronavirus restrictions could be reduced as COVID case numbers decrease.

“We are continuing to monitor what the CDC is recommending and our data here in Michigan and I would anticipate forthcoming policy changes potentially that will feel a little bit more normal for all of us,” Whitmer said Tuesday. “We’re starting to see our numbers come down, which is good. I know that we’re all happy to see that we gotta keep taking it seriously. The CDC is continually updating the recommendations as we learn more about the virus and we learn more about the efficacy and impact and longevity of the vaccines.”

After weeks of a virus surge that overwhelmed Michigan’s medical centers, new COVID-19 cases have finally started to decline over the last 10 days. Virus hospitalizations are still high in the state, but they have begun to plateau.

On Wednesday, April 28, the state reported 4,371 new COVID cases and 38 new deaths, bringing state totals to 833,891 cases and 17,467 virus deaths.

Michigan COVID: Here’s what to know April 28, 2021

Earlier this week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated its guidelines on mask use in outdoor settings. CDC officials say because data shows that virus transmission primarily takes place indoors, and with the number of fully vaccinated adults growing steadily, the outdoor mask guidelines can be loosened for Americans under most circumstances.

More: CDC updates guidance on mask use in outdoor settings for fully vaccinated people

Related: Lt. Gov. Gilchrist: Building trust is key to reduce vaccine hesitancy

About the Author:

Cassidy Johncox is a senior digital news editor covering stories across the spectrum, with a special focus on politics and community issues.