Whitmer to reengage the economy based on coronavirus data


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Gerry Anderson, executive chairman of DTE, at a press conference Monday. - STATE OF MICHIGAN
  • State of Michigan
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Gerry Anderson, executive chairman of DTE, at a press conference Monday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday said she will begin reopening Michigan's economy based on sector, geography, and data on coronavirus cases and hospital capacity.

To help her decide where and when to reopen businesses, Whitmer created the Michigan Economic Recovery Council, chaired by Gerry Anderson, executive chairman of DTE, and Nancy Schlichting, retired CEO of Henry Ford Health System. Members of the council include health care, business, and education leaders.

Whitmer said low-risk sectors, like residential and commercial construction and outdoor enterprises, will likely reopen “in the next week or two.”

“I will be guided by the data, not artificial timelines. There is no hard and fast timeline,” Whitmer said at a news conference Monday. "As we set dates, we will continue to keep you informed. … This is the smartest way to proceed.”

On Friday, Whitmer lifted restrictions on her stay-at-home order to allow some retailers to reopen for curbside pickup or delivery.

After reaching a peak two weeks ago, hospitalizations for COVID-19 patients have steadily declined, and there are fewer people on ventilators.

“Over the past week we’ve watched the number of new cases slowly decline,” Whitmer said. “We are not out of the woods yet, but we are seeing signs that give us reason to be optimistic.”

While most of the state is seeing progress, some are experiencing an uptick in cases. Because of that, some areas may see restrictions lifted sooner than others, Whitmer said.

“As we’re making decisions, it has to be data-driven,” Whitmer said at a news conference. “It’s a rigorous process designed to save lives.”

Whitmer gave no more indications about when other sectors would reopen.

"There is an incredible amount of work that goes into assessing risk," Whitmer said.

Stay on top of Detroit news and views. Sign up for our weekly issue newsletter delivered each Wednesday.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at [email protected].

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.