Gov. Whitmer extends state of emergency to continue fighting spread of COVID-19


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a recent press conference. - GOV. GRETCHEN WHITMER'S OFFICE
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's Office
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a recent press conference.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended her state of emergency order through Oct. 1, giving her the authority to impose restrictions to combat the spread of the coronavirus as hundreds of new cases are confirmed every day.

The coronavirus peaked in Michigan in early April, but after a major dip in cases in June, the number of confirmed infections has steadily risen in July and August. The state reported an average of 1,125 cases each day in April, 512 in May, 215 in June, 564 in July, 673 in August, and 642 so far in September.

Michigan surpassed 100,000 confirmed cases last week.

“With over 6,500 deaths, the virus continues to threaten the lives of Michiganders every day,” Whitmer said in a news release. “COVID-19 is a novel virus with many unknowns, but we do know that it is widespread, it is easily transmitted, and its effects can be fatal. We must continue to take this seriously and do everything we can to protect ourselves and all Michiganders from COVID-19."

In May, Republicans in the House and Senate attempted to sue Whitmer over her emergency powers, arguing she needed congressional approval before extending them. Michigan Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens tossed the case, and the Michigan Court of Appeals backed the ruling. The case is now before the Michigan Supreme Court.

“By extending the state of emergency, we can continue the crucial work needed to save lives,” Whitmer said. "Since March, I have been committed to using every tool at my disposal to protect families, frontline workers, and our economy from the threat of COVID-19. I urge Michiganders to do their part by wearing a mask, practicing physical distancing and staying safe and smart.”

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