Gov. Whitmer extends state of emergency as COVID-19 cases continue to rise


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a past coronavirus press conference. - STATE OF MICHIGAN
  • State of Michigan
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a past coronavirus press conference.

As the number of new coronavirus cases continue to climb, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday extended her state of emergency through Oct. 27, giving her the authority to impose restrictions to combat the pandemic.

“We have saved thousands of lives in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among our most vulnerable populations – people of color, seniors, and people with disabilities,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Because we took swift action, the health of our families and our economy are faring better than our neighbors in other states.”

Whitmer said the emergency will end in “a matter of months.”

“But we are not out of the woods yet,” she cautioned. “Right now, the federal government and all 50 states have been under some form of state of emergency. We must continue doing our part to fight this virus on behalf of our families, frontline workers, and our small businesses.”

Whitmer’s restrictions are credited for a steep decline in cases during the peak of the pandemic in early April, when Michigan was among the top three states in deaths and confirmed cases. As Whitmer loosened the restrictions, the cases began to steadily rise in June.

The state averaged 1,125 new cases a day in April, followed by 512 in May and 215 in June. Since then, the number of confirmed cases have risen, reaching 564 in July, 673 in August, and 730 in September.


On Sept. 25, Whitmer relaxed restrictions on movie theaters, small performance venues, and bowling alleys.

A right-wing group, Unlock Michigan, is circulating petitions in an attempt to repeal the law that empowers Whitmer to impose the state of emergency. The group, however, is under criminal investigation for running a dirty, misleading, and potentially illegal campaign.

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