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.

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.