LANSING, Mich. (Great Lakes News) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer stopped short of issuing new mandates on Friday, and instead encouraged Michigan schools and residents to voluntarily slow the spread of rising COVID-19 cases over the next two weeks.
“I’m calling on high schools to voluntarily go remote for two weeks past spring break,” Whitmer said. “I’m calling on youth sports to voluntarily suspend games and practices for the next two weeks.”
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Whitmer also dealt another blow to the state’s already embattled restaurant industry, urging residents to avoid dining in and instead eating outside. She also appeared to insert herself into people’s private residences.
“Avoid gathering with friends indoors,” Whitmer said.
Whitmer’s pleas come as Michigan catapulted itself into a COVID-19 hotspot. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed Michigan has reported more than 49,000 cases in the past week. That’s more than any other in the nation. People ages 20-39 are seeing a surge.
Whitmer’s extended mask mandates, so-called “pauses,” and her handling of the coronavirus has gained national attention. While other states have switched to mask advisories instead of mandates, Whitmer has not indicated she’s moving in that direction.
She did add that the state will hit 5.1 million vaccinations by the end of the day.
In addition, standardized academic testing for Michigan’s students takes place this month, which throws another wrinkle into Whitmer’s suggestion to move to remote learning.
When asked about ICE sending hundreds of illegal immigrant children to Albion, Whitmer did not answer the question and indicated she’ll get back to the reporter later.