Democratic Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that the state would extend their partial lockdown through Dec. 20.
“Hope is on the horizon, but we need an additional 12 days to determine the full impact of the Thanksgiving holiday on our efforts to mitigate the spread of the virus,” Whitmer said in a statement. “This is all about protecting our families and frontline workers until we eradicate this virus once and for all.”
Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) extended the pandemic order that restricts indoor gatherings and other group activities but does not mandate a statewide stay-at-home action.
Employees unable to work remotely are still permitted to go to work and outdoor gatherings and dining remain open. However, indoor dining is banned according to the order. Salons, gyms and other activities that maintain social distancing and enforce mask guidance are still allowed to stay open.
“We each have a personal responsibility to wear a mask consistently and minimize indoor gatherings, so we can protect our frontline heroes and loved ones,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “If we don’t, the disease will continue to spread and people will continue to get sick and die.” (RELATED: Sheriff Who Suggested Kidnapping Plot Against Gretchen Whitmer Was Citizen’s Arrest Files Lawsuit Over Election Fraud)
MDHHS proposed three metrics that will be used to determine whether or not the state can reopen after Dec. 20: the percentage of hospital beds with COVID patients, the amount of COVID-19 cases and the positivity rate.
MDHHS has identified three key metrics that will be utilized in determining a safe reopening. MDHHS will be looking closely at the percentage of hospital beds with COVID patients, the number of #COVID19 cases and the positivity rate. View the graphic at https://t.co/5KDfzbF8CQ. pic.twitter.com/C00CAI3AMC
— Michigan HHS Dept (@MichiganHHS) December 7, 2020
If the state can pass those metrics, in-person learning at high schools will be the first to open, followed by entertainment venues like casinos, theaters and bowling alleys, according to Whitmer’s announcement.
Stay Smart. Stay Safe. @MichiganHHS reports today, Dec. 7, 2020, 9,350* new COVID-19 cases & 93 deaths. For * details https://t.co/2tAAcYRyCj. Michigan’s total cases are now 404,386 & 9,947 deaths. Find the latest data & #COVID19 news @ https://t.co/niRBexCYOy. #MaskUpMichigan pic.twitter.com/nfW9ZE6lNE
— Michigan.gov (@migov) December 7, 2020
Michigan Republican Party Chairwoman Laura Cox is calling on Whitmer to reverse the order, saying businesses and families can’t survive another lockdown.
“Michigan businesses and families cannot withstand another shutdown, and I am calling on Governor Whitmer to reverse course and allow Michiganders the freedom to work, go to school, and be with their families during this holiday season,” Cox said in a statement. “Whitmer should be removing the restrictions she imposed.”
The Michigan Restaurant and Lodging Association’s President and CEO Justin Winslow said the group was “disappointed” by the extension.
“We aren’t surprised by the governor’s decision to extend Director Gordon’s MDHHS Order today, but we remain exceptionally disappointed,” Winslow said. “We firmly believe there is a better approach – one followed by 45 other states – that doesn’t use blunt force closure of a single industry to resolve a shared crisis.”
“The restaurant industry is comprised of creative and resilient individuals. but for a growing number of them, this latest pause is the cause of their lost livelihood and well-being.”
The state originally introduced a “three-week pause” which shut down indoor dining, in-person classes at high schools and entertainment venues. The order was set to expire Dec. 9, according to WXYZ.