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Whitmer cites progress checking virus; no Thanksgiving surge

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, December 10, 2020 photo
Michigan Office of the Governor
Associated Press

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s administration reported progress Tuesday in the fight against the coronavirus, saying new cases continue to decline and Michigan has seen no spike related to Thanksgiving travel.

Officials warned, though, that the case rate remains high.

Whitmer, a Democrat, said “hope is on the horizon” now that a vaccine is being distributed. She again urged the Republican-led Legislature to approve $100 million in relief for businesses and workers before adjourning in coming days. Talks continue.

A state health department order has prohibited indoor restaurant dining and closed entertainment venues to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed with infected patients. The restrictions could be extended beyond Sunday.

“The good news is that we are making progress. It is working,” the governor said of the order.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, said case rates, hospitalizations and positivity percentages are trending downward.

“We are cautiously optimistic that there was not a post-Thanksgiving surge in cases,” she said. “That means many Michiganders did their part in keeping the spread of the virus down over the Thanksgiving holiday.”

She cautioned that case rates are “alarmingly high” and the percent of positive tests is four times higher than in early September. “Now is now the time to let our guard down,” she said.