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CDC chief urges Michigan to ‘close things down’ amid spike

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The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Monday that Michigan should “close things down” to help address surging coronavirus infections, days after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer instead urged people to voluntarily restrict certain activities.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky made the statement while explaining that the effect of vaccinations is delayed. The governor has urged the federal government to send additional doses to the state, but the administration of President Joe Biden has stuck with allocating to states proportionally by population.

“So when you have an acute situation, extraordinary number of cases like we have in Michigan, the answer is not necessarily to give vaccine,” Walensky said. “The answer to that is to really close things down, to go back to our basics, to back to where we were last spring, last summer ... to flatten the curve, to decrease contact with one another, to test ... to contact trace.”

The Democratic governor last spring issued a monthslong stay-at-home order and lifted it in June while keeping in place various restrictions. In November, amid a second wave of cases, her administration tightened limits before loosening them in recent months.

Earlier Monday, Whitmer again said the ongoing third surge in Michigan is different because of vaccines and, unlike a year ago, it is known that masks are effective and the state has adequate testing and personal protective equipment.

“We each have enough information to do our part,” she said. “That’s what we’re calling on people to do — to do your part.”