COVID

High school basketball finals are happening this week in Michigan. That’s despite the fact that the CDC has recommended Michigan restrict indoor youth sports.
 

The governor said tightening restrictions is NOT on the table right now. However, she would NOT rule that out in the future. She said the plan right now is to rely on people to do the right thing when it comes to masks, distancing, and getting vaccinated – and hope that beats how fast the coronavirus is spreading.

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State workers who can do their jobs remotely are being told to stay home longer while Michigan gets the spread of COVID-19 under control.

Now, about half of the state’s 48-thousand-person workforce is being told to plan on working from home until at least mid-July. That’s the latest from the Office of the State Employer.

       Spokesman Kurt Weiss says that order could also be extended depending on progress in fighting the spread of COVID.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer helped launch a new mass COVID-19 vaccination site today  in Oakland County.

Whitmer said she’s focused on getting as many people vaccinated as quickly as possible; encouraging people to continue to wear masks;  and to remain socially distanced in public places.

   She’s held back on re-tightening restrictions despite escalating case numbers and hospitalizations. Whitmer said  “COVID fatigue” is a problem.

   “All the best policies in the world don’t do any good if people won’t comply or won’t follow, do their best to follow them.”

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There are no plans to bring back more COVID-19 restrictions in Michigan. That’s despite Michigan’s COVID numbers taking a dark turn this week.

The Centers for Disease Control says Michigan has the highest number of cases per capita in the US. There’s a surge in a new, highly contagious variant.

There have been 16-thousand-141 known COVID-related deaths since the virus was first detected in Michigan a little more than a year ago.

Lieutenant Governor Garlin Gilchrist has played a key role in Michigan’s COVID response.             

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has doubled the state’s goal of delivering 50 thousand COVID-19 vaccine shots per day to 100 thousand.

   That’s as case rates in Michigan are rising.

Michigan leads the nation in COVID-19 cases per capita.  That’s based on the last seven-day average. The pace of COVID-related deaths in the state is also accelerating.

Much of the increase in the state appears linked to new, more-contagious COVID variants.

wikipedia.com

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today resubmitted 17 appointments to state boards and commissions that were rejected by the state Senate. It’s part of the standoff between Whitmer and Republicans over COVID-19 restrictions in the state.
 

Most restrictions are lifted now, but Whitmer said the COVID response is still too embroiled in politics, and she can’t promise restrictions won’t be reinstated if Michigan’s COVID numbers continue to get worse.

“We know that every action that we bring back online creates the risk inherent that we’re going to see our numbers go up.”

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has vetoed another attempt by the Legislature to contain her efforts to manage the COVID-19 crisis in Michigan.

The bill would have required the Legislature to vote on whether to extend an order from the state Department of Health and Human Services beyond 28 days.

The veto places in question the future of 300 million dollars in COVID response federal funds. The legislation linked the power to spend those funds with Whitmer’s signature on the bill. 

Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s appointment of the state health department stands confirmed. The state Senate had until today  to reject the appointment of Elizabeth Hertel.

Elizabeth Hertel is a department veteran who’s already played a major role in the Whitmer administration’s COVID-19 response. And that’s rankled Republicans who say the Whitmer administration’s used health orders to circumvent the Legislature.

   “We need to be able to legislate again, to do our jobs again…”

   State Senator Lana Theis.

New state health orders will soon allow more people to attend live sports events, and will require teen-aged athletes to be tested weekly for COVID-19.

The new rules were announced by the state’s chief medical executive and Governor Gretchen Whitmer. That’s despite an uptick in COVID infections in Michigan as well as positivity rates. Much of that is related to teen sports meets.                

“This uptick in our numbers is something that’s very serious, and we all have to take this seriously. We are so close.”

Ford Field hosts the Detroit Lions and monster truck shows. Starting next week, it will be the largest COVID-19 mass inoculation site in Michigan.

Ford Field is the marquee project to get Michigan to COVID-19 “herd immunity.” Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the plan is to administer 6 thousand shots a day over 8 weeks.

“The vaccine train has officially left the station and it’s moving toward our shared destination of vaccinating 70 percent of Michiganders 16 and older.”

mi.gov

The Republican-led Legislature voted today to send Governor Gretchen Whitmer a new round of COVID-19 response bills that are very similar to versions she’s already vetoed.

This is the latest episode in the ongoing the back-and-forth between Republicans and the Democratic governor over her use of emergency powers – and her ability to use them again the future.

   Republicans say the governor’s abused her authority and slowed the recovery from COVID, while Democrats such as Senator Curtis Hertel say the GOP majorities have turned the crisis into a partisan fight.           

The Michigan Senate voted along party lines today to authorize a lawsuit against Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

The Senate Republican majority OK’d a potential challenge to Whitmer’s use of line-item vetoes in budget bills. The bills were meant to rein in Whitmer’s use of emergency powers during the COVID-19 crisis. 

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey said it’s time to let people and businesses make their own decisions on how to be safe during the pandemic.

       “This governor does not trust the citizens of Michigan to do the right thing.”

wikipedia.com

There have been more than 601-thousand confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan over the past year, and more than 15-thousand-700 confirmed deaths. Governor Gretchen Whitmer delivered an address today one year after the first cases were identified in the state.

The governor said the past 12 months have brought surprises and difficulties – the worst being the separation, sickness, and lives lost to COVID-19.

   But Whitmer said the end is in sight.

  

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed two budget bills to fund the state’s COVID-19 response. But the bills also include line-item vetoes to the chagrin of Republicans and business groups.
 

The governor vetoed restrictions adopted by the GOP-led Legislature on how the money could be used. Dave Massaron is the governor’s budget director.

“There were some political games played with some of the funding that put restrictions on the ability to use that funding. Legal review of those restrictions and the impact of those restrictions is ongoing.”

A coalition of business groups is calling on the governor and the Michigan Occupational Health and Safety Administration to allow more people to return to offices to do their jobs.

The MIOSHA rule expires April 14th, but it can be renewed for six months. It says people can’t go to the office if they can work from home.

   Veronica Horn with the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce.

“Zoom is nice, but it simply doesn’t replace the need for in-person work in complex situations. I think we’ve all learned it’s hard to innovate and collaborate from our kitchen tables.”

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