Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended Michigan’s state of emergency through Oct. 27, saying the economic and social harms posed by the CCP virus pandemic remain “widespread and severe.”
Whitmer first declared the emergency in March to assist local governments and officials in their efforts to slow the spread of the virus. It was due to expire Oct. 1, however, an extension had been expected.
In her Sept. 29 executive order (pdf), the governor said an extension of the declaration was necessary to ensure that state emergency operations are able to continue to curb transmission of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.
The state of emergency order underpins state restrictions on business operations and gathering sizes along with a requirement to wear a mask in enclosed public spaces and crowded outdoor places.
“There is much we do not know about this novel virus, but we know at least three things for certain: it is widespread, it is easily transmitted by airborne particles, and its effects can be fatal,” Whitmer wrote.
“That lethal combination, combined with ongoing uncertainty about how to defeat it, means that the health, economic, and social harms of the COVID-19 pandemic remain severe and affect every corner of this state. The COVID-19 pandemic, therefore, constitutes a statewide emergency and disaster.”
The governor also said she extended four executive orders that will protect the state’s families and most vulnerable populations.
“We have saved thousands of lives in our fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, especially among our most vulnerable populations—people of color, seniors, and people with disabilities. Because we took swift action, the health of our families and our economy are faring better than our neighbors in other states,” Whitmer said.
“This emergency will end, and it is a matter of months,” she continued. “But we are not out of the woods yet. Right now, the federal government and all 50 states have been under some form of state of emergency. We must continue doing our part to fight this virus on behalf of our families, frontline workers, and our small businesses.
“The health, economic, and social harms of the COVID-19 pandemic thus remain widespread and severe, and they continue to constitute a statewide emergency and disaster,” she wrote.
“Though local health departments have some limited capacity to respond to cases as they arise within their jurisdictions, state emergency operations are necessary to bring this pandemic under control in Michigan and to build and maintain infrastructure to stop the spread of COVID-19, trace infections, and to quickly direct additional resources to hot-spots as they emerge.”
As of Sept. 29, Michigan had reported a total of 123,633 COVID-19 cases and 6,751 deaths.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.