“The situation has never been more dire,” Whitmer said Sunday. “We are at the precipice, and we need to take some action.”
Beginning Wednesday at 12:01 a.m., only two households will be allowed to gather indoors at a time, while up to 25 people will be allowed to gather outdoors. Eat-in dining at restaurants and bars will be suspended, and high schools and colleges across the state will suspend in-person classes, according to a release from Whitmer’s office.
Gyms will remain open for individual exercise with strict safety measures in place. Casinos, movie theaters, and group exercise classes will be closed. All business are asked to allow employees to work from home where possible.
The order will last until Dec. 9.
“We cannot control the fact we’re seeing a surge in cases, we can control how we combat our common enemy,” Whitmer said during a virtual press briefing Sunday night.
“In the spring, we listened to public health experts, stomped the curve, and saved thousands of lives together. Now, we must channel that same energy and join forces again to protect our families, frontline workers and small businesses,” Whitmer said in the statement.
“Right now, there are thousands of cases a day and hundreds of deaths a week in Michigan, and the number is growing. If we don’t act now, thousands more will die, and our hospitals will continue to be overwhelmed. We can get through this together by listening to health experts once again and taking action right now to slow the spread of this deadly virus.”
“Indoor gatherings are the greatest source of spread, and sharply limiting them is our focus,” said Robert Gordon, director of the state Department of Health and Human Services. “The order is targeted and temporary, but a terrible loss of life will be forever unless we act. By coming together today, we can save thousands of lives.”
The governor urged people to “make the difficult but right choice” to avoid large gatherings during the Thanksgiving holiday.
“As hard as it is not seeing [family members] this Thanksgiving, imagine how much harder it would be if you weren’t able to see them for a future holiday ever again,” Whitmer said.
— Scott W. Atlas (@SWAtlasHoover) November 15, 2020
Whitmer’s latest CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus restrictions were met by criticism by Scott Atlas, a member of the White House pandemic task force, who said on Twitter Sunday evening that “the only way this stops is if people rise up.”
“You get what you accept,” he added.
“I’m not going to be bullied into not following reputable scientists and medical professionals,” Whitmer said in response to Atlas’s remarks.
As of Saturday, Michigan has reported a total of 265,792 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP virus, and 8,376 deaths.