Whitmer told a news conference on Friday that next week, she will share the thought processes that go behind authorities’ decision-making as to the strategy to reopen the state for business. She also noted that she wants to avoid a second wave of infections.
“The rate of infection remains high, especially in certain parts of our state,” Whitmer said. “And the threat of a second spike that overloads our hospitals is still very real if we don’t get this right. But I promise that I will keep you all informed as we get closer to re-engaging our economy. And I will have more to share on that next week.”
She did not provide a specific date as to when businesses will be allowed to start reopening but said that there would be four factors in consideration in restarting the economy.
“One is the sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations; two, the enhanced ability to test for COVID-19 and to trace; three, sufficient health care capacity so that we can handle resurgence. That means knowing that our hospitals are not in surge mode, but they are capable of taking care of anyone who needs assistance at the hospital, and they have the PPE to do so safely. And fourth, observing best practices when it comes to social distancing and mitigating the spread of COVID-19.”
She said that any return to work measures “will be phased in carefully,” and that authorities will be monitoring multiple factors including whether workers interact with the public, whether the workplace is indoors or outdoors, whether workers come into proximity with one another and whether they share tools or machinery, and the number of people in a workplace.
“There’s no one, I think, more eager to start re-engaging sectors of our economy than I am. But the last thing I want to do is to have a second wave here, and so we’ve got to be really smart,” Whitmer said.