Gov. Whitmer dismisses rumor of stay-at-home order in Michigan, but says it's possible in near future to combat coronavirus

Mar 20, 2020 at 5:48 pm
click to enlarge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at coronavirus press conference on Friday. - State of Michigan
State of Michigan
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at coronavirus press conference on Friday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday she does not yet plan to issue a stay-at-home order like the ones implemented in the states of Illinois and California.

At a press conference Friday, Whitmer dismissed rumors that she was planning to order a lockdown on all nonessential activity.

“I’m not calling for martial law,” Whitmer said. “This is a rumor and it is false.”

But, she emphasized, she may change her mind about a stay-at-home order any day because “things are changing so rapidly we are continuing to reassess.”

But as of Friday, “we are not there,” she said.

“Every decision we make has ramifications. They weigh heavily on me and my team," Whitmer said.  

On Friday, Michigan announced 225 new coronavirus cases, bringing the state total to 549.

Whitmer said she plans to talk with Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker about his decision to issue a stay-at-home order Friday.

Also on Friday, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, whose state has more than 7,000 cases, ordered all nonessential workers to stay at home.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom issued the first statewide stay-at-home order on Thursday evening to combat the spread of the coronavirus.

Asked how many Michigan residents may become infected with the coronavirus, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief medical executive and chief deputy for health in Michigan, said it’s impossible to estimate at this point because of the shortage of testing kits.

“Right now Michigan has so few tests that have been done,” Khaldun said at Friday’s press conference.

Whitmer expressed frustration with the federal government's roll out of testing kits and other supplies.

“We are so far behind frankly because the federal government did not take this seriously” from the beginning, Whitmer said.

“The most important thing is the health of our people,” Whitmer said. "We'll get through this together, no matter how long it takes.”

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