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Whitmer: Restrictions on office work will be extended

Governor Gretchen Whitmer elbow bumps a guest during a tour of the COVID-19 vaccine site at the Eastern Michigan University Convocation Center in Ypsilanti.
Rick Pluta
Michigan Radio

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Monday a ban on most in-person office work will be extended, although largely as a measure to preserve the state’s options amid a surge in COVID-19 cases.

The order from the Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration will be extended by six months, she said, to give the state time to develop a more-comprehensive back-to-work plan.

The regulations would otherwise expire this week.

“At this juncture, with our high positivity numbers, it’s really important that we extend for another six months, so that we have the ability to work through what these protocols look like and get people back in the workplace when it’s safe to do so,” she said.

Whitmer added she expects the order will be lifted before the end of six months.

Michigan still has mask and distancing orders in place. Whitmer said re-imposing other restrictions is not necessary right now because people know how to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Whitmer’s remarks came following a tour of a vaccine site on the campus of Eastern Michigan University. She has called on the federal government to get more vaccine doses to the state as soon as possible.

At roughly the same time, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Rochelle Walensy said Michigan should mandate more closures to curb a third COVID surge.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.
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