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Gov. Whitmer asks businesses to step up during coronavirus crisis, says state will do the same

Michigan governor's office

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says gatherings of 100 or more people should be canceled or postponed. She says businesses should relax their sick leave policies.

These recommendations are part of her response to the first reported cases of COVID-19 in the state.

“We’re going to have to make some tough choices in the coming days and weeks,” she said in address from the state’s Emergency Response Center on the outskirts of Lansing.

Whitmer says schools should consider delaying concerts and assemblies. She’s also calling on businesses to encourage employees to telecommute. And she hopes they’ll be generous with sick leave – maybe allowing employees to use sick days before they’re accrued.

“Ultimately, these recommendations are about slowing the spread of the disease,” she said. “To ensure that medical facilities have adequate staffing, and resources for vulnerable populations and those who are sick.”

The governor says her administration is offering similar help where possible. That includes allowing some employees to telecommute. Whitmer says some of the conditions would have to be bargained with state employee unions.

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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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