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Whitmer: COVID-19 state of emergency will continue

Gretchen Whitmer at a podium

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she will extend the COVID-19 state of emergency. It would otherwise expire at 11:59 p.m. Thursday.

She says Michigan is in a better position compared to surrounding states, and that has made it safer for movie theaters and other businesses to re-open.

But Whitmer says COVID-19 is still a threat, and she needs to be able to act quickly.

“We’re just going to continue to be nimble here, and where there is additional action that needs be taken, we robustly debate it, we investigate, and then we move,” says Whitmer.

The governor says she has to maintain the ability to act quickly and forcefully through the health crisis.

“There’s no question it’s hard. There’s no question people have made incredible sacrifice, and there’s also no question that we’re all tired of this – myself included," Whitmer says. "And yet, COVID-19 is still our reality.”

The governor says face mask orders and the shutdown of schools and businesses early in the crisis paved the way to safely re-open sectors of the economy.

She says it will likely be months before it will be safe to completely lift the state of emergency.

At the same time, Republicans and business groups have filed lawsuits and launched a petition to try to curtail the governor’s emergency powers.

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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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