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Whitmer: New mandates not needed if people get vaccinated

a picture of someone getting a vaccine

Governor Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that new statewide COVID-19 restrictions are not under consideration at the moment despite the state’s soaring COVID case numbers.

Whitmer was interviewed on WOOD-TV in Grand Rapids. She was asked about re-imposing restrictions and responded the surge is being driven by unvaccinated people. She said that ordering skeptics to wear masks and get vaccinated won’t work.

“We’ve seen a real overlay of where people are getting COVID to where there’s higher unvaccinated rates,” she said. “It is absolutely, that’s what’s driving the issue that we have. So, statewide mandates don’t make a lot of sense in this moment because it is a specific population of unvaccinated folks that we need to encourage to get vaccinated.”

As of Monday, there were roughly 4,000 people hospitalized in Michigan with confirmed or suspected COVID cases.

Rising caseloads are overwhelming many hospitals to the point that the governor asked for emergency federal assistance. The federal government agreed to send 44 military personnel and to open beds at a veterans hospital in Detroit to help short-staffed hospitals.

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