Whitmer Details Plan to Reopen State, Says Michigan Is in Phase Three of Six


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer released her full MI Safe Start Plan this week, detailing when each type of business could open.

The six-part plan is categorized as Uncontrolled Growth, Persistent Spread, Flattening, Improving, Containing and Post-Pandemic. Whitmer said Michigan is phase three of the plan, Flattening.

“I am working closely with health care experts and epidemiologists to closely monitor Michigan’s progress in the fight against COVID-19,” Whitmer said in a statement. “As we move forward with the MI Safe Start Plan, I am working closely with partners in business, labor, and education to determine the best way to move forward each day.”

Under phase three, businesses like construction, lawn care and real estate can reopen. It also recommends Michigan residents stay at home, not gather and to use face coverings.

The MI Safe Start Plan includes not just number of cases when moving between phases, but also health system capacity and the amount of contact tracing happening.

“It is crucial that we monitor the impact of each set of re-engagement activities before moving into the next phase. New transmission can take some time to become visible, and we need to understand any impact of previous re-engagement activities on new disease spread before evaluating a transition to the next stage,” the plan reads. “As we move into later phases, or if our progress stalls out, it may take longer to move from one phase to another.”

Stage four is characterized by a “clearly declining” number of cases and increased capacity of the healthcare system. Some retail stores and offices may begin to open with certain safety standards in place.

“All of us know the importance of getting people back to work and the economy moving again,” Whitmer said.

Stage five will allow most businesses, including restaurants, to reopen, as well as schools. Increased size gatherings will also be allowed. Stage six is considered “post-pandemic.”

“The worst thing we can do is open up in a way that causes a second wave of infections and death, puts health care workers at further risk, and wipes out all the progress we’ve made,” Whitmer said. “That’s why we will continue to monitor the spread of this virus, hospital capacity, testing rates, and more as we work toward reaching the ‘improving’ phase.”

Read Whitmer’s full plan here.

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Jordyn Pair is a reporter with The Michigan Star. Follow her on Twitter at @JordynPair. Email her at [email protected]
Photo “Gretchen Whitmer” by Gretchen Whitmer.







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