Governor Whitmer gives COVID-19 update, announces restaurants on track to open Feb. 1


LANSING, Mich. (WLNS)— Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer provided her first COVID-19 update today of the week today and announced that restaurants are on track to open on Feb. 1.

The new health department order allows indoor group exercise and non-contact indoor sports immediately.

Whitmer also addressed many of the vaccine distribution issues, such as encouraging the federal government to allow the state of Michigan to directly purchase vaccines.

Whitmer also announced employee assistance grants that will directly give money to people in the entertainment, recreation, accommodation, hospitality, food industry and fitness industries.

Whitmer was joined by Michigan’s chief medical executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon and Michigan Chief Operating Officer Tricia Foster.

Dr. Khaldun said the new more contagious strain of COVID-19 first identified in the United Kingdom has not been found in Michigan but that doesn’t mean it’s not here.

Here is Dr. Khaldun’s full update:

All four people who spoke today said they have not received the amount of vaccines they were initially promised or that they need. Foster also said that Michigan is now doing 30,000 shots per day, which is three-times higher than it was a week ago.

Michigan Chief Operating Officer Tricia Foster:

Today’s update comes following news yesterday from the Michigan Licensed Beverage Association, who announced on Facebook that the governor would likely announce today the reopening of restaurant dining rooms February 1st.

When asked what might change between now and Feb.1 when restaurants are scheduled to reopen, Whitmer said they wanted to continue to monitor the numbers and mentioned that they’re specifically concerned about the new variant of the virus making it’s way to Michigan.

As for the number of cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. State health officials yesterday reported 1,994 new cases and 100 additional deaths due to the coronavirus.

The state’s daily COVID-19 report is down from previous days when more than 4,000 cases were reported in a single day.

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Robert Gordon:

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