State health officials report 53,913 cases and 5,158 deaths due to COVID-19 in Michigan


Lansing, Mich. (WLNS) — State health officials are reporting 53,913 cases and 5,158 deaths due to COVID-19 in Michigan.

Today there are 403 new cases and 29 new deaths.

The case fatality rate across the state is 10% and 50% of people have recovered from the virus.

Today’s report comes as Gov. Whitmer continues to face lawsuits for her executive orders.

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, along with the Miller Johnson law firm filed the lawsuit on behalf of Associated Builders and Contractors of Michigan and a private landscaping company.

The lawsuit argues that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Orders 91 and 92, which call for “strict workplace safety measures” during the COVID-19 pandemic, are unconstitutional in addition to the increased penalties for violation of executive orders.

The previous penalty, permitted by statute, was potentially a 90-day jail sentence and $500 fine.

Now, violators face a potential three-year felony and a fine of up to $70,000 per occurrence.

If the state seeks only fines, not jail time, for violations, the standard of proof is lowered from “beyond a reasonable doubt.”

The lawsuit argues that the governor is increasing penalties without legislative approval and is also transferring enforcement power from local elected officials, such as sheriffs and prosecutors, to unelected bureaucrats under her control.

On the other hand, Gov. Whitmer has also won two lawsuits this week. One of those includes a judge ruling in favor of her imposition of a temporary injunction against the sell of flavored vaping products in October 2019.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also prevailed in a high-stakes challenge from Republican lawmakers who sued over her authority to declare emergencies and order sweeping restrictions during the coronavirus outbreak.

Gov. Whitmer also won a lawsuit against House Republicans, who said Gov. Whitmer was abusing her power during the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, a judge said a 1945 law cited by Whitmer, is not limited to local and regional emergencies only.

In other Michigan news, Ingham County announced a list of park operations that will start up beginning June 12.

Park playgrounds and shelters remain closed at least through June 30 as park staff evaluate how to adhere to state and county guidelines regarding social distancing in these spaces.

That full list can be viewed here.

Locally in Jackson County, The City of Jackson announced the cancellation of all recreation programs and closure of its Nixon Park recreation facility for the summer 2020 season.

The cancellations impact all youth, adult and senior programs organized by the Parks and Recreation Department. In addition to protecting public health, these changes are also a result of recent budget restrictions.

The City of Jackson is planning for a loss of tax revenue related to the COVID-19 crisis and
City officials are looking for ways to prioritize City services.

“Recreation programs will resume and the Nixon Park facility will reopen when COVID-19 concerns are reduced and funds are available to operate them. We are still waiting on direction from State government about when it’s appropriate to re-open other recreation facilities, such as playgrounds, picnic shelters, and community centers,” Hoover said.

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