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Posted on: April 17, 2020

Governor to work with Midwest peers on reopening; federal, GOP state plans also announced


Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced yesterday that governors representing seven Midwestern states will work together in an effort to reopen the economy on a regional basis, battling against the current COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, President Trump also rolled out federal guidelines for “Opening up America Again” and Senate Republicans from Michigan published a plan to “Open Michigan Safety.”

Chances are that all of these proposals will depend heavily on the COVID-19 outlook in each region and/or state as the pandemic pushes toward May, which has been the extended deadline for many states under the current “stay home, stay healthy." The virus and the resulting orders have closed down a substantial portion of the country’s economy and led to high unemployment rates.

“Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky will work in close coordination to reopen our economies in a way that prioritizes our workers’ health,” Gov. Whitmer said. “We look forward to working with experts and taking a fact-based, data-driven approach to reopening our economy in a way that protect families from the spread of COVID-19…”

Gov. Whitmer pointed to four specific factors that will be focused upon by the governors in the Midwest:

  • Sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations
  • Enhanced ability to test and trace
  • Sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence
  • And best practices for social distancing in the workplace.

Here’s the Detroit Free Press story on the governors’ campaign.

President Trump’s federal guidelines involve a three-phrase or step approach based heavily on COVID-19 statistics, as well as regional or state circumstances.

The Michigan Senate GOP proposal drills down even further, not only taking a phased approach, but noting that the effects of the virus differ greatly from county to county and city to city – insinuating heavily that restrictions may somehow eventually change from area to area, even within state boundaries.

Likely, all of these plans factor into the “reopening” of Michigan as the days and weeks pass. However, residents should also take note that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo already extended the state’s stay home, or pause order to May 15.

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