LANSING — Governor Whitmer is set to give an update on COVID-19 at 2 p.m., Tuesday afternoon, as cases continue to rise in the state. Whitmer will be joined by Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.
Monday saw 488 confirmed cases with five deaths, bringing up the total COVID-19 cases in Michigan to 78,507 cases and 6,154 deaths. The state’s health experts grow concerned over the disregard for social distancing guidelines and resulting continued upticks in cases since the state eased restrictions in July.
Last week alone saw a total of almost 4,500 cases in Michigan. Across this weekend, the state reported 1,477 cases, compared to 1,151 last weekend, an increase of more than 300 cases.
“It is concerning to see the number of cases rising; and local health departments have reported new outbreaks this week associated with social gatherings, including family parties, proms and church services,” Lynn Sutfin, public information officer for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), told The Arab American News.
Sutfin said new outbreaks were also identified in agricultural settings, bars and restaurants and workplaces, and as a result of ongoing testing at long-term care settings. Eight percent of new referrals to local health departments have been associated with outbreaks statewide.
Dearborn alone has seen a rise in social gatherings, especially birthday parties and even weddings. Though many remain cautious, several people have reported gathering where masks and social distancing are not taken seriously, and sometimes even frowned upon or made light off.
There’s no indication whether Whitmer will unveil tighter restrictions or a step back to lockdown conditions during her address on Tuesday afternoon. Parents in Michigan remain largely uncertain whether schools will resume in-person learning in the fall as the state has left those decisions up to individual school districts.
Dearborn Public Schools (DPS) will release its “Return To School Plan”, with recommendations to the Board of Education, on August 6, at 1 p.m. via a Board of Education Study Session, with an in-person or virtual viewing option at: www.dearbornschools.org
— Glenn Maleyko, Ph.D (@DrMaleyko) July 26, 2020
The state has provided guidelines and recommendations to each district, though those recommendations are subject to change at any time pending the local COVID-19 crisis and Whitmer’s executive orders. DPS may allow in-person instruction if the state remains in Phases 4 through 6.