State Republicans unveil COVID plan

The plan would allow counties to opt-out of COVID mandates if they meet certain benchmarks.

State Republican legislators on Tuesday released a plan they say has been months in the making – a plan to address the coronavirus pandemic that has seen numbers rising all over the state in recent weeks.

The new plan, titled “Michigan’s Comeback Roadmap,” aims to give more control over COVID-19 control measures to local and regional health departments. Specifically, it would allow counties to ditch mask mandates and crowd size limits if they meet certain benchmarks.

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The benchmarks counties would need to meet to avoid state rules include:

  • Having an average of fewer than 55 confirmed COVID-19 cases per million residents for a two-week period
  • Having a positivity rate under 5% for a two-week period
  • Having a two-week supply of PPE at local hospitals
  • Being able to test at least 15 people per 10,000 residents and receive results within three days
  • Having a hospital capacity capable of managing a 20% surge in admissions
  • Having hospitals with less than a 25% increase in admissions over two weeks

Bridge Michigan reports that 13 counties currently meet those benchmarks.

State Representative Ben Frederick, R-Owosso, said the goal is “removing politics from the process as much as possible.”

We need to “move from an environment of ‘one size fits all’ to one better reflecting local conditions that empowers communities,” he said during a press conference unveiling the plan.

Currently, state orders issued by the Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) require people to wear masks in public in most cases and limit public gathering sizes. The Republicans’ plan doesn’t undo those orders but would allow counties to bypass them with local restrictions.

You can read more at Bridge Michigan.

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