COVID-19

Governor: Worst days of COVID ahead

In a press conference, the governor warned that hospitals are filling up and COVID deaths will continue to rise if we don't change our behavior.

“Try to imagine ten 737 airplanes crashing to the ground every single day.” That is how Governor Gretchen Whitmer described the current state of COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. And she said it will only get worse if people don’t commit to taking the virus seriously.

The governor’s comments came during a press conference on Thursday. She was joined by Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and Dr. Karen Kent VanGorder, chief medical and quality officer at Sparrow Health System.

“We are potentially looking at some of the deadliest, most grim days of this pandemic ahead of us if we don’t collectively change our behaviors,” said Khaldun.

Michigan reported 6,940 new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday surpassing any total during the height of the pandemic last spring. Hospitals are filling up with coronavirus patients. The state’s average positivity rate has passed 12% for the first time since April.

With the holidays upcoming, Whitmer warned people to be especially careful.

“Thanksgiving is going to look different this year, it just has to,” she said, encouraging people not to gather with people outside their own households. “The more people we have in our homes, talking and eating, drinking, hugging, yelling at the Lions, the higher the risk of catching or spreading this virus.”

Some had speculated before the press conference that the governor might issue new restrictions meant to stop the spread of the virus. That did not happen and the governor is hampered by an October state Supreme Court ruling that limits her emergency powers. So far, the Republican-led state legislature has been dismissive of the idea of new restrictions.

Nonetheless, the governor’s message was clear: Wear a mask in public, wash hands, avoid gatherings, and get a flu shot.

“None of us needs a judge or an executive order to make smart decisions for ourselves in our families,” she said.

You can read more on Bridge Michigan.