COVID-19

Governor doubles down on no new restrictions

The governor insists the spike in COVID is due to people not complying with existing rules.

There will be no new restrictions despite a surge of infections that has made Michigan the worst place in the country in terms of COVID-19 stats. That’s the word from Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who told reporters on Wednesday that the surge can’t be reversed by new policies.

What Happened: During a Wednesday press conference, Whitmer said the surge of new infections can be blamed on people not following existing rules.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

A weekday morning email roundup of Kalamazoo stories and events.

“Michigan still has some of the strongest protocols in place, capacity restrictions, we’ve got a mask mandate,” she said.

“Other states have dropped all of these things. We still have them in Michigan and yet we have high positivity. So it’s not a question about whether or not the policy is the right policy, it’s really more of a testament to the fact that we have combining issues.”

The “combining issues” she talked about are the problem of getting people to comply with existing rules and the rise of COVID-19 variants that spread much more quickly.

Whitmer said vaccines are the key to reducing the spread of the coronavirus.

That goes against recommendations from federal health officials. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky has called on the governor to issue restrictions like those enacted last fall.

“Really what we need to do in those situations is shut things down,” she said during a press conference on Monday. “I think if we tried to vaccinate our way out of what is happening in Michigan, we will be disappointed that it took so long for the vaccine to work — to actually have the impact.”

In the week ending Wednesday, Michigan was averaging about 7,000 new infections per day. That’s just short of the peak of the fall surge of the pandemic.

You can read more on MLive.

The average story costs NowKalamazoo $400 to produce. Donate to fund stories like this.