Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday that she was sounding the alarm as the 7-day moving average for new positive COVID-19 cases statewide hit its highest peak since April 7.
“I’m going to be frank ... our numbers are not good ... actions we're taking today we will see show up in terms of our testing in a couple of weeks ... that is why we are sounding the alarm today,” Whitmer said.
Whitmer's comments come after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled she lacks the power to issue executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic without consent from the Republican-led state legislature.
Coronavirus cases were already on the rise before the court's decision on Oct. 2 and have continued in that upward trend.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services issued an emergency public health order mirroring many of the Whitmer’s executive orders that the court ruled against.
The largest recent outbreak in Michigan has been in the Upper Peninsula, which has about 3% of the state's population but more than 10% of the state's newly confirmed coronavirus cases.
Many outbreaks have been related to religious gatherings. 18 new or ongoing outbreaks in the state have been linked to faith-based gatherings.
Outbreaks resulting from religous gatherings have "significantly increased since September," said Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun.
Whitmer also warned against belieiving in herd immunity when fighting the coronavirus, calling it inhumane.
This comes after Michigan Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey told Mlive on the coronavirus, "It’s going to spread, so we just do the best we can ... I’m also a big believer that there’s an element of herd immunity that needs to take place.”
According to health experts in a letter to Shirkey, herd immunity requires 6.5 million more infections of COVID-19 and more than 30,000 additional deaths. More than 7,000 people have died from the virus up to this point in the state.
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