Governor Whitmer extends Shutdown


DETROIT (Reuters) - Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer on Thursday extended through April 30 the stay-at-home order she has in place in the state to slow the spread of the coronavirus.

The executive order she signed limits gatherings and travel, and requires all workers who are not necessary to protect life to stay at home, while imposing more stringent limitations on stores to reduce foot traffic.

"Michigan has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we're still on the upswing. We must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread and protect our families," Whitmer said.

She also warned that the time table would be reassessed. "This doesn't mean everything will go back to normal on the 30th," said Whitmer, whose state has become one of the fastest-growing areas for the coronavirus, especially in the county that includes Detroit.

On Thursday, the number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan topped 21,500, while deaths totaled 1,076, she said at a press conference. State officials said growth rates of COVID-19 may be slowing, but there is still a lack of testing.

Whitmer, who issued a stay-at-home order for the state on March 24, has traded jabs with President Donald Trump over the spread of COVID-19 in the state. On Wednesday, Trump said he would like to reopen the U.S. economy with a "big bang" but not before the death toll is headed downward.

On Thursday, the top U.S. infectious disease expert warned against reopening the economy too soon in the face of improving data on the coronavirus outbreak.


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