Detroit Free Press Staff
Published 2:27 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2020 | Updated 3:13 p.m. ET Nov. 15, 2020
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to announce further restrictions later Sunday aimed at trying to bring the COVID-19 outbreak in the state under control.
Whitmer’s announcement “regarding the continued efforts to slow the spread of the virus,” expected at 6 p.m. in Lansing, comes as coronavirus cases continued to surge in Michigan and around the country, and as states and cities nationwide announced new restrictions.
Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun and MDHHS Director Robert Gordon will also join Whitmer at the news conference.
Michigan’s seven-day rolling average of new daily cases is above 6,200, after nearly reaching 2,000 during the first peak in April. Hospitalizations and deaths are also on the rise.
On Oct. 2, the Michigan Supreme Court struck down as unconstitutional the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945. It was the main tool Whitmer had been using to issue emergency orders related to the pandemic after the Legislature at the end of April declined to extend a state of emergency under the Emergency Management Act of 1976.
Since the 4-3 ruling along partisan lines, Whitmer has relied on the Michigan Public Health Code to continue a statewide requirement for face coverings indoors at public spaces and at crowded places outdoors, limit gathering sizes, and place capacity and other restrictions on bars and restaurants.
But even before the court ruling, Whitmer had eased many restrictions in Michigan, most notably lifting the stay-at-home order June 1.
Michigan movie theaters, bowling alleys, rinks, and other venues were allowed to reopen at reduced capacity and certain restrictions Oct. 9. Detroit’s three casinos were allowed to open at 15% capacity Aug. 5.
Michigan’s barbershops, hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors and other personal service shops reopened June 15 in southern and central Michigan, after reopening June 10 in the Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula.
Whitmer’s announcement follows recent tightening of restrictions in other states.
The city of Chicago recently announced a stay at home advisory, effective Monday, after earlier closing bars and restaurants to indoor service. New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia announced additional coronavirus restrictions, and Massachusetts recently imposed a statewide curfew.
Paul Egan contributed to this story.
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