LANSING, Mich. -- Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Tuesday extended Michigan's state of emergency through Aug. 11.
The state of emergency does not in itself place any restrictions on Michigan residents. But it allows Whitmer to issue executive orders that place such restrictions, such as current orders closing gyms and theaters in south and central Michigan, restricting occupancy at dine-in restaurants, and requiring face masks at indoor public places and crowded outdoor spaces.
The state of emergency had been scheduled to expire July 16.
Every region in Michigan has seen an uptick in coronavirus cases the past three weeks.
"COVID-19 has now killed more than 6,000 people in Michigan," Whitmer said in a news release. "That's more than 6,000 of our parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors. And the rising numbers we've seen over the past few weeks prove that this virus is still a very real threat in our state."
"Throughout this crisis, the vast majority of Michiganders have done their part, but we must remain vigilant and continue to do everything we can to protect our loved ones," Whitmer said. "That means wearing a mask over your mouth and nose and practicing safe physical distancing when going out in public. If we all do our part now, there is a greater chance that schools can resume in-person learning in the fall. Be smart, be safe, and mask up."
Whitmer has paused the reopening of Michigan's economy amid increases in coronavirus cases within the state and across the country.
Whitmer had hoped that central and southern Michigan, now in Phase 4 of her six-phase reopening plan, would join northern Michigan in Phase 5 prior to the July 4 holiday. Instead, she ordered a small move backwards, halting indoor alcohol sales at nightclubs and other bars.
Republicans who control the Legislature have withheld their approval of Whitmer's emergency extensions since May.
A petition drive is under way to repeal the Emergency Powers of Governor Act of 1945, which allows Whitmer to extend the emergency without legislative approval.
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