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Gov. Whitmer Moves Upper Peninsula Back To Phase 4 Citing Surge In Covid-19 Cases

(CBS DETROIT) LANSING, Mich. - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Friday to move the Upper Peninsula back to Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan after a recent surge of coronavirus cases. 

A press release from the governor's office states the executive order moving the UP from Phase 5 to Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan will go into effect Friday, October 9 at 12:01 a.m.

RELATED LINK: Michigan Is In Phase 4 Of Gov. Whitmer's 6 Phase Plan To Reopen The State

Here's what the move to Phase 4 will require:

  • People who can perform their work remotely will be required to do so
  • Social gatherings and organized events will require 10 people or less; indoor non-residential may allow more, depending on the size of the facility and subject to formulas in the order.
  • Stores of less than 50,000 square feet must limit number of people in storeincluding employees, to 25% of total occupancy limitsStores of 50,000 square feet or more must limit customers to no more than 20 people per 1,000 square feet of customer floor space, and allow 2 hours of week dedicating shopping time for vulnerable populations.
  • Schools must require face coverings at certain times, including in the classroom, among other requirements. 

"After seeing the increase in cases in the U.P. region over the past several weeks and consulting with medical experts, I have decided to take action to protect U.P. families and move the region back a phase. I know this is hard. I know it will be an adjustment. But we can't let our guard down," Whitmer said.

Although the Upper Peninsula had very low numbers from March through most of June, the region's numbers began rising in late June, persisted at an elevated level through mid-September, and then began sharply increasing at that time, giving it right now the most concerning numbers in the state. The most recent case rate, adjusting for lag, has the region with 283 absolute cases per million and 5.1% positivity, the governor's office stated in a press release.   

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