Gov defends stay-at-home extension as 41 new deaths reported

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer defended the extension of Michigan’s stay-at-home order as the “best weapon to defeat” the coronavirus in a newspaper opinion piece Sunday and signed two more executive orders related to the pandemic.

Her comments came as the state reported 41 new deaths for a total of 3,315 statewide. Michigan has had 37,778 COVID-19 cases, including 575 reported Sunday, according to the state.

Whitmer signed an order Sunday to protect consumers, which requires stores to close self-serve prepared food stations such as salad bars and develop a daily screening program for staff, among other things. She also extended another order relaxing medical practice laws to allow physician assistants and nurses to treat COVID-19 patients.

On Friday, Whitmer extended Michigan’s stay-at-home order until May 15, though some restrictions were lifted, including for some businesses and outdoor activities.

She said Sunday that social distancing is working.

“That is our best weapon to defeat this enemy,” she wrote in The Detroit News. “Every unnecessary trip out of the house, and any unnecessary close contact with people could help spread the virus.”

For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or modest symptoms, such as fever and cough, that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe life-threatening illness, including pneumonia.  (AP)

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