Michigan Gov. Whitmer Wants -- But Doesn't Force -- 2-Week Pause for Schools, Youth Sports, Indoor Dining

April 09, 2021, 10:48 AM by  Allan Lengel

Gretchen Whitmer on Friday: "We have to do this together."

Emphasizing that vaccinations are the way out of this surging pandemic, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday stopped short of imposing new restrictions and instead asked residents and schools to pull back for two weeks.

Whitmer wants high schools to delay in-person classes past spring break, youth sports suspend games and practices and Michiganders avoid indoor dining -- all until late April. She encouraged people to dine outdoors and get carryout to support restaurants.

"To be very clear, these are not orders, mandates or requirements," Whitmer said in Lansing. "A year in, we all know what works and this has to be a team effort. We have to do this together. Lives depend on it."

Avoiding new restrictions avoids political flare-ups with Republican legislators and others opposing any government Covid regulations.

Some school districts, including Detroit, had already delayed the return to classes after spring break for a week or two.

It was the governor's first Covid briefing since March 19, when the daily case rate was less than half of what it is now.

Whitmer also said she's urging the White House to step up vaccination supplies for states seeing a surge in cases. She spoke with President Biden about that Thursday night. "At this point, that's not being deployed. But I'm not giving up," Whitmer added.

The governor said that 5.1 million vaccination doses have been given to 3.1 million Michiganders so far. 

Dr. Joneigh Khaldum said at the briefing that the rate of new Covid cases is four times what they were in February. Recent diagnoses surpass 7,000 or 8,000 a day.

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Related today:

Lengel: Bring Back That Tough, Covid-Fighting Governor from Michigan

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