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Gov Moves UP Backwards In Reopening Plan Due To ‘Surge’ In COVID Cases

October 6, 2020

After a “recent surge” of COVID-19 cases, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Friday she is moving the Upper Peninsula backwards into Phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan.

Whitmer said the U.P. has “the most concerning numbers in the state” after numbers started “sharply increasing” after mid-September. She said the region has 283 absolute cases per million and a 5.1% positivity rate for COVID-19 cases. 
In moving from Phase 5 (containing) to 4 (improving), among the new restrictions include that schools must require face coverings at certain times, including in the classroom, and indoor residential gatherings will be limited to 10 people or fewer, while indoor non-residential may allow more, depending on the size of the facility. 
“I know this is hard. I know it will be an adjustment. But we can’t let our guard down,” Whitmer said in a statement. 
Whitmer’s order notes that Region 6 – or most of the northern Lower Peninsula in the Traverse City area – has not seen a “comparable climb at this time” and thus remains in Phase 5. 
Seven U.P. counties were among the top 10 Michigan counties in recent case rates. 
Also Friday, the state reported 780 more cases statewide and seven additional COVID-19 deaths for cumulative totals of 126,358 cases and 6,788 deaths.

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