A regionalized approach to restarting Michigan’s economy would help many workers and families in Branch and Hillsdale counties, state Rep. Eric Leutheuser said today.
Leutheuser supports a framework calling for a rolling and limited restart — based on the prevalence and risk factors of COVID-19, which vary by region. A transition task force would be established to determine which counties could have some virus-related restrictions eased more quickly, getting more people back to work and more facets of everyday life – when it’s safe.
“Protecting the health of southcentral Michigan families is my top priority, and that will never change,” said Leutheuser, of Hillsdale. “We also know many workers could safely return to work, following strict protocols to protect their own health and the health of others. I have heard from many residents who want that opportunity to get back on the job to take care of their families.
“The key is to focus on which jobs can be done safely without putting workers, customers or others at risk. That just makes sense – and we can find guidance by following revised federal CISA standards and looking at neighboring states with restrictions that are less severe than those now in place in Michigan.”
Under the House Republican recommendations, a transition task force – including representatives from Gov. Whitmer’s administration, the Legislature and outside groups – would place counties into one of three tiers based on coronavirus activity and other factors such as hospitalization rates and capacity. Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties – which have the vast majority of COVID-19 cases in the state – would be in the tier with strictest restrictions. Other counties would be placed in tiers with fewer restrictions.
The same task force would help determine which jobs and activities could be resumed safely. The task force would make frequent recommendations to the governor to reflect changes in coronavirus activity.
“A regional plan focused on COVID-19 data is the best approach to slowly and safely reclaiming our way of life,” Leutheuser said.