State Rep. Mary Whiteford has announced a regional, safety-focused approach to restarting Michigan’s economy and re-establishing a semblance of normalcy in the COVID-19 era.
House Republicans unveiled a blueprint Monday to help move the state toward a rolling restart — an approach based on the prevalence and risk factors of the virus, which varies by region. A task force would be established to determine which counties could have some COVID-19 restrictions eased more quickly, getting more people back to work and more facets of everyday life – when it’s safe.
“As a registered nurse, I understand the serious situation we are in with this virus, but I also know that its impact has been regional in Michigan, and our restrictions should be too,” Whiteford said. “We must reach a balance between social distancing safety measures and the needs of our working families and job providers. Their livelihoods are on the line.
“We’ve seen evidence that the curve is flattening in our area of the state, so it’s time to start looking more closely at what comes next. A one-size-fits all approach won’t work for Allegan County. It’s time to move toward a safe restart.”
A 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, starting from the premise of federal CISA guidelines which in some cases are not as restrictive as the prohibitions now in place in Michigan. The task force would make frequent recommendations to the governor to reflect changes in coronavirus activity.
“I urge the governor to accept our invitation to work together to establish the best way forward for each unique corner of Michigan,” Whiteford said. “We must consider what can be done safely without compromising the health of Michigan families.”
To view the full plan, visit the Michigan House Republican website.