State Rep. Mary Whiteford is calling on Gov. Whitmer to lift some restrictions in areas largely unaffected by COVID-19, specifically those restrictions on businesses that can easily operate while maintaining safe distances between their employees.
“As a registered nurse, I know how serious the COVID-19 situation is, and I am an advocate for staying home when possible and taking other precautions to curtail the spread of the virus,” Whiteford said. “But our area is certainly not the hot spot and has been minimally affected. With just 14 confirmed cases here in Allegan County, there is no reason to place the same level of restrictions on our businesses as metro Detroit.”
Whiteford said she has been approached by builders, realtors, landscapers and mechanics in the community who have expressed their ability to work within social distancing guidelines.
“Our economy has taken a massive hit as a result of this virus, and we have an opportunity to improve the situation without putting anyone at risk,” said Whiteford. “I know the stress that so many workers and small business owners in our community are under. I hope the governor will consider this as an option for communities outside of the virus hot spots.”
Further, Whiteford believes the governor’s proposal for a 70-day extension of the state of emergency is too long and that an extension to May 1 would be more appropriate and allow the government to address the situation again next month.
“We’re in uncharted territory and we don’t know what the future holds,” Whiteford said.
Whiteford said she is ready to continue working with Gov. Whitmer to help Michigan through the crisis. She has already supported $150 million in state funding to improve Michigan’s response to the pandemic and pushed for the governor to more quickly file paperwork needed to gain federal assistance.
The Michigan House will meet Tuesday, April 7 to address legislation pertinent to coronavirus.