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Rep. Filler: Regional, safety-based approach is best option for reopening Michigan’s economy
RELEASE|April 20, 2020
Contact: Graham Filler

State Rep. Graham Filler today said he supports a regional, safety-focused approach to restarting Michigan’s economy and re-establishing a semblance of normalcy in the COVID-19 era.


House Republicans today unveiled a blueprint 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.


“Protecting public health is the top concern of everyone – from Michigan families to health care providers, small business owners and state legislators. That’s exactly what this plan is built around,” said Filler, of DeWitt. “My main goal as a legislator is making sure Michigan has the resources to fight COVID, while at the same time helping our state safely recover from the devastating effects this virus has had on all of our families, neighbors and friends.”


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 Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (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.


“The curve is starting to flatten and it’s time to start thinking seriously about our next steps,” Filler said. “Placing one-size-fits-all restrictions on the entire state no longer makes sense. The overwhelming majority of COVID-19 cases have been in the metro Detroit area – encompassing just three of Michigan’s 83 counties. As we move forward, it’s time to take a more regional approach and remove restrictions for communities and occupations with lower risk first, based on scientific data and advice from medical professionals.”

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