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Gov. Whitmer: ‘Wear your mask’ to keep UP in Phase 5

The U.P.'s seven-day average of daily coronavirus cases has quadrupled in the past month.
Published: Sep. 25, 2020 at 1:50 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - If Upper Michigan doesn’t want more restrictions and a return to Phase 4 of Governor Whitmer’s reopening plan, she says everyone can all play a role.

“Wear your mask. Wear your mask. Wear your mask," Whitmer said in a Thursday interview with TV6 & FOX UP. “It really is the most important tool that we have.”

The U.P.'s seven-day average of daily coronavirus cases per million people has quadrupled in the past month, up to 164.

U.P. coronavirus case trend, Sept. 25, 2020
U.P. coronavirus case trend, Sept. 25, 2020(WLUC)

“That’s too high," said Whitmer. "That’s higher than what we have in the Detroit region.”

InvestUP CEO Marty Fittante says actions from local leaders prove the U.P. is trying to slow coronavirus spread.

“Some schools reacting in light of some of the challenges that are occurring up in Houghton and in Delta County, and I think it’s evidence that the Upper Peninsula, when left to their own devices, will act responsibly," Fittante said.

Hoping the governor will also continue to allow individual school districts to make their own decisions about teaching in-person or virtually, Fittante points to a relatively low seven-day average positivity rate for the U.P. of 3.2%.

U.P. coronavirus test positivity as of Sept. 25, 2020
U.P. coronavirus test positivity as of Sept. 25, 2020(WLUC)

“We are doing reasonably well, quite well actually, on both our hospital capacity and the positivity rate," he said. "I think there’s reason to hope in that, but at the same time, with what’s going on in the case county, we need to come together and use good faith efforts to ensure safety for the entire Upper Peninsula, and at the same time, really important, keep business operating.”

InvestUP is helping small businesses navigate the governor’s executive orders. The latest - a clarification that indoor gatherings in Phase 5 are limited to 25 percent of a venue’s maximum capacity or 250 people, whichever is smaller.

“That’s what we’re operating under at this point," said Fittante.

And as the governor’s administration watches numbers closely, restrictions can change quickly.

“We’re also looking at the advancement in therapeutics, the advancement that are being made in vaccines," said Whitmer.

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