Whitmer expected to extend stay-at-home order today

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to announce the extension of her stay-at-home order today.

The governor and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun are holding an 11 a.m. news conference today. You’ll be able to watch it streaming live on woodtv.com.

Citing sources, WOOD TV8’s Lansing sister station WLNS reports that Whitmer will extend the order to May 15, but that it will look different than the current order expiring at the end of April. Whitmer may allow some businesses to resume work May 1 if employees have limited contact with the general population.

The Michigan Legislature will be in session today, with the Republicans in charge saying they want to pass bills limiting Whitmer’s emergency powers. They are also going to set up a committee looking at how Whitmer, a Democrat, has handled the response to the virus.

The governor says her stay-at-home order has worked, helping to flatten the curve and allowing hospitals, particularly those in hard-hit metro Detroit, to handle the outbreak. She said earlier this week that a “short-term” extension was necessary to prevent what she said would be a “devastating” second wave of infections.

According to the most recent state data posted Thursday, more than 35,000 people in Michigan have contracted coronavirus and nearly 3,000 of them have died. Updated figures will be released this afternoon.

COVID-19 presents with a fever, cough and shortness of breath. For most who contract it, symptoms are mild. Though anyone can get it and anyone can develop a serious case, the people most at risk to develop severe complications are the elderly and those with preexisting health problems.

Everyone who has coronavirus symptoms and essential workers who are not showing symptoms can now get tested. You can find a testing location near you on the state’s website and get information on how to set up an appointment.