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Published 4/16/2020
7:16pm

Midwest Governors Announce Partnership to Reopen Regional Economy

Four Factors Focal Points for Governors In Decision-Making

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Today, Governors Gretchen Whitmer (MI), Mike DeWine (OH), Tony Evers (WI), Tim Walz (MN), JB Pritzker (IL), Eric Holcomb (IN), and Andy Beshear (KY) announced that they will work in close coordination to reopen the economy in the Midwest region.

The governors said, “We are doing everything we can to protect the people of our states and slow the spread of COVID-19, and we are eager to work together to mitigate the economic crisis this virus has caused in our region. Here in the Midwest, we are bound by our commitment to our people and the community. We recognize that our economies are all reliant on each other, and we must work together to safely reopen them so hardworking people can get back to work and businesses can get back on their feet.

“Today, we are announcing that Michigan, Ohio, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky will work in close coordination to reopen our economies in a way that prioritizes our workers’ health. We look forward to working with experts and taking a fact-based, data-driven approach to reopening our economy in a way that protect families from the spread of COVID-19.

“Our number one priority when analyzing when best to reopen our economy is the health and safety of our citizens. We will make decisions based on facts, science, and recommendations from experts in health care, business, labor, and education.

“We will closely examine at least these four factors when determining when best to reopen our economy:

• Sustained control of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations.
• Enhanced ability to test and trace.
• Sufficient health care capacity to handle resurgence.
• And best practices for social distancing in the workplace.

“Phasing in sectors of our economy will be most effective when we work together as a region. This doesn’t mean our economy will reopen all at once, or that every state will take the same steps at the same time. But close coordination will ensure we get this right. Over time, people will go back to work, restaurants will reopen, and things will go back to normal. We look forward to working together as one region to tackle this challenge together.” 

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Update 4/12/2020

Governor Whitmer is defending Thursday's stay-at-home extension and expansion despite criticism over what some believe are unnecessary restrictions and inconsistent requirements. The order remains in place until April 30th.

Two people were hospitalized after a reported stabbing and attempted theft after a crash along I-94.  When authorities arrived they discovered the suspect had stabbed someone and was trying to steal a semi trailer.

Shiawassee County has reported its first COVID-related death; a man in his 30s who had underlying health conditions.  The county has now topped 50 positive cases after a cluster was discovered at Durand Senior Care & Rehab that includes both employees and residents.

Bebe Winans is recovering from COVID-19, he revealed last week.  He said his mother and brother are also among those diagnosed with the disease.  Winans said he got the virus when he flew to Detroit to attend a funeral.

Grand Rapids Symphony and Symphony Chorus presented an online performance of the Hallelujah Chorus to celebrate the Easter holiday.  "Hallelujah for Hope: From Our Homes to yours" can be found on the group's Facebook and YouTube pages.

32 Jackson area Pastors read portions of John Chapter 20.  The readings were compiled into a single video that demonstrates togetherness, even in a time such as this.

Flint Community Schools meal distribution has moved to two days each week.  The district said students would receive the same number of meals, but meals would need to be picked up according to the new schedule.

Two feet of snow is expected in some parts of the Upper Peninsula as a late season storm pushes through the state early this week.  Meanwhile, Michigan's lower peninsula is preparing for high winds that could result in power outages.