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Gov. Whitmer: COVID-19 numbers could 'skyrocket' if people drop their guards

Craig Mauger
The Detroit News

Lansing — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Wednesday the COVID-19 spread the state is experiencing is "very concerning" and people should be "smart" in the coming days, which will bring Halloween and a football game between Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

"Be smart," Whitmer said during a press briefing Wednesday. "Keep our wits about us. Wear the mask. Don’t host the big event. Sit and watch the game. Have the Zoom call on. Grab the beer. Enjoy it. But stay safe.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer addresses the state during a speech in Lansing, Mich., Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020.

Michigan and other states across the country are reporting upticks in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and the rate of people testing positive for the virus. Last week, Michigan reported 13,129 new cases, the largest weekly total yet, as fears of a second wave continue.

The increases come as temperatures outside drop, with Halloween and a football game between Michigan State and the University of Michigan this weekend and the presidential election on Tuesday.

"We all lose if we drop our guard now, stop wearing our masks and start spreading COVID and have big parties and events around the game,” Whitmer said.

"We don’t want to drop our guard and see our numbers skyrocket," she added at another point. "And that is a very real possibility. Our hospitals are seeing it. We are seeing it in our numbers and our positivity rate. And that's why we all have to keep taking this very, very seriously."

As of Wednesday, Michigan had reported 167,545 COVID-19 cases and 7,257 deaths linked to the virus. The state considers 114,939 "recovered."

cmauger@detroitnews.com