(CBS DETROIT) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer held a press conference on Oct. 21 on the state’s response to COVID-19.

Here’s the governor’s updates:

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  • Whitmer urged Michiganders to vote early and turn in their ballots by hand-delivering it to their local clerk’s office.

  • Whitmer says Michigan is now at its “peak when it comes to daily new cases.” The state has also seen a steady rise in hospitalizations.
    • This peak is higher than the peak Michigan saw in April.

“Our cases per million have been on the rise” the governor said since the Supreme Court made their ruling.

The Supreme Court ruled that Whitmer lacks the power to issue executive orders in response to the coronavirus pandemic without consent from the Legislature.

“I want you to know that I’m going to use every tool at my disposal to keep you and your family safe,” she said.

  • Last Friday, Whitmer signed a set of emergency rules from the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity that secure protections for Michigan workers.
  • On Monday, Whitmer signed bipartisan bills codifying her executive order that extends unemployment benefits for Michiganders who have lost work as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic from 20 to 26 weeks until the end of the year.
  • Michigan’s Small Business Relief Program awarded $10 million in grants and nearly $10 million in loans to small businesses in all 83 counties in the state.
  • Michigan’s Small Business Restart Grants provided $100 million in federal funding for small business relief grants.
  • A total of 177 farms and 159 food processors have been awarded $15 million in Michigan Agricultural Safety Grants to mitigate risks of the Covid-19 virus across the state’s food production industry.

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Here are updates from Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health.

Khaldun says Michigan’s overall case rate is at 131 cases per million people per day. In September, Michigan’s overall case rate was around 57 cases per million people per day. The state’s positivity rate is at 4.9 percent (of tests coming back positive). In September, the state’s positivity rate was 3.7 percent (of tests coming back positive). Khaldun says this is an indication there is community spread across the state.

  • UP Region: has 337 cases per million people per day and a 9.3 percent positivity rate for tests.
  • Kalamazoo Region: has 211 cases per million people per day and a 6.7 percent positivity rate for tests.
  • Grand Rapids Region: has 155 cases per million people per day and a 4.6 percent positivity rate for tests.
  • Detroit, Saginaw, Lansing and Jackson Regions: have more than 70, but less than 150 cases per million people per day and a 2.6-4.4 percent positivity rate for tests.
  • Traverse City Region: remains the region with the lowest rate of 62 cases per million people per day and a 3 percent positivity rate for tests.

Khaldun says local health departments are investigating 393 outbreaks across the state.

“That number continues to grow every week. Top categories for outbreaks remain at long-term care facilities, educational settings and social gatherings,” she said.

Khaldun says the health department is now seeing a lot of outbreaks associated with religious gatherings. There are now 18 new and ongoing outbreaks that local health departments are investigating in this setting.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced 1,586 coronavirus cases in the state and an additional 22 deaths Tuesday.

This brings the state total of COVID-19 cases to 149,392 and 7,053 deaths as of Oct. 20.

In the state as of Oct. 17, there has been a total of 109,539 recovered cases of Covid-19.

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