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Heard on Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson

Warm Weather Draws Many Michigan Residents Out of Isolation, Despite Stay At Home Order

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Image credit: Eli Newman/WDET

Summer travel could complicate an already contentious political battle over Michigan’s COVID-19 response.

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Warm weather and abundant sunshine lured many Michigan residents out of the house this weekend. Various public outdoor spaces were crowded with people breaking with established social distancing measures taken by the state and, in some instances, ignoring the instruction to wear facemasks in public.

It was kind of predictable, eventually, that it would happen…” — Chad Livengood, Crain’s Detroit Business

The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan is trending down, but does defying social distancing now mean a second wave later?

Listen: What does summer weather mean for Michigan’s coronavirus fight? 


Chad Livengood, senior editor at Crain’s Detroit Business, says the disregard for social distancing seen this weekend was in some ways inevitable. “There’s general civil disobedience going on right now… kind of predictable that, eventually, it would happen,” says Livengood. 

Chad LivengoodLaura Weber-Davis, WDET
Laura Weber-Davis, WDET

Chad Livengood

The Michigan legislature’s contentious relationship with Governor Whitmer has come to a head over the state’s COVD-19 plan, culminating in a potential lawsuit. The lawsuit hinges on the governor’s power to enact sweeping measures, like the state of emergency declaration.

Republican lawmakers’ coronavirus plan doesn’t necessarily veer too far away from that of Gov. Whitmer’s, says Livengood. He says the threat many rural health care systems face amid talks of relaxing restrictions warrants attention, especially from lawmakers that represent those areas. “Last week there were four hospitals in rural Michigan counties with ICUs at capacity and that’s before we get to summer travel season,” says Livengood. 

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This post is a part of Coronavirus in Michigan.

101.9 WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station, is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information on coronavirus, and it's related illness COVID-19, in Michigan. 

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