In an address Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer said the Federal Government has granted the state’s request for additional doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. This will help expedite the distribution around the state.
She also criticized what she called “the continued failures of the feds” to respond to the COVID pandemic.
Whitmer added that Michigan would be in a stronger position to distribute the vaccine if the state were allowed to directly purchase the vials, something critics have said would create a dangerous precedent around the country.
She also announced that the roughly 100 Meijer Pharmacy locations around the state will be a pharmacy partner to help distribute the vaccine to Michiganders, and called on the State Legislature to extend unemployment eligibility from 20 weeks to 26. She pointed to a grant program for eligible Michigan workers opening on Friday, and championed the program. She called on the legislature to enact it and sign it into law.
An additional small business grant program is being discussed in Lansing tomorrow.
Whitmer said that indoor group fitness and non-contact sports can resume on Saturday. She expressed hope that indoor dining can resume on Feb. 1 with strong safety measures. She said this with the caveat that COVID cases and hospitalizations remain stable in the state. More details on the restaurant plan are expected later this week.
Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s Chief Medical Executive, says the new COVID strain currently spreading around the U.S. “may be in Michigan now, we just haven’t identified it yet.”
Khaldun also said Michigan’s COVID numbers look better but there’s still reason for concern. She urges people in the state people to get vaccinated when they have the opportunity.