News Bite

Whitmer Called Lockdown ‘Temporary’ On March 23, Now Extended to 81 Days

Rationale then was bend the curve, state ICU bed use rate now 68%

When Gov. Gretchen Whitmer first issued her stay-at-home executive order on March 23, she explained it was to “flatten the curve” and not overburden the state’s hospitals.

“We must work together to bend the curve. We must do more to curtail community spread, so our health system has a fighting chance,” Whitmer said in March. “This will be temporary. This intervention is it important to buy time so we can create surge capacity in our hospitals, so we can ramp up testing, and develop therapeutic drugs that may lower hospitalization and fatality rates. ... The only tool that we have to fight it at the moment and to support our healthcare system to respond is to give them the opportunity by buying some time."

On May 22, Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order to June 12, making 81 days residents will have been under a government stay-at-home order.

Whitmer’s extension comes when 22 of the 45 hospitals surveyed had a bed occupancy of 35% or less as of May 21. The statewide bed occupancy average was 68%. Detroit Medical Center had the highest bed occupancy rate, at 89%.

There are 2,863 intensive care unit beds in the state and 1,958 of them were occupied as of May 22, a 68% occupancy rate.