Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is pleading with residents to do their part to contain the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus throughout the state. On Friday, the Democratic governor asked high school officials to voluntarily suspend all in-person education and activities for the next two weeks. Whitmer also recommended that youth sports suspend their activities for the same time period.

As a new COVID-19 variant has become the most dominant strain in Michigan, the youth population has been adversely affected as a result. Whitmer also asked her state’s residents to pull back from indoor dining, currently at 50% capacity. While Whitmer did not order the restrictions, she was clear in her message that residents needed to step up and make these difficult personal decisions.

Inside the Data

According to local news reports, the state is now averaging over 6,200 new confirmed COVID-19 cases each day for the past week. Also alarming is that COVID-19 patients now account for 15% of statewide hospitalizations. This represents a quadrupled rate of hospitalizations over the last month.

Michigan is currently leading the US in the worst rate of new cases of the deadly virus. The state reported 26 new COVID-19 fatalities on Friday. Because the contract tracers were able to pinpoint youth sports as the cause of many of the new cases, Whitmer is asking the state to dial back on these activities.

Whitmer Asks for Federal Assistance

Whitmer is also asking the federal government to provide additional assistance to help to mitigate the spread of the virus. She is requesting more vaccine doses so that the state can get ahead of the dangerous variants.