Gov. Whitmer provides update on COVID-19 response

During her press conference Wednesday afternoon, Governor Gretchen Whitmer provided an update on the state's response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitmer did not give an update on the future reopening of gyms in Michigan or the state of organized sports but said she would have more to say on the topics "very soon."

"I'm not going to be pushed, or encouraged or tweeted at to make a decision that isn't best supported by the best science, that doesn't have the appropriate protocols," Whitmer said regarding the reopening of gyms and organized sports. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is partnering with churches, community colleges, and nonprofits to host free COVID-19 testing sites across the state in coming weeks, Whitmer announced.

Testing locations in Benton Harbor and Niles are slated to open in the following weeks.

The testing sites will offer saliva tests as opposed to the more invasive nasal swabs.

Whitmer said she met with the White House Coronavirus Task Force Coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, on Wednesday morning to ask for funding for the Michigan National Guard to support testing operations in places like nursing homes and prisons.

The governor also asked the White House for “clear, consistent guidance” from the federal government, including a national face mask mandate.

General Motors will donate two million face masks to Michigan public schools, Whitmer said.

Whitmer also announced a $5 billion, five-year lending, investment and philanthropic plan with Huntington Bancshares designed to assist Michigan businesses, consumers and communities.

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