‘Now is the Time:’ Whitmer Encourages Vaccines Amidst COVID Surge, Variant

Get vaccinated and get boosted.

That’s the message Governor Gretchen Whitmer relayed today in Grand Rapids during a press conference streamed on FOX 2 Detroit and other news outlets.

Whitmer told the press that the state is in for another “tough four to six weeks” as the Omicron variant is “spreading rapidly.”

“The difference in the Omicron surge is we have tools at our disposal and we’ve learned a lot … we know how to protect ourselves we can take actions to be safer,” Whitmer said. “We want to talk about those actions — we want to ask everyone to do their part … let’s ensure that our kids can stay in school and businesses stay open.”

Last week, the Omicron variant was found in Oakland and Wayne counties with six confirmed cases throughout the state, according to data from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS), WXYZ reported.

Oakland, Wayne and Washtenaw counties have one confirmed case each with two cases of the variant found in Genesee County and one in Kent County, where the first omicron variant case was found in the state, according to the article.

 Already-exasperated health officials said (even before the latest variant was found) that Michigan is in its fourth COVID surge and the state is urging its residents to avoid the hospital emergency rooms unless they have life-threatening conditions, according to the article.

During the press conference, Whitmer directed her attention to four groups of Michiganders who she encouraged to play their roles to ensure their continued safety:

  • Vaccinated Michiganders not boosted
  • Unvaccinated Michiganders
  • Parents with school-age children
  • Boosted, vaccinated Michiganders

Whitmer said for the Michiganders who are vaccinated but not boosted, she encourages them to receive the third shot.

“You’re protected against COVID-19 but not the Delta or Omicron variant,” she said adding that the extra shot is the “best way” to stay safe. “We have a robust vaccine and booster infrastructure in place … thousands of places you can get it.”

For those already boosted, she thanked them for taking action to keep their family and community safe.

“I’m proud to have gotten my booster,” Whitmer said, adding that over 35 percent of Michiganders are already boosted but they should still take precautions like masking up and staying out of high-transmission areas. “You probably won’t end up in the hospital but let’s not accidentally spread the virus to others if you’re carrying it. … I’m hopeful that together we can help one million more eligible Michiganders … get their boosters.”

She added that parents who have kids in schools (for those 5 and up) should get vaccinated, in addition to individuals, overall, who are not vaccinated.

“Now is the time,” she said of joining the 240 million Americans vaccinated.

“I wish everyone a happy holiday and Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and a wonderful New Year ahead — let’s all do our part to make sure that is a case for all of us,” Whitmer said.

Watch the video here.

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