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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives a speech at Belle Isle in Detroit, Michigan, in October. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) announced Sunday new restrictions designed to combat spiking COVID-19 cases — including suspending organized sports, halting in-person classes and closing restaurants and bars to indoor dining.

Why it matters: Whitmer said Michigan was in "the worst moment of this pandemic to date," after the state confirmed a record 44,019 people new cases and 416 more deaths in the past week.

"The situation has never been more dire. We are at the precipice and we need to take some action."
— Whitmer's news conference remarks

The big picture: The restrictions that begin Wednesday are not as severe as the state's spring coronavirus lockdown, but they are sweeping.

  • Under the emergency order, in-person K-8 schooling may continue "if it can be done with strong mitigation, including mask requirements, based on discussion between local health and school officials," per a state government statement.
  • Indoor residential gatherings must be limited to two households at any one time, while outdoor gatherings will have 25-person maximum limit.

Of note: The restrictions will last through the Thanksgiving holiday and up to Dec. 8.

  • "If you are considering spending Thanksgiving with people outside of your household, I urge you to reconsider," Whitmer said.
  • "As hard as it is not seeing [family] this Thanksgiving, imagine how much harder it would be if you weren’t able to see them for a future holiday ever again."

By the numbers: Some 8,000 people have died from COVID-19 and the state has confirmed over 251,000 people have tested positive for the virus.

Go deeper

20 hours ago - Health

WH coronavirus task force: States must "flatten the curve" to sustain health system

A walk-up Covid-19 testing site in San Fernando, California, on Nov. 24, ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

The White House coronavirus task force warned states "the COVID risk to all Americans is at a historic high" and to brace for another surge following Thanksgiving, per a report that emerged Wednesday.

Driving the news: "If you are under 40, you need to assume you became infected during the Thanksgiving period if you gathered beyond your immediate household," said the report, dated Nov. 29, first published by the Center for Public Integrity.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.

What COVID-19 vaccine trials still need to do

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

COVID-19 vaccines are being developed at record speed, but some experts fear the accelerated regulatory process could interfere with ongoing research about the vaccines.

Why it matters: Even after the first COVID-19 vaccines are deployed, scientific questions will remain about how they are working and how to improve them.

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