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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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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.

A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
"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

Jan 30, 2021 - World

Science helps New Zealand avoid another coronavirus lockdown

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (L) visits a lab at Auckland University in December. Photo: Phil Walter/Getty Images

New Zealand has avoided locking down for a second time over COVID-19 community cases because of a swift, science-led response.

Why it matters: The Health Ministry said in an email to Axios Friday there's "no evidence of community transmission" despite three people testing positive after leaving managed hotel isolation. That means Kiwis can continue to visit bars, restaurants and events as much of the world remains on lockdown.

Updated 30 mins ago - Health

California surpasses 50,000 COVID-19 deaths

A man prepares a funeral arrangement in in Los Angeles, California, Feb. 12. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

California's death toll from COVID-19 surpassed 50,000 on Wednesday, per Johns Hopkins data.

The big picture: It's the first state to record more than 50,000 deaths from the coronavirus.

2 hours ago - Technology

Facebook bans Myanmar military

A protester holds a placard with a three-finger salute in front of a military tank parked aside the street in front of the Central Bank building during a demonstration in Yangon, Myanmar. Photo by Aung Kyaw Htet/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Facebook said on Wednesday it would ban the rest of the Myanmar military from its platform.

The big picture: It comes some three weeks after the military overthrew the civilian government in a coup and detained leader Aung San Suu Kyi, causing massive protests to erupt throughout the country. Military leaders have been using internet blackouts to try to maintain power in light of the coup.

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