Advance Notice: Briefs

Gov. asks Michiganders to turn on lights Wednesday for COVID memorial

By: - March 9, 2021 8:36 am

Detroit Memorial to Honor Victims of COVID-19 program cover

Updated, 10:42 a.m., 3/9/21

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist are asking all Michiganders to turn on the lights outside of their homes from 8 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in remembrance of the Michiganders who died of COVID-19.

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the first two cases of COVID being found in Michigan.

“We’ve had a difficult year and lost so many fellow Michiganders,” said Whitmer. “On Wednesday, Lieutenant Governor Gilchrist and I urge everyone to turn on their porch lights for an hour, so that we can remember those we’ve lost and remind ourselves that even in times of darkness, we’re in this together. As we mark this occasion, we also look towards the light at the end of the tunnel. We have three safe, effective vaccines, all miracles of science, that will help protect you, your family, and others from COVID and help us get our country and the economy back to normal.”

As of Monday, there are 598,014 cases and 15,670 deaths. Michigan has administered 2.4 million vaccine doses.

On Tuesday, Whitmer also announced she has ordered U.S. and Michigan flags within the State Capitol Complex and upon all public buildings and grounds across the state of Michigan to be lowered to half-staff on Wednesday.

“It’s been one year since COVID-19 was found in Michigan, and as a result, this virus has changed almost every aspect of our daily lives, but despite its darkness, we have seen the brightest light shine in the determined resolve of each other during these trying times,” said Gilchrist. “The simple act of turning on our lights is a way to remember and honor those we have lost and show that we’re all in this together and we will emerge from this crisis, together.”

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Monday night that the first case of the COVID-19 variant B.1.351 from South Africa was identified in a male child living in Jackson County. As of Monday, Michigan has also identified 516 cases of the B.1.1.7 variant from the U.K. Both variants are more contagious.

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Susan J. Demas

Susan J. Demas is a 22-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQ+ people, the state budget, the economy and more.