The crisis we are facing with the COVID-19 pandemic is reaching alarming levels all across the state and is hitting critical levels in northern Michigan. Hospital representatives today highlighted the concern they are facing, not only with the increased numbers but also with the limits they have with staffing our facilities.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer expressed her deep concerns for the COVID-19 spread in her afternoon press conference. She’s asking the State Legislature to come together and support any and all efforts to protect our Michigan citizens.

Frustrating so, the Legislature is in recess until December and seems to be unwilling to act on behalf of our state.

We can not wait for the State Legislature to act, we need action now.

In the Up North region and across the state, COVID-19 cases are increasing at alarming rates. Statewide, our health care systems are again sounding the alarm for the urgency of this pandemic and the affects it’s having across the state. It’s up to each and every person to help stop the spread and to protect and support our community members and help our hospital systems from becoming overloaded.

Residents must wear masks in public and even in small groups. Individuals should wear a mask while in stores and maintain social distancing of at least six feet at all times. It’s advised not to attend gatherings of any size to help limit the spread of this virus. Michiganders must rethink holiday travel and gatherings as it’s not advised at this time.

Washing and sanitizing your hands every time you go out must continue. If someone does not need to go out, they should stay home.

It’s up to everyone to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Our residents should be mindful of others and do everything they can to not only protect themselves but also all those around them.

Our health care systems are urgently asking everyone to comply with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services best practices at keeping everyone safe.

Please, it’s up to each and everyone to be smart and be safe so we can end this pandemic.

About the author: Jim Carruthers is mayor of Traverse City.

About the author: Jim Carruthers is mayor of Traverse City.

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