10/05/2020- After a recent surge in COVID-19 cases in the Upper Peninsula, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an Executive Order moving Region 8 back to phase 4 of the MI Safe Start Plan. The move to Phase 4 will require people who can perform work remotely to do so, require schools to enforce mask requirements, and limit social gatherings and store capacities. Although the Upper Peninsula had relatively low coronavirus activity from March through most of June, the region’s numbers began rising in late June, persisted at an elevated level through mid-September, and then began sharply increasing at that time, giving it right now the most concerning numbers in the state. That executive order will go into effect this Friday. And while the Michigan Supreme Court has struck down months of similar orders by Governor Whitmer that were aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus, saying she illegally drew authority from a 1945 law that doesn’t apply, Whitmer says the ruling does not take effect for at least 21 days, and until then, her emergency declaration and orders retain the force of law.