(AMN) – Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued the following statement after President Biden announced plans to send an emergency response team to Michigan and deliver 500 million free, at-home rapid tests nationwide.
“As the Omicron variant quickly becomes the dominant strain of COVID-19 across the United States, I am grateful to our federal partners for surging critical resources and personnel that we need to save lives. Our hospitals and health care workers have been working tirelessly for nearly two years and they are at a breaking point. Michigan welcomes the federal emergency response team that will help keep people safe and ensure our health care system remains operational. In January, the federal government will also set up a website where you can request free, at-home rapid tests to be mailed to you.
“We are in for a tough four to six weeks, but I know we can get through it if we all do our part and effectively utilize the resources being sent to us by the federal government. There are steps every Michigander can take to protect themselves and alleviate the burden on our hospitals and health care workers. First, get vaccinated and if you are eligible, get your booster. Early data indicates that the booster offers greater protection against the Omicron variant and will help keep you out of the hospital. If you plan on traveling for the holidays or attending an indoor gathering, please get tested beforehand and stay home if you’re sick.
“More help is on the horizon. There is a pill manufactured by Pfizer awaiting approval from the FDA that would reduce the risk of hospitalization dramatically. I hope the FDA can get it approved as soon as possible so we can start distributing it to save lives and help alleviate the pressure on our health care workers and hospitals. We all know how to protect ourselves against COVID-19 as we enter our third calendar year of dealing with this virus. Take action to keep yourself safe.”