(WXYZ) — Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the state's stay-at-home order until May 1, she announced Thursday.
“Michigan has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we’re still on the upswing. We must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread and protect our families,” Whitmer said in a press release. “Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up. When we do, we can save lives and shorten the amount of time we’re working through this crisis, which will be good for our families and good for our economy in the long-run. We can also protect critical infrastructure workers like doctors, nurses, grocery store employees, and child care workers. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that people stay home and stay safe.”
Republican House and Senate leaders tweeted that the extension of the stay-at-home order will hurt Michiganders.
People in our state are hurting. Family-owned businesses have been run to the ground & hundreds of thousands of people have lost their jobs because of it. Unemployment is skyrocketing & our government has not been there to answer the call. We deserve better! This is unacceptable.— Lee Chatfield (@LeeChatfield) April 9, 2020
Gov. Whitmer’s decision to extend the stay-at-home order for another three weeks without commonsense revisions will unnecessarily hurt regions of our state and sectors of our economy that can operate safely.— Sen. Mike Shirkey (@SenMikeShirkey) April 9, 2020
More of my thoughts here: https://t.co/B9BnHCQJVI#Mileg #MiGov
Executive Order 2020-42 prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Businesses and operations are to designate the workers who meet those criteria, and must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons in the performance of that in-person work.
Under the new order, automobile dealerships will now be allowed to open for remote sales, though showrooms must remain closed.
Additionally, the new order encourages people to limit the number of household members running errands to the maximum extent possible.
As before, the governor's office says people may engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, or any other recreational activity, consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside a person’s household and with other restrictions imposed by prior executive orders. The order clarifies, however, that travel for vacations or for any other purpose is prohibited.
A new section of the order imposes restrictions on stores in an effort to reduce crowds. Large stores must limit the number of people in the store at one time to no more than 4 customers for every 1,000 square feet of customer floor space; small stores must limit capacity to 25% of the total occupancy limits (including employees) under the fire codes. To regulate entry, stores must establish lines with markings for patrons to enable them to stand at least six feet apart from one another while waiting. Large stores must also close areas of the store that are dedicated to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries, or paint.
“This doesn’t mean everything will go back to normal on May 1,” Whitmer continued. “But based on the data we have right now, this is the appropriate window for an extension. It will take time to safely and responsibly re-open the economy, which is why we will continue to provide critical unemployment support and assistance to our small businesses during this challenging time. We will get through this if we all continue to do our part.”
Whitmer first announced the stay-at-home order on March 24. It was previously set to expire on April 13.
Michigan residents were told to stay home, unless they were classified as essential workers or they had an essential reason for going out, like buying groceries or taking care of family members.
Additional Coronavirus information and resources:
Click here for a page with resources including a COVID-19 overview from the CDC, details on cases in Michigan, a timeline of Governor Gretchen Whitmer's orders since the outbreak, coronavirus' impact on Southeast Michigan, and links to more information from the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and the WHO.
View a global coronavirus tracker with data from Johns Hopkins University.
Find out how you can help metro Detroit restaurants struggling during the pandemic.
See all of our Helping Each Other stories.
See complete coverage on our Coronavirus Continuing Coverage page.