Whitmer: Short-term, temporary extension of stay-at-home order will 'likely' be necessary

Posted at 8:26 AM, May 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-21 11:00:40-04

LANSING, Mich. (WXYZ) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order that lifted rules of her previous stay-at-home order, including now allowing gatherings of 10 people or less, as long as social distancing is practiced.

Retail businesses and auto dealerships can operate by appointment statewide on Tuesday, May 26, as part of her MI Safe Start plan. The governor’s executive order also lifts the requirement that health care providers delay some nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures statewide beginning on Friday, May 29.

"We’re doing this incrementally, this is like a dial we’re turning," Whitmer said in a press conference Thursday.

She warned that the reopening will not be business as usual; employees will have to wear PPE and maintain social distancing.

She also noted that a short-term temporary extension of the stay-at-home order will likely be necessary to avoid the risk of a second wave of COVID-19.

"As you are re-engaging, be smart and continue to do your part," she said. "What we don't want to do is simply drop all of our guard, just simply re-engage as though nothing has changed."

On Monday, Whitmer announced that two regions of the state could partially reopen – the Traverse City area and the Upper Peninsula.

She told 7 Action News in an interview that she was hoping to make another announcement regarding areas that could move into phase 4 "in the coming days and weeks."

The state's coronavirus numbers continue to decline while testing continues to go up.

As of Wednesday, there are 5,060 deaths from coronavirus in Michigan and 53,009 cases.

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