Gov. Whitmer orders temporary ban on large gatherings and events over 250 people

Posted at 11:59 AM, Mar 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-17 12:04:19-04

UPDATE: The ban has been extended to gatherings of over 50 people.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ordered a temporary ban on all large gatherings and events over 250 people amid the coronavirus outbreak.

FULL COVERAGE: Coronavirus outbreak across Michigan

Executive Order 2020-5 will cancel all events over 250 people and all assemblages in shared spaces over 250 beginning at 5 p.m. on March 13 and ending at 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 5.

It also orders all K-12 school buildings closed to students beginning Monday, March 16 through Sunday, April 5.

Child care facilities will remain open during this time, whether they are attached to schools or free standing.

“This is about protecting the most people we can from the spread of coronavirus,” Whitmer said in a release. “My administration will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread, and to ensure our children, families, and businesses have the support they need during this time. We are going to get through this, but we must be flexible and take care of each other.”

“Prohibiting large assemblages is the smart thing to do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “It’s crucial that everyone in Michigan follow these orders and make smart choices that will slow the spread of the virus, including practicing good hygiene and social distancing. We will continue to work with the governor and our partners across state government to protect Michigan families and businesses.”

Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
  • Replace handshakes with elbow bumps.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.