Michiganders who’ve been clamoring to see more of the state reopen got their wish Monday, when Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order rescinding her Safer at Home order and moving the entire state into Phase IV of the state’s MI Safe Start Plan.
The governor’s order allows retailers to reopen Thursday and restaurants to reopen on Monday, June 8, both subject to capacity limits. Day camps for children will likewise be permitted to open on June 8. It also allows drive-in theaters to reopen.
The order also immediately allows groups of 100 or less to gather outdoors with social distancing. Office work that is not capable of being performed remotely can resume. And in-home services, including housecleaning services, can resume operations.
“The data has shown that we are ready to carefully move our state into the next phase, but we owe it to our brave frontline heroes to get this right,” Whitmer said. “While Michiganders are no longer required to stay home, we must all continue to be smart and practice social distancing, and encourage those who meet the criteria to get tested for COVID-19. If we all do our part, our goal is to announce a shift to phase five for the entire state prior to the fourth of July. Stay smart, stay safe, and let’s all do our part.”
Subject to local regulation, gyms and fitness centers may conduct outdoor classes, practices, training sessions, or games, provided that coaches, spectators, and participants maintain six feet of distance from one another during these activities. Outdoor pools can also reopen, with restricted capacity.
A number of other businesses are still closed by the order, including indoor gyms, fitness centers, recreation centers, sports and exercise facilities, and hair, nail, tanning, massage salons and similar personal care services.
Casinos and racetracks licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board are likewise still closed.
Under the order Michiganders must continue to wear facial coverings when in enclosed public spaces and should continue to take all reasonable precautions to protect themselves, their loved ones, and the community. And they should continue to work from home to the maximum extent possible.
State officials said they’ve determined the state is “ready to move” into the next phase, with hospitalization numbers down, enough PPE for frontline workers and the number of cases and deaths dropping.
“We will continue to monitor the data and work closely with local health departments to ensure Michiganders practice safe social distancing,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive. “On behalf of our health care professionals and first responders on the front lines, we must all be smart and be safe.”
According to the state, the Wayne County area has been the state’s hardest hit, but Wayne County Executive Warren Evans said county residents “are ready to return to greater activity and commerce.”
“We continue to vigilantly monitor the spread of COVID-19 and will do so to make sure the number of daily cases continues to decline,” Evans said. It has been an extremely difficulty three months for all of us, but the social distancing measures we have put in place has slowed the spread of this disease and saved lives. Today is an important step toward returning to some semblance of normalcy.”