At her coronavirus press briefing Thursday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hinted her stay-home order might have to be extended.
And on Friday, she did just that.
Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-100 extending her Safer at Home order until June 12. The order, she said, also extends the closure of certain places of public accommodation such as theaters, gyms and casinos, a move she said “protects Michiganders from the spread of COVID-19.” The order had been scheduled to end May 28.
The governor also signed Executive Order 2020-99 to extend the state of emergency declaration related to the COVID-19 pandemic, which was upheld by Judge Cynthia Stephens on May 21. Since COVID-19 was first discovered in Michigan, Whitmer has taken action to protect Michigan families and workers. The governor’ said the measures are working, but “there is still more to be done.”
For instance, cases in some counties in Western and Mid-Michigan are now doubling approximately every 10 days, according to a press release issued Friday. In an effort she believes will “continue to protect Michigan families” and “lower the chance of a second wave,” the governor’s emergency declaration is extended until June 19, 2020.
“While the data shows that we are making progress, we are not out of the woods yet. If we’re going to lower the chance of a second wave and continue to protect our neighbors and loved ones from the spread of this virus, we must continue to do our part by staying safer at home,” Whitmer said. “If we open too soon, thousands more could die and our hospitals will get overwhelmed. While we ﬁnally have more protective equipment like masks, we can’t run the risk of running low again. We owe it to the real heroes on the front lines of this crisis – our first responders, health care workers, and critical workers putting their lives on the line every day – to do what we can ourselves to stop the spread of the virus.”
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Executive Order 2020-100 also clarifies and, as necessary, extends the duration of a number of previous executive orders designed to protect Michiganders and to provide them the support they need. The extended orders cover protections for workers who stay home and stay safe when they or their close contacts are sick, restoring water service to those whose water has been shut off, the affirmation of non-discrimination policies in the provision of COVID-19 care, and more.
“All of us know the importance of getting people back to work and the economy moving again,” Whitmer. “We’ve already loosened some restrictions on construction, manufacturing, landscaping, retail, and more. But the worst thing we can do is open up in a way that causes a second wave of infections and death, puts health care workers at further risk, and wipes out all the progress we’ve made.”
Whitmer has loosened some restrictions, for instance reopening retail businesses and auto dealerships by appointment statewide on Tuesday, May 26, as part of her MI Safe Start plan. Effective on Friday, May 29, the governor also lifted the requirement that health care providers delay some nonessential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures statewide. And the governor also authorized small gatherings of 10 people or less starting immediately, as long as participants practice social distancing.
Businesses that the governor has authorized to reopen must provide COVID-19 training to workers that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions.