Whitmer’s stay-at-home order has exceptions

Under the governor's "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order, you can still venture out for some take-out.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Monday issued an executive order to “Stay Home, Stay Safe,” effectively closing all but life-sustaining businesses in the state and largely restricting the movements of Michigan residents.

But there are many exceptions to the order (view the order here: Executive Order 2020-21) including allowing residents to venture out to shop for groceries, pick up medication, get some take-out food, get some outdoor exercise and check on family members.

Whitmer’s order directs residents to stay home “to the maximum extent feasible” in the effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, which has taken 15 lives among Michigan’s 1,200 cases.

Those who do venture outside, though, are required to adhere to the social-distancing measures recommended by the CDC, primarily remaining at least six feet away from others.

Other activities allowed under Whitmer’s order include:

  • Outdoor activities, including walking, hiking, running, cycling or any other recreational activity consistent with remaining at least six feet from people.

“You can go outside,” Whitmer said. “Get some fresh air, walk your dog … just be smart about it.”

  • Tasks necessary to health and safety or to the health and safety of their family or household members, including pets.
  • Travel to obtain necessary services and supplies such as gasoline, medical supplies and any other products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation and basic operation of their residences.
  • Purchasing groceries, though the order urges shoppers to use delivery as much as possible.
  • Travel to care for a family member or a family member’s pet in another household. They can also travel to care for dependents, the elderly, disabled people and other vulnerable people.
  • Attending legal proceedings as ordered by a court.
  • Residents can work or volunteer for businesses or operations that provide food, shelter and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals.

Workers and organizations who can continue working under exemptions in the order include:

  • Workers and organizations in health care and public health.
  • Workers who perform necessary government activities.
  • Child care workers, but only if they serve children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers.
  • Suppliers and distribution centers designated as necessary by critical infrastructure businesses.
  • Workers and volunteers for organizations that provide food, shelter and other necessities of life for the economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy;
  • Food and agriculture businesses, such as groceries and restaurants offering takeout or delivery.
  • Law enforcement, public safety and first responders.
  • Businesses in communications and information technology, including the news media.
  • Businesses in “critical manufacturing.”

“This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities. The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives.”