Michigan 'Stay Home' Order Extended Through April 30

WWJ News
April 09, 2020 - 4:17 pm

(WWJ) Michiganders will be stuck at home for a few more weeks. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has extended her "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order amid the COVID-19 crisis through April 30, 2020.

With more than 1,000 people dead and 21,500 infected in Michigan, Whitmer says keeping residents from congregating continues to be necessary to slow the spread of the virus. 

Under the order, most people should only leave their homes or places of residence under very limited circumstances, like for medical help or to buy food. Grocery stores, pharmacies and other businesses deemed essential to life are also be allowed to remain open.

While much of the order remains the same, there are a few additions, including:

  • Large stores must limit the number of people inside
  • Households are urged to limit the number of people running errands
  • It is clarified that travel for vacation is prohibited 

“Michigan has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we’re still on the upswing. We must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread and protect our families,” said Gov. Whitmer.

“Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up. When we do, we can save lives and shorten the amount of time we’re working through this crisis, which will be good for our families and good for our economy in the long-run. We can also protect critical infrastructure workers like doctors, nurses, grocery store employees, and child care workers. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that people stay home and stay safe.” 

 [VIEW A COPY OF THE ORDER]

“This doesn’t mean everything will go back to normal on May 1,” Whitmer added. "But based on the data we have right now, this is the appropriate window for an extension. It will take time to safely and responsibly re-open the economy, which is why we will continue to provide critical unemployment support and assistance to our small businesses during this challenging time. We will get through this if we all continue to do our part.” 

Executive Order 2020-42 prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Businesses and operations are to designate the workers who meet those criteria, and must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons in the performance of that in-person work.  
 
Workers who are necessary to sustain or protect life include those in health care and public health, law enforcement and public safety, grocery store workers, and more. For a full list of these critical infrastructure workers, click the link to Executive Order 2020-42 at the bottom of this page. To enable these critical workers to get to their workplaces, automobile dealerships will now be allowed to open for remote sales, though showrooms must remain closed. 

WHAT'S NEW IN THE ORDER?
 
Under the new order, all public and private gatherings among persons outside a single household remain temporarily prohibited. Though Michiganders may leave the house to get groceries or needed supplies, the new order encourages people to limit the number of household members running errands to the maximum extent possible. As before, people may engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, or any other recreational activity, consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside a person’s household and with other restrictions imposed by prior executive orders. The order clarifies, however, that travel for vacations or for any other purpose is prohibited. 
 
A new section of the order imposes restrictions on stores in an effort to reduce crowds. Large stores must limit the number of people in the store at one time to no more than 4 customers for every 1,000 square feet of customer floor space; small stores must limit capacity to 25% of the total occupancy limits (including employees) under the fire codes. To regulate entry, stores must establish lines with markings for patrons to enable them to stand at least six feet apart from one another while waiting. Large stores must also close areas of the store that are dedicated to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries, or paint. \

Anyone who leaves their home must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside their household. 

WHAT ABOUT GOLF? LANDSCAPING? 

Speaking about the order a news conference, Whitmer was asked if there could be modifications to accommodate certain businesses such as golf courses and landscaping.

"I think that it's important to be clear that we could come up with all sorts of scenarios that we could make an argument that someone's safe in whatever activity it is that they want to do," the governor said. "But every single exception to a 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' order makes this more porous, make it less likely to work. It means more people are gonna get sick, more people are gonna die, and our economy is going to suffer for longer."

"Golf, landscaping...I've heard these seem to be the ones that we hear the most from the Legislature, some of the Republican legislators. You know, it's not critical infrastructure. IT's just not," Whitmer said. "They are not necessary to sustain life, and to be candid, just by engaging in it can expose people to risk, serious risk."

Whitmer said golf is just another activity that increases opportunities for exposure and spread of the virus, to employees of the course and golfers alike.

The governor added that people with second homes in other ares of the state are asked not to travel between their residences. 

As with the initial order, anyone who violates the updated order could face a misdemeanor charge and a $1,000 fine. 

Michigan's head doctor says the extension of the order is necessary.

“It’s clear that staying home is the most effective way we can slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “This aggressive action will help us protect more people and ease the strain on our health care system.”

Executive Order 2020-42 replaces the original "Stay Home" order which took effect at 12:01 a.m Tuesday, March 24, 2020, and was set to expire on April 13, 2020.

As with the initial order, anyone who violates the updated order could face a misdemeanor charge and a $1,000 fine. 

Meanwhile, Whitmer said the field hospital at the TCF Center (formerly Cobo) in downtown Detroit is preparing to accept its first 25 patients this Friday,

Whitmer said a partnership of health care providers — Henry Ford Health System, McLaren Health Care, Beaumont Health and the Detroit Medical Center — will be providing critical support, staffing and resources at what they are calling the TCF Regional Care Center.

“Fighting this virus is going to take all of us working together as Michiganders, and we are proud to be partnering with these Michigan health care systems to help save lives and ensure those with the most serious cases of COVID-19 get the care they need,” Whitmer said. “Our hospitals and medical professionals are serving on the frontline in the fight against COVID-19, and they are proving that once again by stepping up to support the TCF Regional Care Center.”

Khaldun said it's anticipated that the second chosen as a field hospital, The Suburban Collection Showplace in Novi, will begin taking patients sometime in the next few weeks.