Gov. Whitmer Bans Gatherings Of 250 Or More In Shared Spaces In Michigan

Executive order affects both events and businesses

WWJ News
March 13, 2020 - 12:20 pm

(WWJ) Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order temporarily banning all gatherings of over 250 people in Michigan.

Executive Order 2020-5 takes effect at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 13 and ends at 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 5.

Under the order, all events and shared-space assemblages of more than 250 people are temporarily prohibited in the state. 

Certain gatherings are exempt from this prohibition, including for the purpose of:

  • Industrial or manufacturing work;
  • Mass transit; or
  • Shopping for groceries or other consumer goods.

It appears the ban will apply to churches, as well as businesses that are not covered by the exemptions as described above.

The governor’s executive order also officially closes all K-12 school buildings to students from Monday, March 16 until Sunday, April 5; as was announced Thursdat night. 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,” said Gov. Whitmer, in a statement. “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.” 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services announced Thursday the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan has jumped to 12. The patients are from Oakland, Washtenaw, St. Clair, Ingham, Kent and Montcalm counties. As that number is expected to grow, Michiganders are asked to practice social distancing.

“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.”