LANSING, MI - Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced today that she signed Executive Order 2020-42, extending the "Stay Home, Stay Safe" Executive Order through Thursday, April 30. Just like the previous order, gatherings and travel are limited and all workers who are nonessential are required to stay home.
Governor Whitmer had this to say in her press release, “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. Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up."
Under the new order, all public and private gatherings among individuals outside a single household remain prohibited temporarily. Residents may leave their house to get groceries, but are asked to limit the amount of household members running errands. The order allows for outdoor recreational activities, but travel for vacations or any other purposes is prohibited.
This new order is also requiring stores to place restrictions on the amount of customers they allow inside. Large stores must now limit the amount of people in the store to no more than 4 customers for every 1,000 square feet of customer floor space. Small stores must limit their capacity to 25% of their total occupancy limit. This includes employees as well. Stores are also required to establish lines marking 6 feet of distance between patrons. And finally, large stores are required to close areas of the store related to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries, or paint.
Following her press release, Governor Whitmer held a press conference with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun to once again discuss COVID-19 updates in Michigan. Dr. Khaldun stated that there were 21,504 total cases of COVID-19 at the moment, with 1,766 total deaths. She commented that, "Growth rate for positive cases may be slowing, but there is still not enough testing happening across our state."
Dr. Khaldun went on to discuss that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is working hard to analyze data in Michigan, which can be found on their website. She also reiterated that communities of color in Michigan are the hardest hit by COVID-19, which correlates with data seen in other states regarding people of color and COVID-19. Right now, 33% of cases and 40% of deaths have been seen in African Americans, but more data is being analyzed.
During questions from the media, Governor Whitmer was asked if she would make modifications to the order for certain businesses such as landscaping or golf courses, "Every single exception to a stay at home order makes it less likely to work. It's not critical infrastructure, they're not necessary to sustain life."
When asked about the order extending into June or July, Dr. Khaldun says, "There's no question, the better social distancing you do and the longer it happens, the better your state will be." Dr. Khaldun said that they would reevaluate the decision to extend as time goes on.
Both Governor Whitmer and Dr. Khaldun assured the public that staying home is the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan. Staying home will help slow the spread, but it will also help ease the strain placed upon our health care system.