LANSING, MI - LANSING, MI - Governor Gretchen Whitmer just announced her decision to extend the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order through Friday, May 15th. This new order will also require citizens to wear homemade face masks whenever they enter a public space that is enclosed. Per this new order, some restrictions will be lifted on outdoor activities and will allow certain workers to go back to work.
“Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up. Social distancing is our best weapon to defeat this enemy,” said Governor Whitmer. “With new COVID-19 cases leveling off, however, we are lifting some of the restrictions put in place in the previous order. I want to be crystal clear: the overarching message today is still the same. We must all do our part by staying home and staying safe as much as possible.”
As of this morning, there are 35,291 positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan, with 2,977 deaths. To continue slowing the spread of the virus, the order is requiring people to wear homemade, non-medical face coverings of some sort when entering enclosed public spaces. No one will face criminal penalty if they go without a mask, but businesses have the right to turn away customers who are not wearing masks. Employers are also being required to provide cloth face coverings to their employees.
Certain restrictions have also been lifted. This will allow landscapers, lawn service companies, and nurseries to return to work with strict social distancing measures in place. They are to limit contact with customers, as well as wear personal protective equipment while working. Big box stores that were required to close non essential areas will now be allowed to re-open. Governor Whitmer had this to say during her press conference, “We will consider this the preliminary stage of economic re-engagement,” and reiterated that it’s up to the public to continue practicing social distancing measures. She also stated that if Michigan sees an increase in cases, we may have to go backwards.
Restrictions in personal outdoor activities have been lifted as well. Motorized boats are now allowed to operate on Michigan waterways, as long as social distancing measures are being taken seriously. Golf courses are allowed to open to the public, however, there will be no golf carts allowed at this time, only walking. Michigan residents can now travel between residences under this new order, but are encouraged to travel as little as possible.
Governor Whitmer emphasized the point that we’re not out of the woods yet. Because Michigan has been doing its part to social distance, cases have plateaued, allowing for restrictions to be lifted, but that could change any time between now and May 15th.
The full press conference can be found on the Facebook and Twitter pages of the Michigan State Police. To read the full executive order, visit michigan.gov/coronavirus.
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