LANSING, MI - Today during a press conference Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced her decision to extend Michigan's Stay Home, Stay Safe order until Thursday, May 28th. As part of her MI Safe Start Plan, this new order will allow manufacturing workers, including Michigan's Big 3 auto companies, to return to work on Monday, May 11th.
As of today there are 45,646 positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan and 4,343 deaths. The number of cases in the last seven days has decreased by 15%. There is also a decrease in cases in both Southeast Michigan and in Western Michigan.
Under this new order, all manufacturing facilities returning to work must adhere to certain measures to protect their workers from COVID-19. This includes a daily entry screening for workers and individuals entering the facilities, a questionnaire covering symptoms and exposure to people possibly infected with the virus, and temperature screening using a no-touch thermometer. All nonessential in-person visits and tours are not allowed at this time.
Workers in manufacturing facilities must also be trained on how COVID-19 can be spread, signs and symptoms of the disease, how to notify their superiors about possible signs of COVID-19, and how to properly use personal protective equipment. Like all businesses in the state, manufacturers must wear face masks at all times if they cannot consistently maintain six feet of separation from others. Face shields should be considered for individuals unable to maintain three feet from others.
“Governor Whitmer has brought together leaders in business and labor to ensure our workers can return to the job safely. The safety of our workers is our top priority and I am confident that Michigan manufacturers are prepared to deliver on the worker protections included in today's order,” said John Walsh, President and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association. “We believe the manufacturing industry has a big role to play in Michigan's economic recovery and we're ready to lead the way. I look forward to continuing to work closely with the governor to bring the manufacturing industry back up to full strength.”
Governor Whitmer also detailed her six phases of the MI Safe Start Plan, stating that we are in phase three. The phases are as follows:
1) UNCONTROLLED GROWTH: The increasing number of new cases every day, overwhelming our health systems.
2) PERSISTENT SPREAD: We continue to see high case levels with concern about health system capacity.
3) FLATTENING: The epidemic is no longer increasing and the health-system's capacity is sufficient for current needs.
4) IMPROVING: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are clearly declining.
5) CONTAINING: Continued case and death rate improvements, with outbreaks quickly contained.
6) POST-PANDEMIC: Community spread not expected to return.
“I am working closely with health care experts and epidemiologists to closely monitor Michigan’s progress in the fight against COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer. “As we move forward with the MI Safe Start Plan, I am working closely with partners in business, labor, and education to determine the best way to move forward each day. All of us know the importance of getting people back to work and the economy moving again. We’ve already reopened lower-risk sectors like construction, manufacturing, and lawn care."
She stated that reopening too soon could be catastrophic for Michigan. A second wave of infections would put healthcare workers at further risk and would undo all the progress made thus far.
The full press conference can be found on the Facebook and Twitter pages of the Michigan State Police.