Home Coronavirus Gatherings of 50 or more now temporarily barred in Michigan

Gatherings of 50 or more now temporarily barred in Michigan

People eat inside of Starlite Diner on Monday, March 16, 2020 in Burton. Starlite will close their indoor diner at 3 p.m. after Gov. Whitmer announced Monday morning for shutdown of all restaurants and bars due to coronavirus risk (photo courtesy The Tribune).

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer passed a third executive order Monday after a slew of restrictions imposed on Michigan residents in an effort to minimize the outbreak of COVID-19. Beginning Tuesday, March 17 at 9 a.m., gatherings surpassing people are temporarily prohibited until 5 p.m. on Sunday, April 5.

Under guidance from the Center for Disease Prevention (CDC), Executive Order 2020-11 makes amendments to Executive Order 2020-5 which prohibited assemblages of 250 or more. 

As stated in the order, the exemptions to this rule are gatherings in workplaces not open to the public, health care facilities, grocery stores, mass transit, the state legislature and agriculture or construction work. 

“My number one priority remains to protect the most people we can from the spread of coronavirus,” Whitmer stated in a release. “We are all better off when all of us are healthy, and that’s especially true for the most vulnerable.”

The governor explained that these “aggressive” actions are “aimed at saving lives,” assuring Michiganders that her administration is working to prevent further spread of the coronavirus.  

Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, stated that the reason for this executive order is to limit the close contact that is causing the virus to “spread through respiratory droplets.” 

“These are very difficult decisions, but I believe together we can work to make the necessary adjustments to contain the pandemic and support one another,” Khaldun stated.

On Monday, Whitmer passed Executive Order 2020-9 which temporarily halted restaurants and bars from providing in-dining services, as well as the closure of gyms, museums, theaters, to name a few. 

Hours after that, Whitmer singed into law Executive Order 2020-10 which expanded unemployment benefits to dampen the financial effects for those whose livelihoods have been impacted by COVID-19. 

As of Thursday, Michigan has 336 confirmed cases of the virus.

Editor’s Note: Updated March 19 to reflect the latest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19.

Updated March 17 to reflect the latest number of confirmed cases of COVID-19.