In an increasingly aggressive approach to seize the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has issued an executive order closing restaurants, gyms, and a plethora of other establishments.
Whitmer made the announcement Monday morning on WOOD-TV 8 about the closure of bars and restaurants. Since then, she signed into effect Executive Order 2020-9 which calls for the closure of the following:
- Restaurants, food courts, cafes, coffeehouses, and other places of public accommodation offering food or beverage for on-premises consumption
- Bars, taverns, brew pubs, breweries, microbreweries, distilleries, wineries, tasting rooms, special licensees, clubs, and other places of public accommodation offering alcoholic beverages for on-premises consumption
- Hookah bars, cigar bars, and vaping lounges offering their products for on premises consumption
- Theaters, cinemas, and indoor and outdoor performance venues
- Libraries and museums
- Gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, and spas
- Casinos licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, racetracks licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, and Millionaire Parties licensed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board
- Places of public amusement not otherwise listed above
This order will go into effect Monday, March 16 through Monday, March 30 at 11:59 p.m. During her interview with Albin, the governor noted that there may “be a necessity of extending it.”
“Social distancing is the most important thing that we can do to avoid community spread of this disease and everyone of us has a responsibility to take our part,” Whitmer said to WOOD-TV 8 reporter Rick Albin on air Monday morning. “This is critical as we’ve seen the cases continue to grow.” Later, she added that “no one is immune from this.”
Whitmer stated that she is “imploring” the federal government to increase their efforts in fighting this virus.
“We know that there is community spread in Michigan,” Whitmer said. “We need more tests. We need more capabilities to get those tests done.”
After acknowledging the hardships this will cause for the Michigan economy, Whitmer said that these decisions “weigh on (her) heavily” but that the health of Michiganders is of utmost importance to her.
“The worst thing we can do is not be aggressive now and watch this last longer and hurt more people,” Whitmer said.
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.
Updated at 1:37 p.m. on March 16 to include information regarding Michigan Executive Order 2020-9.