Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is ordering Michiganders to “Stay Home, Stay Safe” in her latest directive to minimize the “exponential growth” of COVID-19. Executive Order 2020-21 will go into effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, March 24 and remain for “at least the next three weeks.”
Whitmer reported in a press conference that there are 1,232 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 15 deaths being attributed to the virus as of Monday morning.
“There is a model that anticipates that if we stay on our current trajectory, just like Italy, over 70% of our people could get infected with COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “Of that 7 million people projected, about a million of them would need to be hospitalized.”
According to Whitmer, Michigan has roughly 25,000 acute care beds. Stopping the spread of this virus is “the most important tool we have to keep our community safe.”
Michigan just received it’s allotment of supplies from the federal government’s national strategic stockpile.
“The allotment of personal protective equipment for one of our hospitals was 747 N95 masks, 204 gowns, 4,467 gloves, and 64 face shields,” Whitmer said. “With the exception of the gloves, that allotment is barely enough to barely cover one shift at that hospital.”
Whitmer said that the state has procured over 4 million masks and thousands of gallons of hand sanitizer “thanks to Michigan businesses.” Although, she added that this supply is “nowhere near enough.”
Because of this, the governor has ordered all businesses not “necessary to sustain or protect life” to suspend all in-person operations and work from home. Activities such as working on “critical infrastructure,” outdoor recreational activity, or tasks vital to the health and safety of oneself or family members will be permitted. All must be done while maintaining six feet of distance from any persons outside of one’s household.
According to the release, “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons outside a single household are temporarily prohibited.”
“Do not panic, do not hoard,” Whitmer said in the press conference, reassuring people that the supply chain for food and other essentials will remain intact.
“We know that there is community spread in several areas of the state,” Khaldun said in a press conference. Advising that the number of confirmed cases in Michigan could increase five-fold within a week without taking these “aggressive but temporary measures.”
Whitmer promised to provide more information for the school system coming shortly. A little over a week ago, she signed an executive order issuing all K-12 schools to close through April 5. That will now be extended to, at least, April 13.
“Young people, I’m talking to you now,” Whitmer advised, “You’re not immune to this. You can get this.” Later adding that these restrictive measures will have to be extended should they not be properly observed.
Exceptions to this order cover people who work or volunteer for operations (secular and religious) “that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities.”
Editor’s Note: This story was updated at 3:22 p.m. on March 23 to include an additional comment from Whitmer.