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Governor extends stay-at-home order for Michigan residents through April 30

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Dr. Joneigh Khaldun at a press conference Thursday in which Whitmer announced she will be extending the stay-at-home order for Michigan residents through April 30 (photo courtesy Whitmer's press secretary).

 Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-42 today extending the stay-at-home order through April 30. 

“Michigan has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we’re still on the upswing,” Whitmer stated in a press release. “We must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread and protect our families. Now more than ever, it’s crucial that people stay home and stay safe.”  

Executive Order 2020-42 prohibits businesses from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless they are necessary for operation. For businesses that have workers who meet that criteria, they must implement social distancing practices to protect their workers. Workers that are necessary are those working in public health or healthcare, law enforcement, and grocery store workers among others.

“It’s clear that staying home is the most effective way we can slow the spread of COVID-19 in Michigan,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive, stated. “This aggressive action will help us protect more people and ease the strain on our health care system.”

All public and private gatherings are prohibited, but residents are still allowed to go outdoors. People may engage in activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling, kayaking, canoeing, or any other recreational activity as long as you’re staying six feet apart. Travel for vacation is prohibited.

Large stores are limiting crowds. Stores must limit the number of people to four people per 1,000 square feet of customer floor space. Stores will be regulating entry and, as a number of stores have already done, create lines separating customers six feet apart. Areas in stores that are dedicated to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries, or paint will not be available to shoppers.

“If you’re not buying food or medicines or other essential items, you should not be going to the store,” Whitmer said in a press conference Thursday afternoon. 

Whitmer also recommends limiting the amount of people going to stores per household to as few as possible and using homemade masks when going out in the public. For households with elderly residents it is recommended that they don’t go out, but instead take advantage of personal shoppers.

“This doesn’t mean everything will go back to normal on May 1,” stated Whitmer. “But based on the data we have right now, this is the appropriate window for an extension. It will take time to safely and responsibly re-open the economy, which is why we will continue to provide critical unemployment support and assistance to our small businesses during this challenging time. We will get through this if we all continue to do our part.” 

If cases continue to rise, Whitmer said she will look into extending the stay-at-home order past April 30.