Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the stay-at-home order for a third time, requiring residents to remain home through May 28 in an effort to further reduce the spread of COVID-19.
“It’s terribly important that we not let our guard down now,” Whitmer advised, “that we consider this a very real threat because it is.”
In a “major step forward,” workers within the manufacturing sector may return to work May 11. The industrial sector represents nearly 19% of Michigan’s total economy. This is a part of the MI Safe Start Plan.
“Every one of us has to play our part to get this right,” Whitmer told reporters, “so employees and customers alike can have the confidence that they will be safe; so we prevent spread and don’t have to dial back, or worse yet, go back to a stay-at-home order.”
During a press briefing Thursday, Whitmer defined the six different phases of the COVID-19 pandemic. Michigan is currently in the middle of the stages at the “flattening phase.”
Phase 1: Uncontrolled growth
Phase 2: Persistent spread
Phase 3: Flattening
Phase 4: Declining
Phase 5: Containing
Phase 6: Post-pandemic
“We’ve really pushed the curve down dramatically,” Whitmer said. “We’ve saved our health system and we’ve ramped up our PPE and testing and tracing which has enabled us to safely begin to phase in sectors of our economy.”
Under Executive Order 2020-76, businesses cannot “retaliate” against employees who choose to stay home because they are sick or someone in their household has COVID-19 or is exhibiting symptoms associated with the virus.
While some employees will be returning to work, the governor said that “you are always safer at home.”
Despite “fewer new cases each day,” it remains of utmost importance that Michiganders maintain social-distancing measures in order to ensure the downward trend.
“Abandoning the science and safety measures would expose us to a second wave that could possibly dwarf the one that we’ve been through and squander our hard work,” Whitmer said.
Whitmer said that all decisions made by herself and her team, with Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy, at the helm, amongst numerous other officials, are to ensure the safety of Michigan residents.
“I’ll continue to closely monitor data and receive on-the-ground feedback from our local public health departments and regional healthcare counsels,” Whitmer said, reminding residents that “we all have our part to play.”