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Michigan “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order lifted

(courtesy photo)

On Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer lifted that stay-at-home order that much of the state was under since March 23 following the “once in a generation pandemic” from COVID-19.

The state is taking a “big step forward” today, Whitmer said, while reminding people that it’s “on all of us to get this right” as we move out of the stay-at-home order. 

On June 8, with limited capacity, restaurants, bars, coffeehouses, breweries, etc., are allowed to welcome dine-in guests, subject to capacity limits and social distancing measures, according to executive order. Beginning Thursday, retailers may open to the public, no appointment necessary, but with limited capacity.

Effective immediately, gatherings of up to 100 people outside are permitted, contingent on social-distancing measures. Indoor gatherings are not to exceed 10 people. 

Businesses where at-home work is not possible may reopen, though they are “still expected to work from home if possible.” Places with close contact – such as gyms, hair salons, casinos, and indoor theaters – are to remain closed for the time being.

“You can return to some more normal life unless you are in this particular part of the economy,” Whitmer said during a press conference Monday, adding that the contrast between this and where the state was a few weeks ago is “really good news.” 

The governor is reopening the state, “provided that Michiganders can continue to do their part, wearing masks, social distancing, washing their hands, and keeping COVID-19 from spreading again.”

Whitmer announced that the whole state is now in the fourth – “improving” – phase of the COVID-19 outbreak. To move from phase three to phase four required a sharp decline in cases and deaths, a secure healthcare system, and robust testing capacity, according to the MI Safe Start plan. She hopes to be in phase 5 – “containment” – before the July 4 weekend. 

Regions 6 and 8 are expected to move into phase five by the end of the week, provided there isn’t a downswing, Whitmer said. 

“We owe it to our frontline heroes to make sure we get this right,” Whitmer said. “On behalf of our healthcare workers, our first responders, our grocery workers, childcare, utility workers, and everyone else who has been working to keep us safe from the beginning, we all have to do our part.”

As of June 1, data available from the state shows that 57,532 people have been infected with the virus resulting in 5,516 deaths. 

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