Governor Whitmer Declares State Shutdown In COVID-19 Fight
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer says the state will be under a stay-at-home order starting at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday.
It comes as the state as climbed from zero to more than 1,000 coronavirus cases in 13 days.
Governor Whitmer issued the stay-at-home order at a press conference Monday morning.
The state now says 15 people have died from the virus.
With this executive order, for Michiganders it mainly means to do what the governor has been asking for the past two weeks but now it’s more serious. It’s no longer a recommendation, it’s an executive order with punishment.
“The goal here is simple stay home stay safe save lives,” Governor Whitmer said during her press conference Monday morning.
After two weeks of slowly closing sectors of the state to slow the spread of COVID-19, Governor Whitmer closed the state of all non-essential business.
“This is not a recommendation,” says Whitmer, “This is an order.”
Those who can work from home, must. Those who are essential to sustaining and protecting life, they continue to work. The hope is to cut down on interaction, crowds and the spread of the virus.
“Even with today’s action, the number of cases will go up today, tomorrow and the days ahead,” says Whtimer.
There is no way to stop it fully in one fell swoop.
“There is no vaccine. There is no cure,” says Whtimer, “The only tool that we have to fight it, at the moment, and to support our healthcare system is to give them the opportunity by buying some time.”
Grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations and health care providers are on the long list of exemptions, as well as responsible recreation.
“You can go outside, you can get fresh air, walk your dog,” says Whitmer, “Just be smart about it and maintain that six foot difference between you and anyone else.”
It will be up to Michiganders to avoid crowds and up to their employers to decide who is essential and who is not.
“Don’t play fast and loose with what is essential and what’s not,” says Whitmer, “Don’t try to skirt the rules. If you’re not an essential business, you need to close.”
Whitmer knows this will be difficult and will hurt a lot of businesses but she is confident the results would be worse if drastic steps aren’t taken now.
“Our actions will save lives in the long run,” says Whitmer, “Doing this now shortens the time our economy suffers.”
- Go to the grocery store or pick up take-out food.
- Go to the pharmacy to pick up a needed prescription.
- Engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, biking.
- Go to the hospital or secure any care necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve your health or the health of a loved one.
- Fill your car with gas.
- Return to Michigan to a home or place of residence from outside the State.
- Leave the State for a home or residence elsewhere.
- Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian for needed medical care.
YOU MAY NOT:
- Leave the home to work unless your employer designates you as a critical infrastructure worker.
- Participate in any public gatherings.
- Visit someone in the hospital, nursing home, or other residential care facilities (with limited exceptions).
- Go to the mall or to restaurants.
BUSINESSES THAT REMAIN OPEN FOR IN-PERSON WORK MUST TAKE AGGRESSIVE STEPS TO MINIMIZE THE VIRUS’S SPREAD. THEY MUST:
- Promote remote work to the fullest extent possible.
- Restrict the number of workers present in-person on the job.
- Keep employees at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible and enabling social distancing for customers who are standing in line.
- Any other social distancing practices and mitigation measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
You can read the full executive order here: EO 2020-21 Stay Home, Stay Safe