Whitmer Extends Stay-Home Order Through May 15 But Eases Rules
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday lengthened her stay-at-home order through May 15, while lifting restrictions so some businesses can reopen and the public can participate in outdoor activities like golf and motorized boating during the coronavirus pandemic.
The measure immediately replaces one that was scheduled to expire next week. Michigan has nearly 3,000 deaths related to COVID-19, behind only New York and New Jersey among U.S. states.
People are now required, rather than encouraged, to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces such as grocery stores if they can medically tolerate it. Employers must provide non-medical grade masks to their in-person employees.
Landscapers, lawn-service companies, plant nurseries and bike repair shops can resume operating, subject to social-distancing rules. Stores selling nonessential supplies can reopen for curbside pickup and delivery. Big-box retailers no longer have to close off garden centers and areas dedicated to selling paint, flooring and carpet.
Whitmer said people with multiple in-state homes can resume traveling between them, though it is strongly discouraged.
“The vast majority of people in this state are doing the right things. We've seen the curve get pushed down,” the Democratic governor told The Associated Press. “I think it's appropriate to reevaluate along the way. At this point we feel like's good to have our first wave of reengagement in this way.”
The order continues to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life, with exemptions for various critical jobs. Restaurants remain closed to dine-in customers under a separate measure, and bars, movie theaters, gyms and other sports facilities also are still shuttered.