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Gov. Whitmer extends stay-at-home order through May 28, reopens manufacturing

gretchen whitmer and joneigh khaldun at podium

Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order extending Michigan's stay-at-home order through May 28. It was previously set to expire after May 15.

Under this order, Michigan residents will not be able to leave their homes except for essential reasons, such as picking up food or medical supplies, outdoor activities, a medical emergency, or to go to specified jobs.

Whitmer also announced that Michigan is in Phase 3 of her new MI Safe Start Plan to re-engage Michigan's economy. The phases of that plan are as follows:

  1. UNCONTROLLED GROWTH: The increasing number of new cases every day, overwhelming our health systems. 
  2. PERSISTENT SPREAD: We continue to see high case levels with concern about health system capacity. 
  3. FLATTENING: The epidemic is no longer increasing and the health-system's capacity is sufficient for current needs. 
  4. IMPROVING: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are clearly declining. 
  5. CONTAINING: Continued case and death rate improvements, with outbreaks quickly contained. 
  6. POST-PANDEMIC: Community spread not expected to return. 

"I am working closely with health care experts and epidemiologists to closely monitor Michigan’s progress in the fight against COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “As we move forward with the MI Safe Start Plan, I am working closely with partners in business, labor, and education to determine the best way to move forward each day. All of us know the importance of getting people back to work and the economy moving again. We’ve already reopened lower-risk sectors like construction, manufacturing, and lawn care."

In the same press conference, she also announced that manufacturing workers, including those at Michigan's big three auto companies, could return to work Monday May 11.

"This is good news for our state, our businesses, and our working families,” Whitmer said. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward on our MI Safe Start plan to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly. As we continue to phase in sectors of our economy, I will keep working around the clock to ensure our businesses adopt best practices to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19. When we all keep doing our part, we can reduce the risk of a second wave and re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.”

Under the order, manufacturing facilities will be required to adopt measures to protect their employees, including a daily entry screening protocal for employees or anyone entering the building. The screening would include answering a questionnaire about any potential symptoms or exposure to someone who may be sick with COVID-19, as well as temperature screenings as soon as no-touch thermometers are obtained.

Additionally, all business across the state, including manufacturing companies, must require employees to wear masks when six feet of distance cannot be maintained.

“One worker carrying this virus can infect 20 more, who can infect thousands more," Whitmer said. "We must stay smart. Nothing is more important than protecting you and your families.”

Employees who don’t feel safe cannot be punished for refusing to return to work, under the governor’s order.

Michigan’s infection and fatality numbers are improving. But Whitmer says stricter orders can be issued if the numbers get worse.

Michigan Radio listeners, readers, and reporters are rising to the challenge every day. If you can, please support essential journalism during this crisis.

Jodi is Michigan Public's Director of Digital Audiences, leading and developing the station’s overall digital strategy.
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