As new cases of COVID-19 rise in Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has announced a statewide “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order for Michigan, set to begin at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday (March 24th) and run at least three weeks.
Gov. Whitmer held a press conference this morning (March 23rd) to announce the move, which directs all Michigan businesses and operations to “temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life,” according to a statement.
Executive Order (EO 2020-21) directs Michiganders to stay at home, unless they’re a part of that “critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family,” such as going to the hospital, seeking health care or shopping at a grocery store or pharmacy.
Everyone must also follow social distancing guidelines and remain six feet apart.
“In just 13 days, we’ve gone from 0 to over 1,000 COVID-19 cases,” Gov. Whitmer said in the press conference. “This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities. The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary.”
She added, “If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives.”
“Taking aggressive action to protect our communities is the most important thing we can do to mitigate further spread of COVID-19,” added Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “If we do this now, we can make sure our hospitals and healthcare workers are prepared to take care of the sickest people. It is crucial that people do the right thing by staying home and staying safe.”
Eleven other states have announced similar stay in place orders in the past several days.
The order also temporarily prohibits all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons outside a single household.
People are still allowed to leave their homes to perform outdoor activities such as walking, hiking, running, cycling and other recreational activities, as long as they stay at least six feet from people from each other and another person’s household.