Governor announces STAY HOME, STAY SAFE order
State’s latest coronavirus measure, effective March 24 through April 13, puts more restrictions on business and travel in Michigan
Caleb Casey | Managing Editor
Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced further limits to activity in Michigan with a new “stay home, stay safe executive order” on Monday, March 23, in response to the growing number of confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the state.
“In just 13 days, we’ve gone from zero to 1,232 confirmed cases of the coronavirus, COVID-19,” Gov. Whitmer said during a televised statement on March 23. “It has doubled over the weekend. This virus is spreading exponentially.”
Whitmer said the state’s hospitals are already being taxed by the coronavirus situation, and it’s necessary to take “aggressive additional measures” in order to avoid overwhelming the state’s healthcare system.
“In an ordinary situation, if you get sick, you can go to the hospital. We know that the medical team would have the appropriate personal protection equipment like masks and face shields and gowns. They’d prescribe some medicine and you’d be okay. But COVID-19 is a global pandemic. It’s a novel virus. There’s no cure. There’s no vaccine. The only tool that we have to fight it at the moment, and to support our healthcare system to respond, is to give them opportunity by buying some time,” Gov. Whitmer said.
“Stopping the spread of this virus is really the most important tool that we have right now to keep our communities safe. Without aggressive additional measures, more people will get sick, more people will die, and our economy will suffer longer. Soon, our hospitals will be overwhelmed,” Gov. Whitmer said. “But if we all do our part and simply stay home, we have a shot at helping our healthcare system meet our needs, because this disease can’t spread person to person if we’re not out there.”
“So we work together and we take this seriously, we can slow the spread of COVID-19, but right now too many people are out and about unnecessarily,” Gov. Whitmer said. “We must do more to curtail community spread so our health system has a fighting chance.”
“Today, I am issuing a ‘stay home, stay safe’ executive order for all Michiganders and it goes into effect just after midnight tonight for at least the next three weeks,” Gov. Whitmer said.
(The order, listed as Executive Order No. 2020-21, a “temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life,” according to www.michigan.gov, “takes effect on March 24, 2020 at 12:01 a.m., and continues through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 p.m.”)
“We are doing this because it is absolutely necessary to protect the health of our people. The goal is simple. Stay home. Stay safe. Save lives,” Whitmer said.
“Subject to the exceptions in section 7, all individuals currently living within the State of Michigan are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence,” according to Executive Order No. 2020-21. “Subject to the same exceptions, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited. All individuals who leave their home or place of residence must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances.”
Section 7 provides a variety of exceptions and rules for leaving one’s place of residence.
“To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves, their family or household members, and their vehicles. Individuals must secure such services or supplies via delivery to the maximum extent possible. As needed, however, individuals may leave the home or place of residence to purchase groceries, take-out food, gasoline, needed medical supplies, and any other products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of their residences,” according to Executive Order No. 2020-21.
One of the exception paragraphs also allows people to exercise outside: “To engage in outdoor activity, including walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household,” according to Executive Order No. 2020-21.
For businesses allowed to remain open in limited capacities, many must designate their employees who “are necessary to conduct minimum basic operations and inform such workers of that designation. Businesses and operations must make such designations in writing, whether by electronic message, public website, or other appropriate means,” according to Executive Order No. 2020-21.
“Please know that even with today’s action, the number of cases will go up yet today, tomorrow, and the days ahead. It will take some time for us to impact this. We’ve made strides but we must do more,” Gov. Whitmer said. “It’s on all of us to do our part.”