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Whitmer extends stay-at-home order into May but allows some businesses to reopen


Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a recent news conference. - STATE OF MICHIGAN
  • State of Michigan
  • Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a recent news conference.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Friday extended her stay-at-home order through May 15 but lifted restrictions to allow some nonessential businesses to reopen.

Activities like golf and motor-boating, which had previously been prohibited, are now allowed under the order, which went into effect at 11 a.m.

Nonessential businesses are permitted to reopen for curbside pickup or delivery. Landscapers and nursery workers can return to work. And big-box stores may reopen garden centers and sell items that had been deemed nonessential. Those were some of the grievances of protesters at "Operation Gridlock," last week's protest in Lansing.

Under the order, Michigan residents are now required to wear a mask when they enter enclosed public spaces.

“I want to be crystal clear: the overarching message today is still the same. We must all do our part by staying home and staying safe as much as possible,” Whitmer says in a news release.

The governor adds, “Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up. Social distancing is our best weapon to defeat this enemy.”

Although more than 100 people continue to die from the coronavirus every day in Michigan, health officials are seeing positive signs. Over the past week, the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 declined 12.4%, from 3,634 to 3,182. During the same period, the number of COVID-19 patients on a ventilator has fallen from 1,203 to 1,027, a 14.6% decrease.

“The numbers we’ve seen in the past week have shown a plateau in positive cases, but Michiganders must continue doing their part to fight this virus and protect their families,” Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, says in the news release. “The governor has taken a number of critical steps to protect Michigan families, and this order today will allow that work to continue. We will keep monitoring the data closely and work with our partners across state government to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

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