Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced this morning that starting at midnight on Monday, everyone must stay home and that all non-critical businesses must temporarily close in order to try to reduce the spread of COVID-19.
This order, as well as closure of schools, will remain in effect until April 13.
The number of cases in Michigan more than doubled over the weekend, and Whitmer said that rough models suggest that the exponential rise in the number of cases in the state could mirror what has happened in Italy if people do not stay home. So people need to try to slow the spread of the disease so Michigan’s health care system will not become overwhelmed.
What changes as a result of this Executive Order?
Grocery stores, convenience stores, pharmacies, and gas stations will remain open. Restaurants can still prepare take-out food. Whitmer urged people to use delivery services instead of going into stores themselves if that is possible.
Whitmer said that there is enough food in the supply chain to grocery stores, and she urged people not to hoard food.
People may still go outside if you remain six feet apart, but “all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited,” according to the Governor’s press release.
Businesses that are not conducting essential services must now close, and there could be penalties for those that do not. The Executive Order provides details about businesses that must close.
In taking this action Gov. Whitmer is following governors in other states, including Ohio, Illinois, New York, New Jersey, California, and others.
Gov. Whitmer called on residents to “Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives,” and asked citizens to remember Michigan’s history.
“Michigan played a huge part in winning World War Two as the arsenal of democracy,” Whitmer said. “We are calling on everyone to do their part.”