Michigan’s stay-at-home order extended until May 15, some parts of economy allowed to open

Michigan’s stay-home order extended until May 15, however portions of the economy will be allowed to reopen.

NOW OPEN:
Greenhouses
Garden centers
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Bike shops
Golf courses
Boating
Any business can do curbside or delivery

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MLive reports Michigan’s stay-at-home order will be extended through May 15, with some modifications allowing certain industries to reopen, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer told the Associated Press Friday.

As COVID-19 continues to infect and kill thousands of Michigan residents, Whitmer has come under increasing pressure to reopen certain sectors of the economy perceived as safe to operate. She’s faced criticism from Republican lawmakers, and critics have rallied at the Michigan Capitol and in front of her residence

Ahead of an 11 a.m. Friday news briefing, Whitmer unveiled to the AP her latest update to the stay-at-home order, which will replace the one that was set to expire April 30.

Certain restrictions previously included under the state’s stay-at-home order, including bans on motorized boating, golf and retail operations like garden centers, would be lifted under the plan.

Landscapers, lawn-service companies, nurseries and bike repair shops will be allowed to return to work subject to strict social distancing, and big-box stores will be allowed to reopen closed sections of the store. Other retailers will now be allowed to reopen for curbside pick-up or delivery.

And residents will be allowed to travel between their residences again, although such travel is “strongly discouraged,” according to a press release from the governor’s office.

Public-facing businesses like gyms salons, bars and in-person dining at restaurants would remain off-limits under the order.

In a statement, Whitmer said social distancing remains the “best weapon” to defeat COVID-19, but said some of the restrictions put in place are being lifted because new COVID-19 cases appear to be leveling off.

“Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up,” she said. “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.”

The order also includes a requirement for people to wear homemade, non-medical grade face masks or coverings when they are in enclosed public spaces like grocery stores, and for employers to provide face coverings to their employees. A press release from the governor’s office notes no one will be subject to criminal penalty for going without a mask.

People participating in outdoor activity are not subject to the mask-wearing requirement.

The latest data indicates 35,291 people have had confirmed COVID-19 cases in Michigan, and 2,977 are confirmed to have died.

It’s not immediately clear whether legislative Republicans will accept the plan, or whether they’ll accept Whitmer’s authority to extend the stay-at-home order without their approval.

Later this morning, lawmakers will meet to take up measures challenging Whitmer’s response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The Michigan Senate approved two bills that would limit the governor’s authority to declare a state of emergency without input from the legislature by repealing the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, and limiting the number of days the governor can unilaterally declare a state of emergency from 28 days to 14.

Whitmer spokesperson Tiffany Brown said the governor will veto the Senate legislation if it gets to her desk.