Gov. Whitmer orders noncritical businesses to close

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, right, signed a shelter-in-place order that will require all noncritical Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily close. Courtesy Facebook.com

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a shelter-in-place order that will require all noncritical Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily close.

Whitmer on Monday, March 23 signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order 2020-21 directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.

The order also directs Michiganders to stay in their homes 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 or grocery store.

Effective at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday for at least the next three weeks, individuals may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances, and they must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they do so, including remaining at least 6 feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances.

“In just 13 days, we’ve gone from zero to over 1,000 COVID-19 cases,” Whitmer said. “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. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives.”

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, chief deputy for health and chief medical executive for the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, said taking “aggressive action” is the best way to slow the spread of the virus.

“If we do this now, we can make sure our hospitals and health care 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,” she said.

The EO prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations.

Businesses and operations are to designate the workers that meet those criteria and must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons in the performance of that necessary in-person work.

Workers that are necessary to sustain or protect life include those in health care and public health, law enforcement and public safety, grocery store workers and more. Carryout and delivery services from restaurants will remain in effect.

Additionally, under EO 2020-21, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons outside a single household are temporarily prohibited.

People may leave the house to perform for limited, necessary purposes and may engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running, cycling or any other recreational activity, consistent with remaining at least 6 feet from people from outside a person’s household and with other restrictions imposed by prior executive orders.

Michigan currently is in the top five states in the nation in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

Several state governors have implemented similar shelter-in-place orders, including Ohio, New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, California, Louisiana, New Jersey and Connecticut.

Information around the coronavirus outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at michigan.gov/coronavirus and cdc.gov/coronavirus.

Gov. Whitmer closes nonessential personal care businesses

Gov. Whitmer over the weekend ordered the closure of hair, nail and tanning salons for the next three weeks.

Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-20, requiring all facilities that provide nonessential personal care services to close between 9 a.m. Sunday, March 22 and 11:59 p.m. April 13.

These services include hair, nail, tanning, massage, spa, tattoo, body art and piercing services, and similar services that require individuals to be within 6 feet of each other.

The order does not apply to services necessary for medical treatment as determined by a licensed medical provider.

The order also reaffirms the other temporary closures of places of public accommodation that were required by Executive Order 2020-9.

“COVID-19 has created an unprecedented challenge to our way of life as Michiganders,” Whitmer said. “That’s why we are making decisions based on science and facts to protect public health and keep people safe. I know these changes will be hard, but they are temporary, and they are necessary to slow the spread of the virus and help save lives.”

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