The stay-at-home order extension will mean that certain places of public accommodation such as theaters, gyms, barber shops and hair salons, sporting venues, casinos, and more, must remain closed until at least June 12. The order was originally scheduled to expire on May 28.
“We must move with care, patience, and vigilance, recognizing the grave harm that this virus continues to inflict on our state and how quickly our progress in suppressing it can be undone,” Whitmer wrote in her latest executive order (pdf).
State residents are still not allowed to attend large gatherings, and they must wear masks or face coverings when in closed public spaces.
This marks Whitmer’s fifth time in extending the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order.
The extension comes just a day after Whitner signed executive orders to ease certain restrictions in the state. The order allows, by Tuesday, gatherings of up to 10 people with social distancing, as well as open retail businesses and auto dealerships by appointment only. Nonessential medical, dental and veterinary procedures were also authorized to resume by next Friday.
Whitmer said that while cases and deaths are declining, “we are not out of the woods yet.”
“If we’re going to lower the chance of a second wave and continue to protect our neighbors and loved ones from the spread of this virus, we must continue to do our part by staying safer at home,” she said in a statement first reported by the Detroit Free Press.
“If we open too soon, thousands more could die and our hospitals will get overwhelmed. While we finally have more protective equipment like masks, we can’t run the risk of running low again. We owe it to the real heroes on the front lines of this crisis—our first responders, health care workers, and critical workers putting their lives on the line every day—to do what we can ourselves to stop the spread of the virus,” she continued.
Whitmer has also extended the State of Emergency for the entire state until June 19.
Republican lawmakers in the state Legislature earlier challenged Whitmer’s authority in issuing such orders and extending them. They filed a lawsuit challenging Whitmer’s right to extend a state of emergency in Michigan. That lawsuit was dismissed on Thursday. Legislative leaders on Friday appealed the decision.
Also on Friday, some restaurants, bars, and other retail businesses in much of northern Michigan were allowed to begin reopening starting Friday, ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.
Some businesses will be able to operate in a limited capacity in the upper peninsula and parts of the lower peninsula.
Bars and restaurants continue to be off limits to dine-in customers in 51 counties with 93 percent of the state’s 10 million people.
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