MICHIGAN — Michiganders will need to wait a little longer to travel about the state without restriction. The state's stay-home order has been extended to June 12 by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who announced the decision Friday.
Whitmer's announcement Friday also reinforced the temporary closure of certain public places of high population, such as theaters, gyms and casinos. Another order signed by the governor extends the state's emergency declaration to June 19.
But what exactly does the extended order mean for Michigan residents who have been cooped up inside their homes, longing to eat at their favorite diners, workout at the gym or catch the newest flick on the big screen? Here are some of the notes from the order:
The extension extends other executive orders
The executive order Whitmer signed Friday also clarifies and extends the duration of a number of previous executive orders. The extended orders cover protections for workers who stay home and when they or their close contacts are sick, restoring water service to those whose water has been shut off, the affirmation of non-discrimination policies in the provision of coronavirus care, and more.
Among those orders extended are:
- An order restoring water service to occupied homes during the pandemic
- Workers can't be punished for staying home if they or a loved one is sick
- Expansion of unemployment eligibility
Read More: Read the entire order here.
“All of us know the importance of getting people back to work and the economy moving again,” Whitmer said. “We’ve already loosened some restrictions on construction, manufacturing, landscaping, retail, and more. But the worst thing we can do is open up in a way that causes a second wave of infections and death, puts health care workers at further risk, and wipes out all the progress we've made.”
Friday's extensions come the same week that Michigan announced it was reopening additions parts of its economy.
Auto dealerships and retail businesses in Michigan can reopen by appointment beginning on Tuesday. Nonessential dental, medical and veterinary procedures are also able to continue starting on May 29. The governor's order also allowed social gatherings of 10 or fewer people — with social distancing in place.
Manufacturing and construction workers were also recently allowed to return to work, although they, too, are under strict guidelines.
Businesses that the governor has authorized to reopen must provide COVID-19 training to workers that covers, at a minimum, workplace infection-control practices, the proper use of PPE, steps workers must take to notify the business or operation of any symptoms of COVID-19 or a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and how to report unsafe working conditions.
Despite the extension, things are looking up
Michigan is among the top 10 states in the U.S. in coronavirus case rankings with over 54,000,according to state data. It's also fourth in the country in coronavirus deaths, as of Friday morning. However, despite the grim numbers, things are improving.
Across the state, the number of new coronavirus cases reported daily are lower than they once were as the state continues to see a plateau in its cases.
The number of new cases reported in Oakland County from May 12-21 is significantly lower than the number of new cases reported from April 12-21.
Oakland County reported 928 cases of the coronavirus over the last 10 days. That's an average of 92.8 a day. Meanwhile, the county reported 48 deaths during that time, an average of nearly five deaths a day.
There were 1,318 coronavirus cases reported in Oakland County from April 12-21. That is nearly 132 new cases a day. The county reported 242 deaths during that time, an average of over 24 a day.
The same holds true in Wayne County, where as a whole, the county reported 657 new cases over the last 10 days, an average of 65.7 new cases a day. The county reported 102 new deaths over the last 10 days, an average of 10.2 new deaths a day.
From April 12-21, Wayne County reported 2,025 new cases. That's over 202 new cases a day, on average. Meanwhile, the county reported 274 new deaths in that data range, an average of 27.4 a day.
There is more to be done
The governor's office said cases in some counties in Western and Mid-Michigan are now doubling approximately every 10 days. This statistic was cited in the governor's decision to extends the state's stay-home order as well as its emergency declaration.
“While the data shows that we are making progress, we are not out of the woods yet," Whitmer said. "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.
"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.”