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Michigan Announces ‘Stay At Home’ Order, Schools to Remain Closed Until April 13

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Image credit: Governor's Office

Effective March 24, Governor Gretchen Whitmer has ordered all non-essential businesses to temporarily close and Michiganders to stay at home for at least three weeks.

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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order ordering non-essential businesses to temporarily close and Michiganders to stay at home in response to the spread of the novel coronavirus and its related disease COVID-19, effective at midnight through April 13.

COVID-19 is a global pandemic. There’s no cure. There’s no vaccine. The only tool that we have to fight it at the moment is buying some time.” - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

In just 13 days, we’ve gone from 0 to 1,328 cases of COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer in a release. ”COVID-19 is a global pandemic. There’s no cure. There’s no vaccine. The only tool that we have to fight it at the moment is buying some time.”

1,328 positive cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Michigan, according to Whitmer. There have been 15 deaths. 


View the full executive order here


The order 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,” according to a release. 

If you’re not an essential business, you need to close, you need to protect your employees.” - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Whitmer said non-essential businesses that do not comply will face ramifications like fines and closure.

If you’re not an essential business, you need to close, you need to protect your employees,” said Whitmer.


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Michigan residents are ordered to stay at home unless for essential work and needs, including grocery shopping and health needs. Residents will be allowed to participate in outdoor activities like “walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity, consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside a person’s household,” according to the release. 

Several states have implemented “shelter-in-place” policies, including Ohio, Illinois, California and New York. 

Exempt industries

Additional information on qualifying essential workforce can be found on this March 19th guidance from Homeland Security.

Michigan’s executive order specifically says that exempt workers include some (but not necessarily all) people employed in the following industries. 

  • Health care and public health; 
  • law enforcement and essential court proceedings, public safety, and first responders; 
  • food and agriculture; 
  • energy; 
  • water and wastewater; 
  • transportation and logistics; 
  • public works; 
  • communications and information technology, including news media; other community-based government operations and essential functions; 
  • critical manufacturing; 
  • hazardous materials; 
  • financial services; 
  • chemical supply chains and safety; 
  • defense industrial base; 
  • child care workers caring for the children or dependents of exempt industries; 
  • anyone caring for minors, dependents, the elderly, persons with disabilities or other vulnerable persons; 
  • businesses, operations, suppliers, distributions centers and service providers designated in writing by an essential business; 
  • workers in the insurance industry who cannot do their work remotely; 
  • workers and volunteers for organizations that provide food, shelter and other necessities of life for needy individuals; 
  • workers who perform critical labor union functions; 
  • delivery workers; 
  • grocery stores; 
  • take-out restaurants; 
  • gas stations; 
  • residential and congregate care facilities

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Shiraz Ahmed, Digital and Audience Engagement Editor

Shiraz Ahmed is Digital and Audience Engagement Editor for 101.9 WDET, overseeing all content posted on wdet.com. His favorite salsa is Marco’s Mexican salsa, a now-defunct chain that produced the salsa of his childhood.


This post is a part of Coronavirus in Michigan.

101.9 WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station, is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information on coronavirus, and it's related illness COVID-19, in Michigan. 

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