Governor Gretchen Whitmer is extending her statewide "Stay Home, Stay Safe" order through April 30. The order also enacts stricter social distancing requirements in stores and workplaces.
This latest order comes days after the state Legislature approved the Emergency Management Act, which extends the governor's emergency powers.
"This has been a hard month. We've got to take the lessons that we've learned and use them to the benefit of our state, and the benefit of our people," said Whitmer.
The new order continues many of the same rules as the previous one. All Michiganders are urged to stay home, with exceptions for workers who are necessary to "sustain or protect life."
There are some stricter rules under the new order, as well. For example, stores are ordered to limit the number of customers to four customers for every thousand square feet. All big box stores are also ordered to close any area that does not sell food, cleaning supplies, or medical supplies.
"We are in control of our fate here and it depends on every one of us doing our part," said Whitmer. "When we all take this seriously, we will save lives in Michigan."
Michigan has been hit hard by the coronavirus outbreak, with 21,504 cases and 1,076 deaths as of April 9. Whitmer and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun both emphasized that the continued stay home order is necessary to slow the growth of cases and deaths. She says infections in Michigan have still not peaked.
“This means now, more than every we have to double down and do everything we can to fight this disease," Khaldun said. "Too many people are getting sick and too many people are dying.” The expansion of the stay-at-home order is getting pushback from the Legislature’s Republican leadership. House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) posted on social media that extending and expanding the stay-at-home order “is the wrong call.”
Whitmer also signed an order that allows the use of electronic signatures and remote notarization, witnessing, and visitation, and gave an update on the field hospitals that are being set up at the TCF Center in Detroit and the Suburban Collection Showcase in Novi.
This is a developing story.