Governor Gretchen Whitmer is continuing to slowly re-open Michigan's economy.
Her latest order will allow retail stores and auto dealerships to re-open Tuesday, May 26. It also authorizes non-essential medical, dental, and veterinary procedures to begin Friday, May 29.
Small gatherings of groups of ten people or fewer, are allowed immediately, as long as participants practice social distancing.
The move is a part of the state's MI Safe Start Plan.
“The data shows that Michigan is ready to phase in these sectors of our economy, but we must stay vigilant and ensure we’re doing everything we can to protect ourselves and our families from the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said in a press release. “On behalf of our brave first responders on the front lines of this crisis, we must continue to all do our part by staying safer at home. We owe it to them to do what we can to stop the spread of this virus.”
Any business planning to re-open must adopt social distancing practices and provide COVID-19 training to workers, which must cover 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.
Auto dealerships and retail stores must operate by appointment only.
Whitmer says the state’s been preparing to take this step.
“We’ve got health professionals who’ve been trained in these types of best practices. And we know that putting these things off too long comes with an additional health consequence and that’s why we wanted to recognize that this is a move we can safely make now.”
The governor says she will gradually lift restrictions on gatherings and commercial activity. A number of restrictions remain in place to help fend off a new surge of COVID-19 infections.
Those include continuing to close schools, libraries, barbers, and hair salons, among other places.
“Now, we’re going to have to take some time to ensure that these new measures are working. We know that COVID-19 takes about two weeks to really see the impact of changes in our behavior. And that’s why we’re counting on everyone to keep doing your part.”
Whitmer also says her office will offer guidance soon on Memorial Day gatherings.