Governor Whitmer Signs “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order
LANSING, MI – Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order (EO 2020-21), directing all Michigan businesses and operations to temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life. The order also directs Michiganders to stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.
Effective at 12:01 am on March 24, 2020, for at least the next three weeks, individuals may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances, and they must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention when they do so, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances.
“In just 13 days, we’ve gone from 0 to over 1,000 COVID-19 cases,” said Governor Whitmer. “This is an unprecedented crisis that requires all of us working together to protect our families and our communities. The most effective way we can slow down the virus is to stay home. I know this will be hard, but it will be temporary. If we all come together, get serious, and do our part by staying home, we can stay safe and save lives.”
“Taking aggressive action to protect our communities is the most important thing we can do to mitigate further spread of COVID-19,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “If we do this now, we can make sure our hospitals and healthcare workers are prepared to take care of the sickest people. It is crucial that people do the right thing by staying home and staying safe.”
Executive Order 2020-21 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. Businesses and operations are to designate the workers that meet those criteria, and must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons in the performance of that necessary in-person work.
Workers that are necessary to sustain or protect life include those in health care and public health, law enforcement and public safety, grocery store workers, and more. For a full list of these critical infrastructure workers, click the link to Executive Order 2020-21 at the bottom of this page.
Additionally, under Executive Order 2020-21, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons outside a single household are temporarily prohibited. People may leave the house to perform for limited, necessary purposes, and may engage 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 and with other restrictions imposed by prior executive orders.
Michigan is currently in the top five states in the nation in number of confirmed COVID-19 cases. Several governors across the country have taken similar steps to protect their communities from the spread of COVID-19, including governors Mike DeWine (R-OH), Andrew Cuomo (D-NY), J.B. Pritzker (D-IL), Tom Wolf (D-PA), Gavin Newsom (D-CA), John Bel Edwards (D-LA), Phil Murphy (D-NJ), and Ned Lamont (D-CT).
Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:
Shortness of breath
The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is:
If you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
Avoid contact with people who are sick.
If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.
Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.
Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
For those who have questions about the state’s actions to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, please call the COVID-19 Hotline at 1-888-535-6136 between 8AM – 5PM daily.
Michiganders can apply for unemployment benefits if they have left work or taken a leave of absence because of self-isolation or self-quarantine in response to elevated risk from COVID-19 due to being immunocompromised, displaying the symptoms of COVID-19, having contact in the last 14 days with someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, the need to care for someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, or a family care responsibility as a result of a government directive. Those temporarily laid off from work should apply for unemployment benefits online at www.michigan.gov/UIA or 1-866-500-0017.
Governor Whitmer is working to ensure that children who rely on the food provided by schools will have the resources they need. The Michigan Department of Education (MDE) has developed an online map for families to find meals. Families can access the map at: https://www.mcgi.state.mi.us/schoolnutrition/.
On March 19, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) approved the governor’s request for a statewide Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) declaration, opening the opportunity to small businesses to access low-interest loans from the SBA. The application for disaster loan assistance is available at https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/. For businesses looking for more information on how to apply for an SBA EIDL loan or whether it is something they should consider, visit michiganbusiness.org/covid19.
To view executive order 2020-21, click the link below:
Temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory disease that can result in serious illness or death. It is caused by a new strain of coronavirus not previously identified in humans and easily spread from person to person. Older adults and those with chronic health conditions are at particular risk, and there is an increased risk of rapid spread of COVID-19 among persons in close proximity to one another. There is currently no approved vaccine or antiviral treatment for this disease.
On March 10, 2020, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services identified the first two presumptive-positive cases of COVID-19 in Michigan. On that same day, I issued Executive Order 2020-4. This order declared a state of emergency across the state of Michigan under section 1 of article 5 of the Michigan Constitution of 1963, the Emergency Management Act, 1976 PA 390, as amended, MCL 30.401-.421, and the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, 1945 PA 302, as amended, MCL 10.31-.33.
The Emergency Management Act vests the governor with broad powers and duties to “cop[e] with dangers to this state or the people of this state presented by a disaster or emergency,” which the governor may implement through “executive orders, proclamations, and directives having the force and effect of law.” MCL 30.403(1)-(2). Similarly, the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945, provides that, after declaring a state of emergency, “the governor may promulgate reasonable orders, rules, and regulations as he or she considers necessary to protect life and property or to bring the emergency situation within the affected area under control.” MCL 10.31(1).
To suppress the spread of COVID-19, to prevent the state’s health care system from being overwhelmed, to allow time for the production of critical test kits, ventilators, and personal protective equipment, and to avoid needless deaths, it is reasonable and necessary to direct residents to remain at home or in their place of residence to the maximum extent feasible.
This order takes effect on March 24, 2020 at 12:01 am, and continues through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm.
Acting under the Michigan Constitution of 1963 and Michigan law, I order the following:
- This order must be construed broadly to prohibit in-person work that is not necessary to sustain or protect life.
- Subject to the exceptions in section 7, all individuals currently living within the State of Michigan are ordered to stay at home or at their place of residence. Subject to the same exceptions, all public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited.
- All individuals who leave their home or place of residence must adhere to social distancing measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, including remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household to the extent feasible under the circumstances.
- No person or entity shall operate a business or conduct operations that require workers to leave their homes or places of residence except to the extent that those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations.
(a) For purposes of this order, workers who are necessary to sustain or protect life are defined as “critical infrastructure workers,” as described in sections 8 and 9.
(b) For purposes of this order, workers who are necessary to conduct minimum basic operations are those whose in-person presence is strictly necessary to allow the business or operation to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, care for animals, ensure security, process transactions (including payroll and employee benefits), or facilitate the ability of other workers to work remotely.
Businesses and operations must determine which of their workers are necessary to conduct minimum basic operations and inform such workers of that designation. Businesses and operations must make such designations in writing, whether by electronic message, public website, or other appropriate means. Such designations, however, may be made orally until March 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm.
- Businesses and operations that employ critical infrastructure workers may continue in-person operations, subject to the following conditions:
(a) Consistent with sections 8 and 9, businesses and operations must determine which of their workers are critical infrastructure workers and inform such workers of that designation. Businesses and operations must make such designations in writing, whether by electronic message, public website, or other appropriate means. Such designations, however, may be made orally until March 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm. Businesses and operations need not designate:
(1) Workers in health care and public health.
(2) Workers who perform necessary government activities, as described in section 6.
(3) Workers and volunteers described in section 9(d).
(b) In-person activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life must be suspended until normal operations resume.
(c) Businesses and operations maintaining in-person activities must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons. Those practices and measures include, but are not limited to:
(1) Restricting the number of workers present on premises to no more than is strictly necessary to perform the business’s or operation’s critical infrastructure functions.
(2) Promoting remote work to the fullest extent possible.
(3) Keeping workers and patrons who are on premises at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible, including for customers who are standing in line.
(4) Increasing standards of facility cleaning and disinfection to limit worker and patron exposure to COVID-19, as well as adopting protocols to clean and disinfect in the event of a positive COVID-19 case in the workplace.
(5) Adopting policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or have had contact with a person who is known or suspected to have COVID-19.
(6) Any other social distancing practices and mitigation measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.
- All in-person government activities at whatever level (state, county, or local) that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, or to supporting those businesses and operations that are necessary to sustain or protect life, are suspended.
(a) For purposes of this order, necessary government activities include activities performed by critical infrastructure workers, including workers in law enforcement, public safety, and first responders.
(b) Such activities also include, but are not limited to, public transit, trash pick-up and disposal, activities necessary to manage and oversee elections, operations necessary to enable transactions that support the work of a business’s or operation’s critical infrastructure workers, and the maintenance of safe and sanitary public parks so as to allow for outdoor recreation.
(c) For purposes of this order, necessary government activities include minimum basic operations, as described in section 4(b). Workers performing such activities need not be designated.
(d) Any in-person government activities must be performed consistently with the social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons described in section 5(c).
- Exceptions. (a) Individuals may leave their home or place of residence, and travel as necessary: (1) To engage in outdoor activity, including walking, hiking, running, cycling, or any other recreational activity consistent with remaining at least six feet from people from outside the individual’s household.
(2) To perform their jobs as critical infrastructure workers after being so designated by their employers. (Critical infrastructure workers who need not be designated under section 5(a) may leave their home for work without a designation.)
(3) To conduct minimum basic operations, as described in section 4(b), after being designated to perform such work by their employers.
(4) To perform necessary government activities, as described in section 6.
(5) To perform tasks that are necessary to their health and safety, or to the health and safety of their family or household members (including pets). Individuals may, for example, leave the home or place of residence to secure medication or to seek medical or dental care that is necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve the health and safety of a household or family member (including procedures that, in accordance with a duly implemented nonessential procedures postponement plan, have not been postponed).
(6) To obtain necessary services or supplies for themselves, their family or household members, and their vehicles. Individuals must secure such services or supplies via delivery to the maximum extent possible. As needed, however, individuals may leave the home or place of residence to purchase groceries, take-out food, gasoline, needed medical supplies, and any other products necessary to maintain the safety, sanitation, and basic operation of their residences.
(7) To care for a family member or a family member’s pet in another household.
(8) To care for minors, dependents, the elderly, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons.
(9) To visit an individual under the care of a health care facility, residential care facility, or congregate care facility, to the extent otherwise permitted.
(10) To attend legal proceedings or hearings for essential or emergency purposes as ordered by a court.
(11) To work or volunteer for businesses or operations (including both and religious and secular nonprofit organizations) that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities.
(b) Individuals may also travel: (1) To return to a home or place of residence from outside this state.
(2) To leave this state for a home or residence elsewhere.
(3) To travel between two residences in this state.
(4) As required by law enforcement or a court order, including the transportation of children pursuant to a custody agreement.
- For purposes of this order, critical infrastructure workers are those workers described by the Director of the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in his guidance of March 19, 2020 on the COVID-19 response (available here). Such workers include some workers in each of the following sectors:
(a) Health care and public health.
(b) Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders.
(c) Food and agriculture.
(e) Water and wastewater.
(f) Transportation and logistics.
(g) Public works.
(h) Communications and information technology, including news media.
(i) Other community-based government operations and essential functions.
(j) Critical manufacturing.
(k) Hazardous materials.
(l) Financial services.
(m) Chemical supply chains and safety.
(n) Defense industrial base.
- For purposes of this order, critical infrastructure workers also include:
(a) Child care workers (including workers at disaster relief child care centers), but only to the extent necessary to serve the children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers as defined in this order. This category includes individuals (whether licensed or not) who have arranged to care for the children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers.
(b) Workers at designated suppliers and distribution centers, as described below.
(1) A business or operation that employs critical infrastructure workers may designate suppliers, distribution centers, or service providers whose continued operation is necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of its critical infrastructure workers.
(2) Such suppliers, distribution centers, or service providers may designate workers as critical infrastructure workers only to the extent those workers are necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of the original operation’s or business’s critical infrastructure workers.
(3) Designated suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers may in turn designate additional suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers whose continued operation is necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of their critical infrastructure workers.
(4) Such additional suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers may designate workers as critical infrastructure workers only to the extent that those workers are necessary to enable, support, or facilitate the work of the critical infrastructure workers at the supplier, distribution center, or service provider that has designated them.
(5) Businesses, operations, suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers must make all designations in writing to the entities they are designating, whether by electronic message, public website, or other appropriate means. Such designations may be made orally until March 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm.
(6) Businesses, operations, suppliers, distribution centers, and service providers that abuse their designation authority shall be subject to sanctions to the fullest extent of the law.
(c) Workers in the insurance industry, but only to the extent that their work cannot be done by telephone or remotely.
(d) Workers and volunteers for businesses or operations (including both and religious and secular nonprofit organizations) that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals, individuals who need assistance as a result of this emergency, and people with disabilities.
(e) Workers who perform critical labor union functions, including those who administer health and welfare funds and those who monitor the well-being and safety of union members who are critical infrastructure workers, provided that any administration or monitoring should be done by telephone or remotely where possible.
- Nothing in this order should be taken to supersede another executive order or directive that is in effect, except to the extent this order imposes more stringent limitations on in-person work, activities, and interactions. Consistent with prior guidance, a place of religious worship, when used for religious worship, is not subject to penalty under section 14.
- Nothing in this order should be taken to interfere with or infringe on the powers of the legislative and judicial branches to perform their constitutional duties or exercise their authority.
- This order takes effect on March 24, 2020 at 12:01 am, and continues through April 13, 2020 at 11:59 pm.
- The governor will evaluate the continuing need for this order prior to its expiration. In determining whether to maintain, intensify, or relax its restrictions, she will consider, among other things, (1) data on COVID-19 infections and the disease’s rate of spread; (2) whether sufficient medical personnel, hospital beds, and ventilators exist to meet anticipated medical need; (3) the availability of personal protective equipment for the health-care workforce; (4) the state’s capacity to test for COVID-19 cases and isolate infected people; and (5) economic conditions in the state.
- Consistent with MCL 10.33 and MCL 30.405(3), a willful violation of this order is a misdemeanor.