Governor Whitmer reopens some businesses in part of northern MI

Saturday, 23 May, 2020

The governor announced on May 18 that some restaurants, bars, and other retail businesses in much of northern MI will be allowed to begin reopening starting Friday, ahead of the Memorial Day weekend.

Whitmer's order also permits for small social gatherings of up to 10 people in both regions. Restaurants and bars can only operate at 50% it normal occupancy. Waiters will be required to wear face masks.

The new order will cover retail establishments, and office work that can not be done remotely from home.

MORE: What's your state's coronavirus reopening plan? The 1976 law, the Emergency Management Act, requires approval from the legislature to extend state of emergency after 28 days.

"As you are re-engaging, be smart and continue to do your part", she said.

Some barbers and hairstylists on Wednesday staged a rally where they cut people's hair despite current orders from the governor, who's said repeatedly any plan to reopen her state's economy would have to be balanced with the best-available health data. There must be cleaning and sanitizing protocols for high-touch areas like credit card machines.

"This is great news for dealerships across the state", said Doug North, President of North Brothers Ford.

Whitmer's "MI Safe Start Plan" has six phases and is created to reengage the state's economy.

She pointed to their new cases per million residents each day - less than five and two - compared to the statewide average of 33. About 79% of deaths are from three counties in metro Detroit.

Some of the activities allowed under the new order include: making deliveries or purchasing groceries; caring for a family member or a family member's pet in another household; caring for a child, the elderly, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable persons; attending a funeral, provided that no more than 10 people are in attendance; and attending legal proceedings. The reopening will be slow to ensure safety, he said. "We owe it to them to do what we can to stop the spread of this virus". The recommended social distancing practices, such as maintaining six feet of separation between strangers, must be maintained. Michiganders who are not working as critical infrastructure workers or at a business that has been authorized to reopen should stay home to protect themselves and their families from the spread of COVID-19.

The development comes after the Michigan House of Representatives and Senate sued Whitmer after she circumvented the legislature to extend the state of emergency declaration, alleging that the order is improper and invalid under state law.

Again, the Upper Peninsula will begin to re-open after the COVID-19 lockdown on Friday.