Things You Can Still Do During Michigan’s ‘Stay At Home’ Order

Michigan's "stay at home" order has been extended to May 15, but some restrictions have been lifted. Here's a breakdown on what you can do outside of your home.

Back on March 24, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a “stay at home” order to limit the risk of the spread of COVID-19 to Michigan residents. The order, which was set to end on April 13, has since been extended to May 15.

As with before, under the extension, residents can still conduct “essential” business, like shopping for groceries and medicine or going to the hospital — but some of the restrictions set by the original order have been lifted.

So, what are Michigan residents now allowed to do that they couldn’t before? Here, we’ve broken down what the the “stay at home” orders is and what is currently allowed.

Keeping safe

The goal of the “stay at home” order is exactly what it sounds like — to keep people indoors and away from one another to prevent the virus’ spread.

The idea is to “flatten the curve,” or reduce the projected number of people that will contract coronavirus, so as not to overwhelm state hospitals and medical providers with a huge influx of sick people.

Under such orders, you and your family are expected stay inside as much as possible. If you do need to go out, you should follow the CDC’s guidelines to:

  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
  • Avoid touching your face, including your eyes, nose and mouth
  • Keeping at least six feet away from others not in your family

What is considered ‘essential’

Under the original order, businesses and service providers that are “critical infrastructure workers” didn’t have to close. That hasn’t changed. WZZM 13 reports some of these businesses exempt from the original “stay at home” order include:

  • Hospitals and health care
  • Law enforcement, public safety, first responders
  • Grocery stores and pharmacies
  • Electric, water and wastewater
  • Public transportation
  • Cable, satellite and news media
  • Government buildings
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Banks
  • National Guard, Army, Navy, Coast Guard, Air Force, Border Patrol, Marines
  • Child care, but only to serve children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers
  • Insurance, but only if work cannot be done by telephone or remotely
  • Those who work for or volunteer for places providing food and shelter to low-income people and the disabled

According to Click On Detroit, the extension has reopened landscapers and lawn-service companies, plant nurseries and bike repair shops.

In addition, stores selling nonessential supplies may reopen for curbside pickup, and delivery and big-box retailers no longer have to close of garden or homeware areas.

Precautions and masks a must

While working, employers and employees must still adhere to the requirements of social distancing, including:

  • Restricting the number of workers on the premises and allowing employees to work from home as much as possible
  • Keeping workers at least six feet apart
  • Increasing cleaning standards
  • Adopting policies to prevent sick workers from coming in

In addition, anyone who can medically tolerate it is now required to wear a face covering in public spaces — and employers must provide non-medical grade masks to their employees.

What you’re allowed to do

Families are still limited in what they could do outside of their homes. Under the extension, though, we can now go golfing (golf carts are still off-limits) and enjoy motorized boating.

Those with more than one in-state home may also travel between them again, though it is strongly discouraged — and they may also resume using services that have re-opened.

As was the case under the original order, Michiganders can continue to do the follow:

  • Outdoor activities like hiking, walking, running and biking, maintaining six feet from anyone outside your household
  • Attend court hearings or taking children and adults to court hearings and government activities
  • Go grocery shopping, pick up take-out food, buy medicine and seek medical or dental care (people are urged to use delivery services as much as possible)
  • Care for a family member or a family member’s pet in another household, minors, dependents, the elderly, persons with disabilities or other vulnerable people.
  • Go to a hospital to visit the sick (while adhering to hospital rules)
  • Work or volunteer for a business that provides food, shelter or other needs for economically disadvantaged people or other individuals in need, like people with disabilities

The order still limits non-essential in-person contact and restaurants, bars, movie theaters, gyms and sports facilities remain closed.

For more information on COVID-19 or for services and activity ideas, visit our coronavirus help page at

This post was originally published in March 2020 and is updated regularly.


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