Beginning March 24, Michigan residents will be expected to remain in their homes after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a “stay at home” order to limit the risk of the spread of COVID-19 to Michiganders. The order ends April 13.
Residents can still conduct essential business, like shop for groceries and medicine or go to the hospital.
But what exactly does this mean – and are you not allowed outside at all? Here, we’ve broken down what this order is and what it allows.
The goal of the “stay at home” order is exactly how it sounds – to keep people indoors and away from one another.
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 this order, you and your family should 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”
According the order, businesses and service providers that are “critical infrastructure workers” don’t have to close. WZZM 13 reports some of these businesses exempt from the “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
- 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
While working, employers and employees must still adhere to the requirements of social distancing.
- Restricting the number of workers on the premises and allowing employees to work from home as much as possible
- Keep workers at least six feet apart
- Increase cleaning standards
- Adopt policies to prevent sick workers from coming in
What you’re allowed
With all non-essential businesses closed, there’s not a lot of places that families can go, but the order allows:
- Outdoor activities like hiking, walking, running and biking, maintaining six feet from anyone outside your household.
- Attending court hearings or taking children and adults to court hearings and government activities.
- Grocery shopping, picking up take-out food, buying medicine, seeking 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.
In her press statement, Gov. Whitmer added that now is not the time to panic or hoard food.
If you find yourself running low on supplies, check our list of grocery delivery services or our roundup of family support services that can help – and if the kids get bored cooped up, check out our coronavirus help page for fun ideas to do inside.