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Shelter In Place

Governor Whitmer Extends Stay Home, Stay Safe Order, Directs Michiganders to Wear Homemade Masks in Enclosed Public Spaces 
Governor’s Executive Order Lifts Restrictions on Activities like Lawn Care, Golfing, Boating 

April 24, 2020 -- Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed executive order 2020-59, extending her “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order through May 15. 

The new order will require people to wear homemade face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces. It will also lift some restrictions on outdoor activities and allow some workers who perform previously suspended activities to go back to work. 

“Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up. Social distancing is our best weapon to defeat this enemy,” said Governor Whitmer. “With new COVID-19 cases leveling off, however, we are lifting some of the restrictions put in place in the previous order. I want to be crystal clear: the overarching message today is still the same. We must all do our part by staying home and staying safe as much as possible.” 

“The numbers we’ve seen in the past week have shown a plateau in positive cases, but Michiganders must continue doing their part to fight this virus and protect their families,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “The governor has taken a number of critical steps to protect Michigan families, and this order today will allow that work to continue. We will keep monitoring the data closely and work with our partners across state government to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.” 

The order will require people to wear homemade, non-medical grade face coverings when they enter enclosed public spaces. It will also require employers to provide at least cloth face coverings to their employees. People won’t have to wear face coverings when they’re taking a walk in the neighborhood, but when they go to the grocery store, they should be wearing one. Under the order, however, no one will be subject to criminal penalty for going without a mask.  

The new executive order will also allow some workers who perform previously suspended activities to go back on the job. Landscapers, lawn-service companies, and nurseries can return to work, subject to strict social distancing. Retailers that do not sell necessary supplies may reopen for curbside pick-up and for delivery. Big box stores can reopen “closed areas,” like garden centers. And bike repair and maintenance can come back online. 

At the same time, the order will ease up on some restrictions on members of the public. It will, for example, allow motorized boating and golf (but no golf carts), consistent with sound social distancing. It will also permit individuals to travel between their residences, though such travel during the epidemic is strongly discouraged. And it will clarify that state parks remain open, as they have been throughout the emergency. 

The governor’s actions today are in close alignment with other Midwest states. On April 16, Governor Whitmer announced that she and Governors Mike DeWine (OH), Tony Evers (WI), Tim Walz (MN), JB Pritzker (IL), Eric Holcomb (IN), and Andy Beshear (KY) will work in close coordination to reopen the economy in the Midwest region. The governor is committed to continuing to work closely with other governors to protect families and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  

To view Executive Order 2020-59, Click the link below: 


Essential Businesses and Workers

Essential businesses and workers are defined as “those who are necessary to sustain or protect life” and “critical infrastructure workers.”

Those business categories include: 

  • Communications
  • Chemical
  • Critical Manufacturing
  • Commercial Facilities
  • Dams
  • Defense Industrial Base
  • Emergency Services
  • Energy
  • Financial
  • Food and Agriculture
  • Government Facilities
  • Healthcare & Public Health
  • Information Technology
  • Nuclear Reactors, Materials & Waste
  • Transportation Systems
  • Water 
  • Other critical infrastructure workers:
    • Child care workers
    • In the insurance industry
    • Helping the needy
    • Performing critical labor union functions
  • Workers necessary for minimum basic operations:

    • To maintain the value of inventory and equipment
    • To care for animals
    • To ensure security
    • To process certain transactions
    • To help others work remotely
  • For businesses designated as a necessary supplier or service provider by another business:

    • Workers who need to be at the job site to carry out that necessary work

All other workers cannot leave home for work, but they can work remotely from home if possible.

The Chamber wants to make clear that restaurants are considered essential infrastructure, falling under the “Food and Agriculture” category and are allowed to remain open. If they remain open, they must provide one of the following:

  • No contact delivery
  • No contact curbside
  • No contact carry-out

Additionally, critical services such a grocery stores, food banks, pharmacies, medical supply stores, gas stations/convenience stores, liquor stores, hardware stores, laundromats, banks, auto services, and pet stores will also remain open, but many are operating on reduced hours.

More information regarding what and who qualifies as “Essential Critical Infrastructure” can be found by visiting the following link from the Department of Homeland Security: CISA Guidance on Essential Critical Infrastrucutre Workers.

For guidelines on what you can or cannot do while the "Shelter-in-Place" order is in effect, download this PDF.

Under 4(b) of the Executive Order issued by Governor Whitmer on March 23, “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.”


Below is suggested template language which has been approved by the state’s Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity. 


Critical Infrastructure Worker Template

/files/download/documents/Critical Infrastructure Worker Template.docx

Minimum Basic Operations Template

/files/download/documents/Minimum Basic Operations Template.docx