Gov. Whitmer gives coronavirus update

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer gives an update on the number of positive COVID-19 cases alongside Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, (left) the state's chief medical executive and chief deputy for health, and other state officials

(The Center Square) – Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order Monday telling most residents to stay in their homes through April 13 to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

When: The order goes into effect at 12:01 Tuesday morning and sunsets on April 13 at 11:59 p.m.

Your occupation matters: All Michigan nonessential workers, defined as those whose work is “not necessary to sustain or protect life,” are to stay home from work. Most employers must inform their workers of their classification.

Who is essential: Check with your employer, but these general categories are deemed essential.

  • Health care and public health
  • Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
  • Food and agriculture
  • Energy
  • Water and wastewater
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Public works
  • Communications and information technology, including news media
  • Other community-based government operations and essential functions
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Hazardous materials
  • Financial services
  • Chemical supply chains and safety
  • Defense industrial base
  • Businesses or nonprofits that provide food, shelter, and other necessities of life for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals

What will be open: The above facilities, as well as grocery stores, gas stations, banks, and restaurants that serve take-out food.

What can I leave the house for:

  • Exercise
  • To perform jobs deemed necessary for critical infrastructure after workers are so-designated by their employers
  • To perform tasks that are necessary to their own or family members health and safety, including pets, such as getting medicine or necessary medical or dental care for an emergencies
  • To get groceries, gas, take-out food, medicine and safety and sanitization equipment
  • To care for minors, dependents, the elderly, persons with disabilities and vulnerable persons, or to visit an individual under the care of a healthcare facility
  • To attend court-ordered legal proceedings or hearings for essential or emergency purposes
  • To work or volunteer for businesses or nonprofits that provide food, shelter, and other critical services for economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy individuals
  • To leave this state for a home elsewhere
  • To travel between two residences in this state
  • While outdoors, you must stay six feet away from others
  • The order encourages residents to use delivery services as much as possible

Why: The state reported the number of positive COVID-19 cases reached 1,328 Monday, with a total death count of 15.

Health officials say that minimizing in-person contact will curb the disease so that hospital beds won’t be overrun with patients.

At the current trajectory, Whitmer said that a model estimates that 70 percent of 10 million Michiganders could contract COVID-19, with 1 million people requiring hospitalization.

The state has about 25,000 acute care beds.

Can I have a few friends over: No. “All public and private gatherings of any number of people occurring among persons not part of a single household are prohibited,” the order reads.

What it’s not: Martial law. Whitmer has only activated the National Guard for humanitarian reasons, not to enforce the order. It’s not an order to stay indoors; outdoor exercise is allowed, as long as residents stay six feet apart.

Staff Reporter

Scott McClallen is a staff writer covering Michigan and Minnesota for The Center Square. A graduate of Hillsdale College, his work has appeared on Forbes.com and FEE.org. Previously, he worked as a financial analyst at Pepsi.