Governor Whitmer Extends Executive Order Limiting Places of Public Accommodation

More Extensions from the Governor, Effective through May 28

Governor Gretchen Whitmer today signed Executive Order 2020-69, which extends her previous order that temporarily closes certain places of public accommodation such as theaters, bars, casinos, and more. In order to maintain social distancing the order also limits restaurants to carry-out and delivery orders.

A somber look from the Governor, a US flags hangs in the background

Governor Whitmer Signs New Executive Orders

“Although we are beginning to see the curve flatten, we are not out of the woods yet. We must all continue to be diligent, observe social distancing and limit in-person interactions and services to slow the spread of COVID-19,” said Governor Whitmer. “Michigan now has more than 40,000 cases of COVID-19. The virus has killed more Michiganders than we lost during the Vietnam war. Extending this order is vital to the health and safety of every Michigander. If we work together and do our part, we can help reduce the spread of COVID-19 and save lives.”

This order does not restrict a place of business from offering food and beverage using delivery service, window service, walk-up service, drive-through service, or drive-up service. Places of public accommodation are encouraged to offer food and beverage service in one or more of those ways and use precautions to mitigate potential transmission of COVID-19, including social distancing and wearing as face covering. Restaurants may allow five people inside at a time to pick up orders, so long as they stay six feet apart from each other.

These restrictions do not apply to the following locations: office buildings, grocery stores, markets, food pantries, pharmacies, drug stores, and providers of medical equipment and supplies, health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities, warehouse and distribution centers, and industrial and manufacturing facilities.

Executive Order 2020-69 is effective immediately and extends until May 28, 2020.

Additional New Orders effective through May 28

The executive orders cite extensive data validating the existence of an emergency and disaster across the State of Michigan. Specifically, although the pace of COVID-19 spread has showed signs of slowing, the virus remains aggressive and persistent: to date, there have been 41,379 confirmed cases of COVID-19, and 3,789 deaths from the disease—fourfold and tenfold increases, respectively, since the start of this month. And while COVID-19 initially hit Southeast Michigan hardest, the spread is now increasing more quickly in other parts of the state. For instance, cases in some counties in Western and Northern Michigan are now doubling every 6 days or faster.

Moreover, the economic damage wrought by this pandemic—already severe—will continue to compound with time. Between March 15 and April 18, Michigan had 1.2 million initial unemployment claims. This amounts to nearly 24% of the Michigan workforce. During this crisis, Michigan has frequently processed more unemployment claims in a single day than the most painful week of the Great Recession, and the state has already reached its highest unemployment rate since the Great Depression. On April 9, 2020, economists at the University of Michigan forecasted that the U.S. economy will contract by 7% in the second quarter of this year, or roughly an annualized rate of 25%. As a result, many families in Michigan will struggle to pay their bills or even put food on the table.

New Orders Include

  • Executive Order 2020-66, which terminates the existing state of emergency and disaster declarationsissued under the Emergency Management Act in Executive Order 2020-33.
  • Executive Order 2020-67, which clarifies that a state of emergency remains in effect under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act of 1945.The order is effective immediately and continues through May 28, 2020 at 11:59pm. The governor will evaluate the continuing need for this order prior to its expiration, and if she determines that an emergency no longer exists, will terminate or extend the state of emergency declared in this order.
  • Executive Order 2020-68, which declares a state of emergency and a state of disaster across the State of Michigan under the Emergency Management Act of 1976. The state of emergency and state of disaster declared by this order will be effective through May 28, 2020 at 11:59pm, and the governor will evaluate the continuing need for the order prior to its expiration, terminate the states of emergency and disaster if the threat or danger has passed.

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