Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Whitmer extends 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' order , lifts some restrictions

LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended her “Stay Home, Stay Safe,” Executive Order through May 15 Friday, while also lifting some restrictions and requiring people wear face coverings while in enclosed public spaces.

“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,” Whitmer said in her announcement. “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.”

Under Whitmer’s new order, people will again be allowed to use motorized boats and golf without the use of carts — as long as they continue to practice social distancing.

Although travel is still strongly discouraged, Michiganders will also be allowed to travel between their residences under Friday’s new order.

The order will also allow workers in the landscaping, lawn-service and nursery industries to return to work — subject to strict social distancing practices — and retailers that don’t sell necessary supplies can reopen for curbside pick-up and deliveries. Larger stores can also reopen their closed areas, according to the announcement, and bike repair and maintenance can restart as well.

The order also requires people to wear homemade, non-medical grade face coverings when they are in enclosed, public spaces — but no one will be subject to criminal penalty for not following the requirement.

Employers must also provide cloth face coverings to employees, according to the announcement. Masks aren’t required when walking in open public spaces, according to the announcement.

Friday’s order extends Whitmer’s previous executive order, which she signed on April 9 and was set to expire Thursday.

—Richard Jenkins