Michigan government officials crack down on social distancing, price gouging amid coronavirus scares

Michigan Gov. Whitmer enforces executive orders to protect residents

DETROIT – As the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation in Michigan develops, health officials are urging people to stay home and practice social distancing.

Those recommendations didn’t stop crowds from flocking to Corktown on Sunday to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. With the holiday approaching in a few days, many individuals took the opportunity to celebrate rather than heed officials’ warnings.

As the COVID-19 pandemic quickly evolves throughout the state, however, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel isn’t relying on people to use common sense. Instead, Nessel has instructed local and state law enforcement to crack down on any restaurant that disobey’s Michigan Gov. Whitmer’s executive order to ban events and gathering with more than 250 people.

Establishments that ignore this order are subject to fines, or are even at risk of being closed.

“The consequences down the road may be severe; and you may not be getting arrested on St. Patrick’s Day, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t going to be some significant consequences for you later,” said Nessel.

Meanwhile, crowds of a different sort have been stockpiling groceries and essentials from stores all over Metro Detroit.

Because COVID-19 concerns led to a surge in shopping, some businesses have taken part in price gouging, meaning they unfairly and unreasonably raise the prices of goods in response to an increase in demand.

“Businesses will not and cannot use this state of emergency as a business opportunity," said Nessel. "That is the long and the short of it.”

Michigan Gov. Whitmer issued an executive order today to restrict businesses from unfairly raising prices on their goods and services during this pandemic.

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