DETROIT – Michigan Chamber of Commerce President and CEO, Rich Studley, sent a letter to the state’s governor, Gretchen Whitmer, on Friday discouraging a stay-at-home or shelter-in-place executive order.
To date a total of four states including Illinois, New Jersey, California and New York have enforced lockdowns.
As of Sunday, March 22 the Michigan death toll from the virus rose to 8 with a total of 807 people infected statewide.
Whitmer has issued executive orders that have closed down gyms, cafes, theaters, hair salons among other businesses amid the growing outbreak.
“Not all Michigan businesses need to cease operations due to the threat of COVID-19. For example, many businesses provide essential services and goods to our citizens. We cannot risk a disruption in the supply chain or a break in the distribution cycle. In addition, many businesses have non-uninterruptible operations and those operations need to be protected as we move forward. Finally, we would urge you to allow businesses to continue operations unless there is a high public health risk to employees or the general public," Studley writes.
The closures of Michigan businesses since virus cases were first announced has led to layoffs. Just days ago the Michigan Unemployment Insurance Agency saw a 550% increase in claims.
Economists are concerned the coronavirus pandemic has the potential to cause a serious economic downturn.