Answering 9 questions about Michigan’s ‘stay-at-home’ order

State posts FAQ on order to battle coronavirus

A satellite image of Michigan (NASA)
A satellite image of Michigan (NASA)

DETROIT – Michigan’s “stay-at-home" order is in effect for the next three weeks.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the move on Monday, as coronavirus cases continue to rise in the state. A majority of the cases are in Wayne and Oakland counties.

READ MORE: Michigan issues stay-at-home order amid coronavirus: Here’s what it means

Understandably, there were many questions about what exactly the order meant for specific situations, industries, and workers. (Have a question? Submit through our 4YI page)

The state posted answers to a few of the common questions they received. Here’s what they posted:

Q: Does in-person work that is essential to sustain or protect human life also include in-person work to prevent severe psychological harm?

A: Yes

Q: Are car dealerships open?

A: Auto sales is closed, but auto repair and maintenance can remain open subject to the limitations in section 5 of Executive Order 2020-21.

Q: Are childcare workers considered critical infrastructure employees?

A: Childcare workers are considered critical infrastructure workers but only to the extent necessary to serve the children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers as defined in Executive Order 2020-21

Q: How does this order impact my custody agreement?

A: Individuals may also travel as required by law enforcement or a court order, including the transportation of children pursuant to a custody agreement under section 7 (b) (3) of this order. Court ordered parent child visits and caseworker visits continue but these visits must not always be in person. Alternatives including telephone and videoconference are acceptable. The only time that an in-person visit is required is when we believe that child safety is at stake.

Q: Are bicycle shop employees considered critical infrastructure for purposes of Executive Order 2020-21?

A: In general, no. Workers at bicycle repair shops can be designated as critical infrastructure workers only if they provide maintenance for bicycles that other critical infrastructure workers use to get to their jobs. We expect that this condition will be satisfied very rarely.

Q: Are people who repair homes considered critical infrastructure employees for the purposes of Executive Order 2020-21?

In general, yes. Under the order, critical infrastructure workers include workers “who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation, and essential operation of residences.” To the extent your workers perform jobs that are necessary to the safety, sanitation, and operation of homes, they may be designated as critical infrastructure workers.

Q: Are hotels and motels to remain open Executive Order 2020-21?

A: In general, hotels and motels may remain open, but must limit functions and operations.

Under the order, workers at hotels and motels are critical infrastructure workers to the extent they “provide temporary or permanent housing for… shelter ... for ... otherwise needy individuals.” For purposes of the order, the term “otherwise needy individuals” includes anyone residing in a hotel or motel at the time the order was issued or anyone seeking shelter during the current pandemic. Hotels and motels may also remain open to the extent they are used for COVID-19 mitigation and containment efforts and to serve critical infrastructure workers.

Hotels and motels may therefore remain open, but they may only engage in activities providing shelter and basic needs (such as carry-out/delivery/room-service food) and, in engaging in those activities, they must limit guest-to-guest, guest-to-staff, and staff-to-staff interactions as much as possible and must adopt all other mitigation measures required by section 5(c) of the order. They may not provide additional in-house amenities such as gyms, pools, spas, entertainment faculties, meetings rooms or like facilities, or provide in-house dining.

Q: Is construction allowed under the executive order?

A: Some limited forms of construction are permissible, including construction to maintain and improve essential public works like roads, bridges, the telecommunications infrastructure, and public health infrastructure. Construction workers may also undertake such projects as necessary to maintain and improve the safety, sanitation, and essential operations of residences. In addition, businesses may designate construction firms to provide necessary support to the work of the businesses’ critical infrastructure workers. All construction work that is carried out while the order is in effect must be done in accordance with the mitigation measures required under section 5(c) of the order.

Q: Under the Stay Home, Stay Safe EO, can school districts continue to provide food service for students?

A: Gov. Whitmer is committed to ensuring that Michigan students have access to the food they need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under the governor’s executive order, K-12 school food services are considered critical infrastructure and should continue.

(We’ll update as they post more answers)

About the Author:

Ken Haddad is the digital special projects manager for WDIV / He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013.