Michigan stay-at-home order: What happens if a nonessential business stays open?

OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. – Police agencies across the state are getting complaint calls about businesses that are ignoring Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive order that closed nonessential businesses.

On Monday, March 23, Whitmer issued a statewide stay-at-home order to fight the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. For at least the next three weeks, individuals may only leave their home or place of residence under very limited circumstances.

Executive Order 2020-21 prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations.

So, what happens if businesses ignore that order?

“We are getting calls about businesses that shouldn’t be open. We’ve had them about yoga stores, barbershops, landscapers, you name it,” Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard said.

The department sends out a deputy to see if the businesses are open. If they are open, they write a report which is send to the health department and the attorney general’s office for charging.

A letter letting the owner know they are in violation of the governor’s order is also sent.

“We’re not putting handcuffs on people or arresting them. It’s not in our bandwidth right now," Bouchard said. ”The bigger issue every department in the state is dealing with right now is insufficient personal protection equipment. Which is vital to keep the ranks healthy and working."

READ: How to report businesses violating Michigan’s stay-at-home order

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has advice on how to protect yourself from coronavirus and what to do if you think you’re sick.

The symptoms of coronavirus could appear 2-14 days after exposure and include fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you have trouble breathing, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion, bluish lips or face you should seek medical attention immediately.

Has coronavirus impacted your life? There is help available:

Check here: Hotlines, resources for help during coronavirus outbreak in Michigan

Question about coronavirus? Ask Dr. McGeorge here.

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