Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer says state’s construction will resume May 7

Construction sector included in next phase of plan to reopen state, officials say

A construction worker. (Pixabay)

LANSING, Mich. – Construction in the state of Michigan is set to resume May 7 as the plan to reopen the state in phases amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s office confirmed.

“The continued pragmatic and safe measures to get Michigan back to work that Gov. (Gretchen) Whitmer is taking, such as opening up the construction sector on May 7, aligns with the Chamber’s point of view for reactivating the economy in phases,” said Sandy K. Baruah, president and CEO of the Detroit Regional Chamber.

Officials said a recent poll revealed 61% of workers feel safe returning to work. The poll found 60% of workers said they trust their employer to keep them safe, Baruah said.

Whitmer’s communications director, Zach Pohl, addressed a report that the governor would sign an executive order Friday to reopen the state’s construction industry on May 7.

“The reporting in MIRS is accurate," Pohl said. "No one should be surprised that the governor would open a lower risk field like she has said at previous press conferences.”

Whitmer extended Michigan’s stay-at-home order last week, but loosened restrictions on businesses such as landscaping, golf and boating.

The current version of the stay-at-home order is in effect through May 15. Residents are required to wear masks in public places and follow other social distancing guidelines.

READ: Here’s what was reopened in Whitmer’s revised stay-at-home order

“The vast majority of people in this state are doing the right things. We’ve seen the curve get pushed down,” Whitmer said at the time. “I think it’s appropriate to reevaluate along the way. At this point we feel like’s good to have our first wave of reengagement in this way.”

The prior stay-home order -- in tandem with guidance issued by Whitmer’s office -- prompted lawsuits on behalf of anglers, landscaping companies, cottage owners and others. Republicans who control the Legislature also criticized it and plan to vote Friday to limit her emergency powers despite a certain veto.

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Derick is the Lead Digital Editor for ClickOnDetroit and has been with Local 4 News since April 2013. Derick specializes in breaking news, crime and local sports.