LANSING, Mich. – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order to resume construction, real estate and other outdoor jobs starting Thursday.
Whitmer extended the state of emergency through May 28, but she’s now reopening certain types of work that are typically outdoors and have a low risk of spreading the coronavirus (COVID-19), she announced in a release.
“The vast majority of Michiganders are still doing their part to protect themselves and their families from COVID-19. That’s good, but we must keep it up,” Whitmer said. “As part of our MI Safe Start Plan, we are bringing business and labor leaders together to ensure that while we lift some restrictions on the previous Stay Home, Stay Safe order, we are also protecting workers and their families from the spread of this virus.
"I want to be clear: We must all continue to stay home and stay safe as much as possible. If we all keep doing our part, we can reduce the risk of a second wave and re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.”
The stay-at-home order is in effect until May 15. Michigan residents are required to stay in their homes unless they’re running critical errands, spending time outdoors or traveling to specified jobs.
“The data shows that we’re ready to lift some of these restrictions while also encouraging Michiganders to continue doing their part under the governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “The steps the governor is taking today will help ensure protections for workers and their families from COVID-19 while allowing for work in lower-risk fields to resume.”
“We are grateful for the governor’s commitment to protecting working people and their families from the spread of COVID-19,” said Pat Devlin, Secretary Treasurer of the Michigan Building and Construction Trades Council. “Our dedicated building tradesmen and women are ready to get back to work, and we’re glad the governor has taken steps today to help ensure their safety.”
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.
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.