Governor Whitmer reopens some businesses in part of northern MI

Governor Whitmer reopens some businesses in part of northern MI

Governor Whitmer reopens some businesses in part of northern MI

As the number of new coronavirus cases and deaths in MI continues to plummet, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Monday that she's relaxing some restrictions in northern part of the state.

Retail stores and auto showrooms can resume operations by appointment beginning on May 26, while increased veterinarian, dental, and medical services will be allowed starting May 29.

Due to a low number of cases, the Upper Peninsula and the Traverse City area will be the first regions in MI to reopen more parts of the economy on Friday.

"The data has shown in these regions of our state that we can phase more sectors into re-engagement of our economy", Whitmer said. It's crucial that all businesses do everything in their power to protect their workers, customers, and their families.

The timing of the decision lands just ahead of the Memorial Day weekend, and no timetable has been given for the remainder of the state. She will continue to do what she's always done: take careful, decisive actions to protect Michiganders from this unprecedented, global pandemic.

The governor also signed a separate order, Executive Order 2020-97, updating a prior rule on workplace safety.

All businesses in regions 6 and 8 will still have to adopt proper safety measures like providing COVID-19 training, the proper use of personal protection equipment, notifying businesses of coronavirus symptoms or possible cases, and how to report unsafe working conditions.

Bars and restaurants, which have only been able to do pickup and delivery due to coronavirus restrictions, will have to limit capacity to 50%. "I want encourage everyone to stay smart and stay safe. This will help prevent a second surge in cases in our state".

Dr. Patrick Jacuzzo, director of environmental health at the county health department, said in an email Monday that local health departments "have not been receiving specific information in advance" of the governor's announcements and executive orders during the COVID-19 crisis.

At this time MCHD can not provide accurate information regarding the specifics of the phased opening of businesses in the Upper Peninsula, officials said. Campgrounds and lodging will not be reopening at this time. "We owe it to our front line heroes who have been putting their lives on the line to pull together as a state and work as one team to stop the spread of this virus", Whitmer said in a release.

Earlier in May, Whitmer extended the statewide stay-home order to May 28, but allowed manufacturing workers to return to work.

Whitmer added that Trump's threat to withhold funding from her state that is "hurting as bad as we are right now" is "scary" and "unacceptable".

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