By N3 News
While expressing cautious optimism about the progress made in flattening the curve of the COVID-19 virus and expressing concern over the possibility of a second wave,
Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed Executive Order 2020-77 to extend Michigan’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order to May 28. The order includes allowing manufacturing workers to resume work on Monday, May 11 as part of her MI Safe Start Plan.
The Big 3 auto manufacturers will begin production May 18th with 25% of their workers returning initially and phasing in more gradually.
“This is good news for our state, our businesses, and our working families,” said Governor Whitmer. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward on our MI Safe Start plan to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.”
19% of the state’s economy comes from manufacturing.
Whitmer outlined these phases of the safe start initiative:
1) UNCONTROLLED GROWTH: The increasing number of new cases every day, overwhelming our health systems. At this point schools closed, bars and restaurants closed and the stay at home orders were implemented.
2) PERSISTENT SPREAD: High case levels with concern about health system capacity.
3) FLATTENING: The epidemic is no longer increasing and the health-system's capacity is sufficient for current needs.
The Governor stated that the state was entering this phase which has allowed for some loosening on restrictions including outdoor work, construction and now manufacturing.
The hopes are to move into the next phases listed as:
4) IMPROVING: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are clearly declining.
5) CONTAINING: Continued case and death rate improvements, with outbreaks quickly contained.
6) POST-PANDEMIC: Community spread not expected to return.
Both the Governor and Chief Medical Director Joniegh Khaldun repeatedly encouraged citizens to continue to practice the safety measures by not gathering in frous, wearing masks, staying at least 6 feet apart from others and washing hands frequently.
Michigan I’m asking you to mask up”,” said the Governor. “It’s a way of saying thank you to our front line workers.”
Dr Khaldun expressed concern that despite the flattening of cases in and around the Detroit area they have seen increases in other parts of the state and reminded people to be cautious.
Asked about state parks being opened for Memorial Day Whitmer reminded that the parks remain open but tht camping would not be available as yet per the DNR.
Questioned about the Owosso barber who openly defied the order by opening his shop she spoke of recognizing the hardships of small businesses but once again reiterated the need to follow safe practices to deter any second wave of the virus that would cause a major setback in the progress.
She also pointed out Shiawassee County (where Owosso is located) has had 198 cases and 13 deaths from the COVID virus.
Governor Whitmer shared some good news about Pfizer conducting clinical trials on a possible vaccine and spoke of over 2700 state businesses benefiting from $10 million in grants that ended up saving 11,000 jobs.
Dr. Khaldun spoke to a marked increase in volunteers to help with contact tracing a vital tool in containment of the virus.
To view executive order 2020-77, click the link below: