Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Michigan, US, extend COVID-related stay-at-home order through at least May 15. Some business restrictions lifted.

The locations affected by this alert are:

  • Detroit, Michigan
  • Lansing, Michigan
  • Kalamazoo, Michigan
  • Grand Rapids, Michigan
  • Flint, Michigan
  • Marquette, Michigan
  • Pontiac, Michigan
  • Traverse City, Michigan
  • Muskegon, Michigan
  • Saginaw, Michigan
  • Pellston, Michigan
  • Escanaba, Michigan
  • Ann Arbor, Michigan
  • Portland, Michigan

This alert began 24 Apr 2020 18:49 GMT and is scheduled to expire 15 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 Restrictions
  • Location(s): Michigan (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 15
  • Impact: Significant business and transport disruptions; heightened security

Summary
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has extended her state's stay-at-home order and requirement for nonessential businesses to remain closed until at least May 15, as part of the state's efforts to combat coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The order, which was originally set to expire April 30, stipulates that residents may only leave their homes to obtain basic goods, attend to a medical issue, care for a person in need, or go to work at an essential business or service. Residents may also engage in outdoor recreational activities, provided they comply with social distancing guidelines. All gatherings remain banned.

Essential businesses that can continue in-person operations are those related to healthcare, food and medical equipment, essential government services, security, transport, and energy; however, they must limit the number of customers inside their premises at a given time in order to maintain social distancing. Under the newly extended order, several types of businesses classed as nonessential, including landscape and lawn-service companies, and nurseries, will be allowed to reopen starting April 24. Retail stores that do not sell essential goods may reopen for delivery and pickup services. Other nonessential businesses can continue operating only if their employees work from home. In-person lessons at schools have been canceled for the rest of the school year.

The order also requires all residents to wear a home-made protective mask whenever they enter enclosed public spaces, such as a grocery store, and requires employers to provide face masks to their workers.

Significant transport and business disruptions will almost certainly continue. Additional security personnel will remain deployed to assist in enforcing the measures. Officials could amend the order on short notice, depending on the disease activity in the coming weeks.

Background and Analysis
The measures taken by the Michigan authorities are similar to actions adopted by other state governments in the US and globally in recent weeks in response to the spread of COVID-19. COVID-19 is a viral respiratory disease caused by infection with the SARS-CoV-2 virus (previously known as 2019-nCoV). Symptoms occur 1-14 days following exposure (average of 3-7 days). These symptoms include fever, fatigue, cough, difficulty breathing, sometimes worsening to pneumonia and kidney failure - especially in those with underlying medical conditions. On March 11, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak a pandemic.

Advice
Strictly heed the instructions of authorities. Avoid all nonessential operations in the areas impacted by the measures. Confirm appointments. Remain courteous and cooperative if approached and questioned by law enforcement officers.

Emphasize basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
WHO coronavirus knowledge base: www.who.int

Government of Michigan - Coronavirus Updates: www.michigan.gov/Coronavirus

Governor of Michigan - Stay at Home Order Extension: https://www.michigan.gov/