Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Michigan, US, extend orders requiring residents to remain at home through at least June 12. 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 27 May 2020 12:45 GMT and is scheduled to expire 12 Jun 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Michigan (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Significant business and transport disruptions; heightened security

Summary
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued an order to extend requirements for residents to remain at home except to perform essential tasks through at least June 12, as part of the state's efforts to curb the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The stay-at-home order 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 a business or service allowed to operate. Residents may also engage in outdoor recreational activities, provided they comply with social distancing guidelines.

Authorities had previously eased some of the restrictions imposed on businesses, as part of their economic recovery plan. Since May 22, officials have allowed additional businesses to operate in two regions of the state, encompassing the following counties: Alger, Alpena, Antrim, Baraga, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Crawford, Delta, Dickinson, Gogebic, Grand Traverse, Emmet, Houghton, Iron, Kalkaska, Keweenaw, Leelanau, Luce, Mackinac, Manistee, Marquette, Menominee, Montmorency, Missaukee, Ontonagon, Otsego, Presque Isle, Roscommon, Schoolcraft, and Wexford.

The businesses allowed to reopen in these areas are:

  • Dine-in services at restaurants and bars, limited to 50 percent capacity.
  • Retail stores, limited to 25 percent capacity at stores 4,600 square meters (50,000 square feet) and a maximum of four people per 93 meters (1,000 square feet).
  • Offices where work cannot be performed remotely.


Since May 26, authorities will allow auto dealerships and retail stores to reopen statewide, but only to offer services by appointment. Retail stores must not allow more than ten customers within their premises at the same time. Non-urgent medical, dental, and veterinarian procedures can resume statewide May 29.

Authorities had previously allowed manufacturing companies, including auto manufacturers, to reopen their facilities and construction and real estate companies to return to work. Employers must restrict the number of workers to the absolute minimum necessary; they must also comply with specific social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) mandates, along with enhanced sanitation and health screening procedures, among other things. Other nonessential businesses can continue operating only if their employees work from home.

Essential businesses, including those related to food and medical equipment, essential government services, security, transport, and energy, are allowed to continue operating. Officials have canceled in-person lessons at schools for the rest of the academic year. Residents must wear protective masks whenever they enter enclosed public spaces. Gatherings of up to 10 people are allowed.

Significant transport and business disruptions will almost certainly continue. Security personnel will likely 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 relaxation of some measures will likely accelerate in the coming weeks; however, restrictions may be reimposed or extended further should the number of COVID-19 cases increase. 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.


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