Severity: Critical Alert

Transportation: Officials in Michigan, US, to lift certain business restrictions May 11, extend stay-at-home orders through May 28.

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 08 May 2020 23:03 GMT and is scheduled to expire 28 May 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Event: COVID-19 restrictions
  • Location(s): Michigan (map)
  • Time Frame: Through at least May 28
  • Impact: Significant business and transport disruptions; heightened security

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 28, while allowing the reopening of manufacturing industries starting May 11. The measures are part of the state's efforts to combat coronavirus disease (COVID-19). The 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 an essential business or service. Residents may also engage in outdoor recreational activities, provided they comply with social distancing guidelines. All gatherings remain banned.

Starting May 11, manufacturing companies, including auto manufacturers, may reopen their facilities. Employers must restrict the number of workers to the minimum absolutely necessary; they must also comply with specific social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) mandates, along with implementing enhanced sanitation and health screening procedures, among other things. Authorities had previously authorized construction and real estate workers to return to work. Restaurants, bars, and retail stores may offer delivery and pickup services only. Other nonessential businesses can continue operating only if their employees work from home.

Essential businesses, including those related to healthcare, food and medical equipment, essential government services, security, transport, and energy are allowed to continue operating. In-person lessons at schools have been canceled for the rest of the school year. The order also requires all residents to wear protective masks whenever they enter enclosed public spaces, such as grocery stores.

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 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.

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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