Gov. Whitmer Moves State to Phase 4, Office Work Opens With Caveat

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Today, the Governor announced that she will rescind the “Safer at Home” Executive Order, moving the state into phase four of the MI Safe Start Plan — the “Improving” phase.

Michigan employers were given the go-ahead to reopen workplaces effectively immediately, but employees who can work remotely must do so. The governor’s order will also allow retailers to reopen on June 4 and restaurants to reopen on June 8, both subject to capacity limits. Day camps for children will likewise be permitted to open on June 8. Effective immediately, groups of 100 or less will be allowed to gather outdoors with social distancing. And in-home services, including housecleaning services, can resume operations.

On Thursday, retailers that have been closed may begin to open at limited capacity. On Monday, restaurants can resume indoor and outdoor seating, so long as tables are 6 feet from one another, guests are wearing masks, and the restaurants only open at  50% or less of capacity.

The Governor also noted that Regions 6 and 8 will move to phase 5 later this week depending on the numbers of cases.

A full list that businesses that cannot reopen in full executive order on michigan.gov/coronavirus.


Phase Four According to MI Safe Start Plan

According to the Plan, Phase Four occurs when the number of new cases and death has fallen for a period of time, but overall case levels are high. Additionally, it occurs when most new outbreaks are quickly identified, traced, and contained due to robust testing infrastructure and rapid contact tracing.

For the last three months, the statewide orders required that people should not be leaving home except for these specific reasons. With her latest announcement, the state can now reengage safely in many activities. Most businesses and organizations will be open throughout this phase under strict safety measures. These include:

Business and Organizations 

  • Retail: Permitted with additional safety measures and guidelines (e.g., limited capacity)
  • Public Transportation: Permitted
  • Restaurants and Bars: Available for takeout, delivery, drive-through, and the recent order added that establishments can open at 50% capacity with safety measures and guidelines
  • Manufacturing: Permitted with additional safety measures and guidelines
  • Construction: Permitted with additional safety measures and guidelines
  • Food and Agriculture: Permitted
  • Offices: Open (remote work still required where feasible)
  • Education: Remote learning in K-12 and higher education, summer programs in small groups
  • Outdoor Work: Permitted with additional safety measures and guidelines

Personal and Social

  • Social Distancing: In place, maintain a six-foot distance from others when outdoors / in public
  • Face coverings: Required
  • Gatherings: Limited to small groups with social distancing
  • Outdoor Recreation: Walking, hiking, biking, golfing, boating permitted. Activities permitted in small groups with social distancing
  • Quarantine/Isolation: Individuals who have confirmed or suspected. COVID-19 must isolate, and any individual with a known exposure must quarantine, according to CDC and public health guidance
  • At-risk populations: All at-risk individuals should continue to shelter in place. Members of households with at-risk residents should be aware that by returning to work or other environments where distancing is not possible, they could carry the virus back home. Precautions should be taken to isolate from at-risk residents. Businesses should strongly consider special accommodations for personnel who are members of an at-risk population.

Exceptions to the Order include:

  • Hair cuts
  • Gyms
  • Casinos
  • Nail Salons
  • Amusement

Full list that businesses that cannot reopen in full executive order on michigan.gov/coronavirus.


EO 2020-108:  Maintains restrictions on visitation to health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, and juvenile justice facilities, but authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to gradually re-open visitation as circumstances permit. Hospitals and other health care facilities are likely to be among the first set of facilities permitted to relax visitation restrictions, while restrictions on nursing homes and other elder care facilities will remain in place.

EO 2020-109: Extends requirement of wearing a mask while in a grocery store or pharmacy, as well as requiring grocery stores and pharmacies to have dedicated hours for vulnerable populations, through Friday, June 12.

EO 2020-110: Rescinds Safer at Home order and moves the entire state to Phase Four of MI Safe Start Plan. Effective immediately, people can gather in groups of 100 or less outdoors and office work that cannot be done at home can resume. On Thursday, June 4, retailers can open with capacity limits, then restaurants, day camps, and childcare facilities can reopen on Wednesday, June 8.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer Releases MI Safe Start Plan to Reengage Michigan’s Economy

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