Statement Of Chamber President And CEO Sandy K. Baruah On Gov. Whitmer’s “Stay At Home” Order

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March 23, 2020

“Chamber leadership has been working with Gov. Whitmer and her senior staff over the last week and into the weekend as a trusted advisor regarding the announcement today of a broad ‘stay at home, stay safe, save lives’ order.

We know that this was a very difficult decision for the governor and her administration to make. From our discussions, we know that the economic considerations were top of mind as she made this important decision.

The Chamber is grateful that her office was eager to take the input of the business community seriously. We are pleased several of the recommendations we made to the governor were incorporated in today’s announcement.

We know this is a difficult decision for many businesses to process. According to epidemiologists, public health officials, and other health care professionals, the chamber has been advised that measures such as a ‘stay at home’ order, are the only way to avoid this pandemic from lasting into a period of months, therefore, greatly exacerbating the financial and health toll of this pandemic.

Actions such as those taken by Gov. Whitmer today put us in a better position to shorten this crisis and to allow our health care system to better deal with the overwhelming demand that is soon expected.”

View what is deemed “essential services” by CISA.


Stay at Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives Order

The new “stay at home” order goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24 and stays in effect for three weeks. The order requires individuals to stay at home with six exceptions, including two that have significant consequences for businesses and were crafted with the Chamber’s counsel and input:

  1. Engaging in an outdoor activity while observing proper social distancing;
  2. Obtaining health care;
  3. Obtaining necessary services and supplies including groceries;
  4. Caring for family members;
  5. Performing jobs if characterized as critical infrastructure workers by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), businesses will have the opportunity to designate their supply chain that is critical to performing CISA designated tasks;
  6. Businesses not considered “essential “ by DHS will be able to designate employees required to maintain minimum basic operations including security, payroll, and providing for safe winding down of operations.

Important for Businesses to Know

Businesses providing critical infrastructure will have the ability to designate their critical suppliers as eligible for designation as well. Employers will have a seven-day grace period to designate employees as critical infrastructure employees. The Chamber will continue to review the order and work with employers to answer questions or concerns.

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