By Jennifer Gomori, MAP Editor

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the stay-at-home Executive Order until May 15 with new exceptions for lower risk businesses and activities.

The new Executive Order, signed April 23, allows golf courses, landscaping businesses, lawn service companies, bike repair shops and plant nurseries to resume operations. The order resumes sales of non-essential supplies so large retailers may reopen garden centers and areas of their stores selling paint, carpeting and flooring. Non-essential retailers may reopen, providing only curbside pickup or delivery. 

Stores open to the public must continue to limit the number of customers inside their businesses. All businesses must provide non-medical grade masks to in-person employees and practice social distancing and customers are now required to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth in enclosed areas.

Gov. Whitmer said it is not a crime for customers not to wear a cloth facemask or similar covering, however, stores may refuse entry to anyone not complying with her order. Six-foot social distancing continues outdoors as well.

In-person activities that do not sustain or protect life are still prohibited except for critical jobs and resumed activities in the new Executive Order.

Some new exceptions include travel between Michigan residences and motorized boating. However, Whitmer strongly discouraged unnecessary travel between residences to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The order excludes the operation of golf carts at golf courses. 

Whitmer said the state is increasing COVID-19 testing and tracing and will also be monitoring the number of cases. If  there is a spike in COVID-19 cases, the Governor said, she may reduce some of the new exceptions.

Click here for the complete April 23 stay-at-home Executive Order.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the length of time Michigan residents are to stay at home until April 30 and added more restrictions for individuals and businesses under the Extended Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order.

Whitmer signed the new extended order, which takes effect at 11:59 p.m. April 9. The original Executive Order was scheduled to expire on April 13.

The extended order includes more restrictions for stores. Big box stores must close off specific areas inside the stores for non-essential items including: carpet, flooring, paint, furniture, garden centers and nurseries. Stores are restricted to limiting the number of people inside at the same time, based on the square footage of the store. Stores also must establish marked areas to stand in line, enabling customers to stand at least 6 feet apart.

Under the order, individuals should limit the number of household members running errands. Among other new restrictions, residents will no longer be permitted to travel between two residences in the state effective after April 10.

Please click here for the Extended Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order for more information.

The Michigan House and Senate extended Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's emergency order powers until April 30 during two sessions April 7 in which legislators took precautions to distance themselves from each other to prevent the spread of  COVID-19.

Gov. Whitmer had recommended the emergency order powers be extended for 70 days, but the legislature approved the 23-day extension instead.

Click here for more information in an Michigan Information & Research Service (MIRS) Breaking News article shared by Karoub Associates.

U.S. Senator Gary Peters wrote a letter March 31 to the Administrator of FEMA and the U.S. Attorney General detailing the urgent needs of medical workers, law enforcement and first responders and their inability thus far to obtain adequate amounts of personal protective equipment (PPE).

"I urge you to work together to ensure that these workers have access to PPE as our country works to mitigate the spread of COVID-19," Peters wrote in the letter. "Frontline personnel across the country have not received the protection they desperately need as they risk their own safety to perform essential duties in their communities. In a survey recently published by the United States Conference of Mayors, approximately 91.5% of the responding cities do not have an adequate supply of face masks for their first responders, including police, fire and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and medical personnel, and 88.2% do not have an adequate supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) to protect these workers."

Please click here for the complete letter, including Detroit Police Department and Wayne County Sheriff's Office confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths, as well as questions Peters posed about FEMA and the Department of Justice response to these urgent PPE needs.

By Bryan Davis, MAP Legal Analyst

Due to the widespread economic impacts realized as a result of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), federal funding has been a subject of significant concern and importance. Over the past several weeks, emergency federal funding has been allocated towards combating the spread of COVID-19 and, at this point in time, funding has occurred through two separate bills.

The first phase of federal funding was found in an emergency spending bill, aimed at bolstering response efforts to the outbreak of the coronavirus, with approximately $7.8 billion being allocated to directly address the outbreak and another $500 million allocated to extend telemedicine services to seniors. Notably, the bill also appears to dedicate $300 million to ensuring the purchase of vaccinations when such vaccinations become available.

The second phase of emergency federal funding was found in the form of the “Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” signed into law March 18, 2020. The Families First Act was primarily aimed at addressing issues such as unemployment benefits and paid sick leave. Specifically, the Families First Act provides that, for employers with more than 50 employees and less than 500 employees, two weeks of paid sick leave are to be provided if such employees are confronted with the coronavirus, including: medical diagnosis; quarantine due to COVID-19; symptoms from COVID-19; care for another who is quarantined; or care for children due to school or childcare closing due to the coronavirus.