Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a new executive order on July 14 extending the state of emergency until Aug. 11.
Previously it was set to expire on July 16, but due to a rise in the number of COVID-19 cases in Michigan, Whitmer decided to extend the declaration.
The first emergency declaration was introduced in March as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Several orders were put in place, such as pausing residential evictions; limiting the number of people during a gathering; 6 months of job payments for those who have been unemployed during this time; a mandatory requirement to wear masks and to ensure proper social distancing; a delay in tax payments deadlines; and proper workplace safety rules as a way to combat the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has now killed more than 6,000 people in Michigan. That’s more than 6,000 of our parents, grandparents, friends, and neighbors. And the rising numbers we’ve seen over the past few weeks prove that this virus is still a very real threat in our state. Today, I signed new emergency and disaster declarations using independent sources of statutory authority to continue saving lives and ensure that the brave men and women on the front lines of this crisis have the tools they need,” Whitmer said in a press release.
“Throughout this crisis, the vast majority of Michiganders have done their part, but we must remain vigilant and continue to do everything we can to protect our loved ones. That means wearing a mask over your mouth and nose and practicing safe physical distancing when going out in public. If we all do our part now, there is a greater chance that schools can resume in-person learning in the fall. Be smart, be safe, and mask up,” Whitmer said, according to WXYZ.
Although bars and restaurants were given the green light to open back June 8, Whitmer on July 1 ordered a bar in the lower part of Michigan to stop serving customers who were inside. On July 10, Whitmer ordered tighter regulation on masks in the state.
Whitmer indicated that even though the state of emergency will be extended until Aug. 11, she will be evaluating the situation and could further extend the declaration should there be a need to do so.