A day after a judge ruled in her favor in a lawsuit filed by the
Republican-led Legislature, the Democratic governor also
extended her coronavirus emergency declaration through June 19.
Both the stay-at-home measure and state of emergency had been
set to expire late next Thursday, though Whitmer said extensions
``While the data shows that we are making progress, we are not
out of the woods yet. If we're going to lower the chance of a
second wave and continue to protect our neighbors and loved ones
from the spread of this virus, we must continue to do our part
by staying safer at home,'' she said in a statement.
The state on Friday reported 5,158 confirmed deaths due to
COVID-19 complications, which is the fourth-most of any
state. The daily death toll rose by 29 and the number of new
confirmed cases in the state increased by 403, to nearly 54,000
since the pandemic started.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate
symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three
weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with
existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness or
Whitmer announced the extended stay-home directive to cap a week
in which she cleared the way next week for medical and dental
procedures that had been postponed and allowed groups of up to
10 people to gather. Retailers and car dealerships can soon
reopen by appointment only.
Bars and restaurants remain closed to dine-in customers
except in the Upper Peninsula and much of the northern Lower
Peninsula, where they started reopening at 12:01 a.m. Friday at
50% capacity. The less populated regions have had few virus
cases and deaths.
``It's crazy. Why would you miss it?'' Jon Mangrum told WPBN-TV
as he waited to get into a bar in Traverse City late Thursday
night. ``This is like a historical moment almost when everyone
first goes back out when things are allowed to be open.''
Nolen Sleder, who owns Brady's Bar in Traverse City, had a
message for people who are thinking of making a road trip: Stay
away from her business.
``We deserve to feel safe and I would like to keep my staff and
customers as safe as I can, and I'm asking that people from
downstate don't come in until they're quarantined or their areas
are also opened up,'' Sleder said.
Whitmer's decision to lengthen the restrictions was criticized
by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce. President and CEO Rich
Studley tweeted that there is no end in sight for her ``stay
home, stay unemployed order.''
Michigan—with one of the country's most expansive lock downs—had
22.7% unemployment in April, which the U.S. Bureau of Labor
Statistics reported Friday was second highest behind only
The governor, who has let construction, manufacturing, real
estate and landscaping restart, said thousands of people could
die and hospitals will be overwhelmed ``if we open too soon.''
Also Friday, the state Department of Corrections finished
testing all 38,000 prisoners for COVID-19 with help from the
Michigan National Guard. More than 3,200 tested positive and
about 18,300 were negative, with 16,500 test results pending.
Sixty inmates have died of the disease.
``When it comes to this virus, testing is critical to knowing
exactly what you are dealing with and how to address it,'' said
the agency's director, Heidi Washington. ``The vast
majority of the prisoners we found who tested positive had no
symptoms and were making it more challenging to control the
spread of this illness.``
Associated Press writer Ed White in Detroit contributed to this