Michigan’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order has been extended through the end of April, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced on Thursday.
In addition to continuing the banning of non-essential businesses and travel, the new order also prohibits gathering of people of more than one household and imposes new restrictions on stores to help customers maintain social distancing.
“Michigan has the third highest number of COVID-19 cases in the country, and we’re still on the upswing. We must continue to do everything we can to slow the spread and protect our families,” Whitmer said in a statement. “Data shows that most Michiganders are doing their part by staying home and staying safe. That’s good, but we must keep it up.”
Michigan currently has more than 21,500 confirmed cases of the coronavirus as of Thursday, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services. The death toll for the state is 1,076.
Michigan is the third hardest-hit state in the nation, following New York with 159,937 confirmed cases and New Jersey at 51,027 confirmed cases, according to data from the COVID Tracking Project.
The new order, which will be in effect until April 30, still allows people to leave the house for essentials like groceries, medical care or outdoor exercise. However, it prohibits non-essential travel, including travel between two residences in Michigan after April 10.
It also places restrictions on stores in order to encourage social distancing between customers. Large stores must limit the number of people in the store to no more than 4 customers fore very 1,000 square feet of customer floor space. Small stores must limit the capacity to 25% of total occupancy limits under fire codes, including employees. Stores must also establish lines outside the door with lines that help customers space themselves six feet apart.
The order also mandates that large stores close areas dedicated to carpeting, flooring, furniture, garden centers, plant nurseries or paint.
Whitmer said not to expect that everything goes back to normal on May 1, but that the new date is “the appropriate window for an extension” based on current data.
“You can see that we are in control of our fate here, and it depends on every one of us doing our part,” she said during a press conference on Thursday. “These aren’t just colors on a graph, these are people’s lives.”
Read the full executive order here.