Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued an executive order Friday banning all public gatherings of more than 250 people in response to the coronavirus outbreak.
Under the order, all events and shared-space assemblages of more than 250 people are prohibited until Sunday, April 5. Exemptions are provided for industrial or manufacturing work, mass transit, and the purchase of groceries or consumer goods, but not for religious ceremonies.
“This prohibition does not abridge protections guaranteed by the state or federal constitution under these emergency circumstances,” the executive order claims.
Another executive order issued by Whitmer earlier this week declared a state of emergency across Michigan. As of Friday afternoon, Michigan had 16 confirmed cases of the coronavirus.
“Prohibiting large assemblages is the smart thing to do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “It’s crucial that everyone in Michigan follow these orders and make smart choices that will slow the spread of the virus, including practicing good hygiene and social distancing. We will continue to work with the governor and our partners across state government to protect Michigan families and businesses.”
President Donald Trump declared a national emergency during a Friday press conference, which will allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency to use roughly $40 billion in the Disaster Relief Fund to help state governments respond to the virus.
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