Whitmer Orders All Bars, Restaurants, Theaters and More to Close


Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a sweeping executive order Monday that orders the closure of several public places in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Under the executive order, the following places of public accommodation were required to close: restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, bars, taverns, brewpubs, distilleries, clubs, movie theaters, indoor and outdoor performance venues, gymnasiums, fitness centers, recreation centers, indoor sports facilities, indoor exercise facilities, exercise studios, spas, and casinos.

The order went into effect Monday afternoon and will remain in place through March 30, Whitmer’s office said in a press release.

“This disease is a challenge unlike any we’ve experienced in our lifetimes,” said Whitmer. “Fighting it will cause significant but temporary changes to our daily lives. By practicing social distancing and taking aggressive action now, the state is working to mitigate the spread of coronavirus so we reduce the risk that our health care system becomes overwhelmed.”

Her executive order does not restrict a business from offering food through a delivery or drive-through service. The restrictions don’t apply to office buildings, grocery stores, food pantries, pharmacies, drug stores, providers of medical equipment and supplies, health care facilities, residential care facilities, congregate care facilities, juvenile justice facilities, warehouse and distribution centers, and industrial and manufacturing facilities.

“This is about saving lives. Michiganders are tough and we are going to get through this, but it will require everyone doing their part. That means making smart choices and not putting yourself or others at risk by going out in public unless it is absolutely necessary,” Whitmer added.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel said she supports the governor’s executive order, but called it “heartbreaking that an industry built on service to others must be shut down.”

“In an effort to help them through this difficult and unexpected shutdown, I am asking our partners in the state and federal legislature to look for ways to help alleviate the financial impact of this shutdown,” she said in a statement.

“The governor’s order was necessary and appropriate in light of the extraordinary circumstances in which we find ourselves and we will be working with our state, county and local law enforcement partners to enforce the order. I am proud of the tens of thousands of businesses and hundreds of thousands of workers who recognize the gravity of this situation and are responding quickly and without hesitation. We owe them our gratitude and support,” she continued.

As of Monday afternoon, Michigan had 53 confirmed cases of COVID-19 with 30 test results still pending. Nationally, there are 3,777 cases of the virus and 69 deaths.

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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].







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