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Michigan is beginning to re-open parts of its economy

News Source

Michigan's Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula are preparing to take another big step in reopening their economies during the coronavirus pandemic.

On Friday, June 5, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the re-opening of salons, movie theaters, gyms, and event venues on Wednesday, June 10, in the state’s northern Regions 6 and 8.

Indoor gatherings of up to 50 people and outdoor gatherings of up to 250 people will also be permitted beginning June 10, and outdoor performance and sports venues will be allowed to have up to 500 people inside, as long as individuals follow social distancing guidelines. The latter will allow for some outdoor graduation ceremonies.

The re-openings are part of northern Michigan’s move into phase five of the six-phase MI Safe Start plan. The rest of the state remains in phase four, though Whitmer said she hopes the entire state will move into phase five in the coming weeks.

As we continue to slowly reopen different parts of our state, it’s critical that we listen to the experts and follow the medical science to avoid a second wave of infections, Whitmer said. "The good news is that we are headed in the right direction, and if the current trajectory continues, I anticipate we’ll be able to announce more sectors reopening in the coming weeks. We owe it to our front line workers to keep doing our part.”

Whitmer signed a pair of executive orders on Friday. The first, EO 2020-114, sets safety guidelines for reopening for all businesses or operations that require their employees to leave their homes for work. Businesses must provide COVID-19 training to employees, develop a COVID-19 response plan, develop a self-screening protocol for employees, and keep employees 6 feet apart when possible or require them to wear masks when they can’t.

The second executive order -- 2020-115 -- announced various upcoming openings, including the personal care services statewide starting June 15.

Michigan’s two northern-most regions have had low case counts since the start of the pandemic, though their low health system capacity has been a concern of state health officials. They were the first to enter into phase four on May 22, which allowed the reopening of retail businesses, bars and restaurants with capacity restrictions.

Michigan’s Regions 6 and 8 include the following counties: Alger, Alpena, Antrim, Baraga, Benzie, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Crawford, Delta, Dickinson, Emmet, Gogebic, Grand Traverse, Houghton, Iron, Kalkaska, Keweenaw, Leelanau, Luce, Marquette, Menominee, Montmorency, Otsego, Presque Isle, Mackinac, Manistee, Missaukee, Ontonagon, Roscommon, Schoolcraft, and Wexford.

Of the 32 counties in Regions 6 and 8, 29 have reported at least one case of coronavirus. The regions have continuously been below 5 cases per million people per day.

I'm grateful that the U.P. is moving forward today to reopen more businesses in phase 5," said Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, in a prepared statement. “This hasn’t been easy balancing the safety of residents and our economy, but our numbers show the Governor’s Stay Home, Stay Safe order worked.

Even after Memorial Day weekend, we didn’t see a spike in COVID-19 cases. This should give residents, businesses and travelers to our region the confidence and reassurance that we are resilient and ready to responsibly start our U.P. summer season.”

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the Department of Health and Human Services’ chief deputy for health and chief medical executive, said the state is still on an encouraging trajectory and seeing general rates of decline in cases and deaths linked to coronavirus.

As of Thursday, June 4, Michigan has reported 58,241 confirmed cases of COVID-19, including in 5,595 people who have died. The state’s seven-day moving average for confirmed cases of coronavirus has dropped to 318 -- the lowest since March 22.

While we must continue to monitor the data, because of these positive trends we are able to move forward, on a regional basis, with the next phases of the MI Safe Start Plan, Khaldun said. "Although the risk levels are going down, it does not mean it has gone away. Please remain vigilant, wear your mask, practice social distancing, and remain patient as we continue to fight COVID-19 together.”

Michigan’s stay-home order went into effect March 24, and many businesses labeled “non-essential” were ordered closed that month as the spread of COVID-19 increased in the state.

Whitmer lifted her stay-home order and loosened some restrictions on Monday, June 1, including allowing in-person dining -- with capacity limits -- at bars and restaurants, and allowing retailers to reopen it limited capacity and without appointments.


In addition to washing hands regularly and not touching your face, officials recommend practicing social distancing, assuming anyone may be carrying the virus.

Health officials say you should be staying at least 6 feet away from others and working from home, if possible.

Use disinfecting wipes or disinfecting spray cleaners on frequently-touched surfaces in your home (door handles, faucets, countertops) and carry hand sanitizer with you when you go into places like stores.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has also issued an executive order requiring people to wear face coverings over their mouth and nose while inside enclosed, public spaces.

Additional information is available at and"

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