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Gov. Whitmer reopens hair, nail, massage, tattoo salons statewide June 15

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, providing an update Friday on the state's response to the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, said she is moving areas of the state into phases that will allow outdoor events with larger crowds, and getting a haircut starting June 15.

It was a major announcement many people were eager to hear, as Michigan marked several months into the COVID-19 pandemic, and just days after the governor lifted the statewide stay-at-home order.

"You can get a haircut. ... All of these business must make it a habit to sanitize regularly." — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer

Starting June 10, the Upper Peninsula and the Traverse City area will be the first allowed to re-open hair and nail salons, tattoo parlors and tanning salons — with limitations on capacity.

"Here is the bottom line, the sacrifice we made is paying off," Whitmer said during the briefing. "We’ve had a uniquely hard time dealing with COVID-19. As we continue to move forward, recall that we are in this together. With that, let's stay focused."

Just before the public briefing, Friday, June 5, 2020, the governor signed an executive order allowing Michigan's Upper Peninsula and the Traverse City area to move to Phase 5 of her Safe Start plan. Along with salons, gathering of up to 250 people would be allowed. Outdoor performance and sports venues can also re-open in Phase 5. Participants will still have to follow social distancing guidelines.

"We are not done with this People must continue to wear a mask in public." — Dr. Joneigh Khaldun

As of Friday, the state of Michigan was in Phase 4 and the stay-a-home order was lifted. But on June 10, the Upper Peninsula and the Traverse City area are allowed to enter the next phase out of six, Phase 5. Phase 5 allows the reopening of salons, movie theaters, and gyms, subject to safety protocols and procedures designed to minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The governor said everyone must still engage in wearing masks, extra cleaning and other social distancing rules.

"Please do not drop your guard now," Whitmer said.

Though the remaining regions of the state, 1 through 5 and 7, will remain in Phase 4 under Friday's executive orders, the governor has said she expects the entire state will advance to Phase 5 in the coming weeks.

The governor on June 1 had lifted the stay-at-home orders that were adopted nearly two months earlier to stem the spread of the disease.

Though not all areas of the state there yet, under Phase 5, indoor social gatherings and organized events of up to 50 people are permissible, Whitmer said. Outdoor social gatherings and organized events will also allowed if people maintain six feet of distance from one another and the gathering consists of no more than 250 people. In addition, outdoor performance and sporting venues will be open with a larger capacity limit of 500, which will allow for some outdoor graduation ceremonies.

New director

Whitmer also announced that she has appointed Sean Egan as the director of COVID-19 Workplace Safety for the state.

Egan also serves as deputy director for labor at the Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity where he oversees MIOSHA, Workers’ Disability Compensation Agency, the Bureau of Employment Relations and the Wage and Hour Division.

“Sean Egan has spent his career helping working families in Michigan and I am confident he will continue to do everything in his power to protect workers and their families from the spread of COVID-19,” Whitmer said. “He will be responsible for helping ensure that as businesses across the state begin to reopen under the MI Safe Start Plan, they enact strict safety measures to protect the health and safety of employees and customers.”

Continued testing

During the briefing, Michigan's chief medial officer, Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, said the state will continue aggressive testing for coronavirus disease 2019 even as the rules are relaxed.

"We are not done with this," Khaldun said. "People must continue to wear a mask in public."

She also said the state will be doing increased contact tracing on the disease.

"Although the number of cases are going down, the risk isn't going away," Khaldun said.

She said the decisions to reopen are based on encouraging trajectories of infection rates in the state.

“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," she 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.”

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