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Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issues stay-at-home order in live update

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to announce a stay-at-home order in a live update. (WWMT/Sinclair Broadcast Group)
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is expected to announce a stay-at-home order in a live update. (WWMT/Sinclair Broadcast Group)
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On Monday, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a Michigan-wide stay-at-home order that was expected to last three weeks.

In a live update alongside Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state's chief medical executive, Whitmer said the order would go into effect at midnight and last until Monday, April 13, 2020.

She said businesses or operations that sustain life would remain open, including:

  • Grocery stores
  • Gas stations
  • Banks
  • Credit unions
  • Pharmacies

The full list was available in Executive Order 2020-21.

She also reminded Michigan residents that they did not have to stay inside.

"You can go outside. Get some fresh air, walk your dog. Just be smart about it. Maintain that 6-foot distance," she said.

Addressing young people directly, she reminded them they are not immune to the virus and to remain cautious, especially around those at greater risk of infection.

Whitmer also confirmed there was enough food for everyone, and requested that residents refrain from hoarding. Additionally, she said restaurant carryout services were still available and considered an essential service.

Whitmer's order said all public and private gatherings of any number of people not part of a single household were banned.

Khaldun said the number of COVID-19 cases could increase five-fold in the next week if no action was taken, and compared the current situation to Italy.

“The current trajectory we’re on looks a lot like Italy," she said. "And if you’ve seen any of the coverage about what’s happening in Italy, what it means for the economy, what it means for the lives of the Italian people, you know we’ve got to do everything in our power to keep that from happening here in Michigan.”

Whitmer said a projected 70% of Michigan residents, or 7 million people, could be infected with COVID-19. Of those 7 million, about a million would need to be hospitalized.

"Let me give you a little perspective here," she said. "We have about 25,000 acute care beds in Michigan. ... That means without aggressive additional measures, more people will get sick, more people will die and our economy will suffer longer."

As of Monday morning, she said Michigan had 1,232 confirmed cases and 15 deaths.

The state was able to test at least 1,000 people per day, Khaldun said, and that number was increasing each day.

Whitmer said mental health would be important in the weeks following.

"On a personal note I know the lack of control can be disorienting, so I urge you to focus on what you can control," she said. "This crisis can take a toll on your mental health. Check in with family, call your loved ones, go for a walk, read those books on your list, even go outside and put your holiday lights back up."

She also said it would be important to reassure children.

"We must keep our wits about us. That means all of us. Be sensitive to how our kids are feeling. They are not immune to the stress of this environment. Check in with them and help them understand, and give them the reassurance that they need."


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Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the latest information.

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