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Michigan's stay at home order: What am I allowed to do?

Here's what you are and are not allowed to do under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer's stay at home order.

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a 'stay home, stay safe' executive order on Monday morning for all Michigan residents starting at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday, March 24 until April 13 at 11:59 p.m.

Michigan joins several other states, including California, New York and Illinois, in ordering people to stay home as a way to limit the spread of COVID-19. As of Monday morning, state officials reported more than 1,200 cases in Michigan.

RELATED: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issues stay-at-home order to curb virus

What does the order mandate?

The order suspends "in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life." Michigan residents are directed to stay in at home unless they are a part of an essential workforce, spending time outside or performing tasks that are necessary like going to the grocery store or the hospital. 

This extends to banning all public and private gatherings of any number of people who are not a part of the same household.

If anyone does leave their house for essential functions, they are asked to adhere to social distancing measures including remaining six feet apart from each other. 

►See the full executive order here

What am I allowed to do?

The order mandates that Michigan residents need to stay home unless they are doing one of the following: 

  • To engage in an outdoor activity, like walking, hiking, running. People still need to remain at least six feet apart from anyone outside their household. 
  • To perform jobs if they are critical infrastructure workers
  • To perform necessary government activities
  • To perform tasks necessary to their health and safety, including getting medication or seeking medical or dental care
  • To obtain necessary services and supplies, including groceries, takeout food, gasoline, medical supplies and any other products. However, people are urged to use delivery services as much as possible. 
  • To care for a family member or a family member's pet in another household
  • To care for minors, dependents, the elderly, persons with disabilities, or other vulnerable people
  • To visit an individual under the care of a healthcare facility, residential facility or congregate care facility
  • To attend legal proceedings or hearings for essential or emergency purposes as ordered by a court
  • To work or volunteer for a business that provides food, shelter or other needs for economically disadvantaged people or other individuals in need, like people with disabilities. 

What workforces are exempt from the order? 

The executive order says that "critical infrastructure workers" are exempt from the order. Here's what industries that applies to: 

  • Health care and public health.
  • Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders.
  • Food and agriculture.
  • Energy.
  • Water and wastewater.
  • Transportation and logistics.
  • Public works.
  • Communications and information technology, including news media.
  • Other community-based government operations and essential functions.
  • Critical manufacturing.
  • Hazardous materials.
  • Financial services.
  • Chemical supply chains and safety.
  • Defense industrial base.
  • Child care workers
  • Workers at designated suppliers and distribution centers
  • Workers in the insurance industry, but only if their work cannot be done remotely. 
  • Workers or volunteers for businesses or operations that provide food, shelter and other necessities for economically disadvantage or otherwise needy individuals. 
  • Workers who perform critical labor union functions, including those who administer health and welfare funds and those who monitor the well-being and safety of union members who are critical infrastructure workers 

Workers who are necessary to allow a business maintain its operations are also exempt from the order. Whitmer said businesses must determine which workers are required to conduct basic minimum operations, but she urged companies to take it seriously.  Businesses need to make such designations in writing. 

Businesses that do still have workers going in are required to adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures including: 

  • Restricting the number of workers at the premises
  • Promote remote work as much as possible
  • Keep all workers on the premises at least 6-feet apart
  • Increase standards of cleaning to limit exposure to COVID-19
  • Adopt policies to prevent workers from entering the premises if they display respiratory symptoms or had contact with a COVID-19 patient

What government functions are still operating?

All non-essential government functions are suspended. But work done by critical infrastructure workers is still allowed that includes:

  • Public transit
  • Trash pickup and disposal
  • Activities necessary to manage and oversee elections
  • Operations necessary to enable transactions that support the work of a business’s or operation’s critical infrastructure workers
  • The maintenance of safe and sanitary public parks so as to allow for outdoor recreation.

Have more questions? Check out the state's coronavirus website


Patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:  

  • Fever  
  • Cough  
  • Shortness of breath  

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:  

  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19, call your health care provider. If you do not have a health care provider, call the nearest hospital.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.     
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.    
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.    
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.    
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others when in a public setting.  

Watch Whitmer's full press conference here:

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