LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Dale Zorn on Tuesday encouraged people to not panic or hoard supplies as they follow Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order to help slow the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Michigan.
“The response to the deadly coronavirus has led us to a point in time and history that we have never been,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “While the governor has ordered people to stay at home, we as a community should not fear the unknown. We can grasp the opportunity to help each other. For weeks, Michiganders have found a way to cope, and I am confident we will cope with the new normal.”
On Monday, the governor signed Executive Order 2020-21 directing all nonessential businesses to temporarily close and all Michiganders to stay home — with certain exemptions — to help slow the spread of COVID-19. The order went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Tuesday and will last until at least April 14.
“If you have been practicing proper social distancing and staying home, this will not be much more difficult to follow,” Zorn said. “There are many exemptions that will allow you to move about and, in many cases, continue working if you are considered essential to public safety, health or everyday life. America is a strong nation when it comes to available food sources and everyday supplies. There is no reason to hoard supplies or food.”
Additional guidance from the state is expected, but according to Gongwer News Service and the Detroit News, workers in the following areas are exempted as essential under the order:
• Health care and public health;
• State, county and local government functions, such as law enforcement, public safety and first response, public transit, trash pickup and disposal, elections, financial transactions for critical infrastructure workers and public park safety and sanitation;
• Businesses in the food, beverage and agriculture sector, including grocery stores and restaurants offering takeout or delivery;
• Organizations that provide food, shelter and other necessities of life for the economically disadvantaged or otherwise needy;
• Automotive repair and maintenance facilities;
• Firms in transportation and logistics;
• Businesses in the energy, water and wastewater sectors;
• Public works businesses, such as plumbers, electricians, exterminators and other providers whose services are necessary to maintaining the safety, sanitation and essential operation of residences;
• News, communications and information technology;
• Critical manufacturing and the defense industry;
• Firms that handle hazardous materials or are in chemical supply chains and safety;
• Financial and insurance services to the extent that work cannot be done by telephone or remotely;
• Child care organizations if they are caring for the children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers; and
• Suppliers, distribution centers and service providers that employ critical infrastructure workers.
Hotels and motels can remain open, but they may only engage in activities providing shelter and basic needs. In-house amenities, such as gyms, pools and spas will be closed.
Residents can contact Zorn’s office by calling 517-373-3543 or by emailing the senator at [email protected].
For information about COVID-19 and the state’s response to the pandemic, visit Michigan.gov/Coronavirus. The state has also launched a hotline about COVID-19. Residents with any questions about the virus can call 1-888-535-6136 between 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. daily.