Michigan manufacturing resumes Monday, stay-at-home order extended to May 28

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer also on Thursday extended the state stay-at-home order an additional two weeks to May 28. (Photo courtesy of the governor's office)

June 1 update: Gov. Whitmer to allow bars, restaurants, retailers to reopen June 8
May 18: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reopen northern Michigan by Memorial Day weekend

Manufacturers will be allowed to resume production on Monday, May 11, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday, with major auto manufacturers allowed to reopen a week later on May 18. 

She also signed an executive order Thursday extending the state’s stay-at-home order two more weeks through May 28 and outlined a six-step economic re-engagement plan to reopen the state’s economy.

The return to manufacturing will mark the largest economic reopening since the first stay-at-home order went into effect on March 24, which shut down most businesses that aren’t considered essential for human life as a coronavirus outbreak descended on Michigan. Suppliers will have a one-week head start to ramp up production before automakers return to work. 

Nearly 20 percent of the state’s economy is in the manufacturing industry, Whitmer said, calling it a “sizable, but incremental” re-engagement. About 4 to 5 percent of the workforce is already considered an essential worker under existing restrictions, she said.

“This is truly good news for our state,” Whitmer said. “It’s a major step forward on our MI Safe Start plan to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.”

Businesses will be required to abide by safety measures including daily coronavirus symptom screenings, barring visits from non-employees, staggering shifts to avoid crowding, establishing six-foot distance guidelines between workers and requiring masks for onsite workers. 

The Big Three auto manufacturers — General Motors, Ford and Fiat Chrysler — will start work with 25 percent of their employees and will be “phasing up from there.”

“As we’ve done the risk assessment, we feel comfortable that with these safety protocols we can safely re-engage,” she said. 

Earlier this week, General Motors notified union workers that factories will reopen on May 18 and said some factories will ramp up next week in preparation. 

“The companies contractually make that decision and we all knew this day would come at some point,” said United Auto Workers president Rory Gamble in a statement Wednesday. “Our UAW focus and role is and will continue to be, on health and safety protocols to protect our members.”

The rest of the stay-at-home order remains largely the same: People aren’t allowed to leave their homes except to get groceries, go to the pharmacy, exercise or other essential trips. 

Michigan has been one of the hardest-hit states by the coronavirus, with 45,646 cases and 4,343 deaths from the virus as of Thursday morning. But the number of new cases and deaths every day has been flattening over the last few weeks, and the state has been increasing its capacity for testing and the health care systems are better able to serve patients’ needs, Whitmer said. 

“We have to re-engage like a dial, not a switch that goes on or off, but a dial that we can turn and we can continue to turn the intensity up if everyone does their part,” she said. 

As cases slow, the state is currently in the third phase of a six-step reopening process in which manufacturing, construction, real estate and outdoor work is allowed. 

The fourth phase will come when COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths are clearly declining — which the state will hopefully enter “in short order,” Whitmer said. That is likely to allow people in other “lower-risk” businesses such as retail and offices to return to work with safety measures and reduced capacity. Small gatherings will also be allowed. 

The fifth phase, in which outbreaks are quickly contained, will allow larger gatherings and most businesses to reopen with safety measures. That would include restaurants and bars reopening and in-person schooling and travel to resume. 

In the sixth phase, Michiganders can return to normal. 

“That’s going to be a while,” Whitmer said, and realistically will be out of reach until an effective therapy or vaccine is widely available. 

The state may return to any of the earlier phases if cases spike and aren’t able to be contained.

Republican leaders — who have pushed for a faster economic reopening and on Wednesday sued the governor for unilaterally extending emergency declarations — criticized the timing of the move. 

"It’s been nearly 60 days since Michigan announced its first cases of Covid-19 and the Governor is just now revealing that we are in phase three of her six-phase plan," Senate GOP spokesperson Amber McCann said in a statement. "Michiganders cannot be expected to wait for Governor Whitmer to dole out exceptions for parts of our economy and abide by orders that leave the majority of citizens wondering when the Governor will grant them permission to resume their lives." 


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Thu, 05/07/2020 - 4:50pm

This order will be ignored by most.
We are happy to see that many other businesses are already open in defiance of this tyranny.
Our local sherriff supports us.
We have been advised to contact the michigan militia and/or private security entities should we have any trouble from the state AG freaks in lansing. They can not and will not stop us.
Whitmer can go take a long wall of a short pier, we're done with her!

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:50am

Sounds like insurrection.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 9:48am

If "inserrection" means outright rejection of tyranny, I think you are right!

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 3:46pm

What is the role of the Michigan Militia in your insurrection?

Andy Kelly
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 8:41am

Your ignorance speaks volumes. But then again, what is to be expected when you education comes from a narcissistic bigot.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 9:47am

If you read my other posts on here you'd know I'm not a Trump fan. I also don't suffer from TDS like you.
The East Germans snitching to the nazi's on their neighbors also considered their neighbors to be ignorant, or worse, which is how they justified their snitching in their minds.
Those snitches deserved to be dragged into the town square and hanged.
Keep your communism/naziism/whatever the heck it is to yourselfs - There is a heavily armed element in this country who outright reject tyranny and have no use for you brainwashed types. We definitely want YOU to social distance with us! The rest of us will go on with normal life and will not be stopped.
Try and stop us, we dare you.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 2:54pm

Couldn't have said it better myself.

I call BS
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 3:49pm

Andy, Revere is not a Trump fan. He's a Trump lover in denial and yes he does have Trump Derangement Syndrome, a sociopathic love of Trump.

middle of the mit
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 8:48pm

Does "snitching" also include employers snitching on employees who don't want to contract a virus and spread it to their family while still wanting to collect unemployment yet their employer doesn't give a rats rear end?

You should look what up what corporatism is.

It's synonymous with fascism.

Corporatism is a political ideology which advocates the organization of society by corporate groups, such as agricultural, labour, military, scientific, or guild associations on the basis of their common interests. The term is derived from the Latin corpus, or "human body".Wikipedia


Fascists made no secret of their hatred of Marxists of all stripes, from totalitarian communists to democratic socialists. Fascists promised to deal more “firmly” with Marxists than had earlier, more democratic rightist parties. Mussolini first made his reputation as a fascist by unleashing armed squads of Blackshirts on striking workers and peasants in 1920–21.

The Nazi SA (Sturmabteilung [“Assault Division”], or Brownshirts) clashed regularly with German leftists in the streets before 1933, and when Hitler came to power he sent hundreds of Marxists to concentration camps and intimidated “red” neighbourhoods with police raids and beatings.

In 1919–20 the Heimwehr in Austria performed the same function that the Freikorps did in Germany, its volunteer militia units (Heimatschutz) doing battle with perceived foreign enemies and the Marxist foe within. Many of these units were organized by members of the landed gentry and the middle class to counter strikes by workers in the industrial districts of Linz and Steyer.

Before they came to power, Hitler and Mussolini, despite their dislike of democracy, were willing to engage in electoral politics and give the appearance of submitting to democratic procedures. When Hitler was appointed chancellor in 1933, he abandoned his military uniform for a civilian suit and bowed profusely to President Paul von Hindenburg in public ceremonies. In 1923 Mussolini proposed an electoral reform, known as the Acerbo Law, that gave two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to the party that received the largest number of votes. Although Mussolini insisted that he wanted to save Parliament rather than undermine it, the Acerbo Law enabled the Fascists to take control of Parliament the following year and impose a dictatorship.

Although circumstances sometimes made accommodation to political liberalism necessary, fascists condemned this doctrine for placing the rights of the individual above the needs of the Volk, encouraging “divisiveness” (i.e., political pluralism), tolerating “decadent” values, and limiting the power of the state. Fascists accused liberal “fellow travelers” of wittingly or unwittingly abetting communism. In 1935 the Cross of Fire berated “moderates”—i.e., democratic conservatives—for indirectly aiding the communists through their taste for “compromise and hesitation.” La Rocque urged the French people to stand up against revolution and its “sordid ally” moderation, warning that, on the final day of reckoning, complicit moderates—“guardians unfaithful to their charge”—would be “at the head of the list of the guilty.”

Even the German family came under assault, as members of the Hitler Youth were told that it was their patriotic duty to inform on anti-Nazi parents. /////

Snitch on those wearing masks!!!

The Law and Order party will keep you safe!!!

Even though they talk about things they confuse themselves and others with.

[[[[Keep your communism/naziism/whatever the heck it is to yourselfs]]]

If you don't understand the difference....you shouldn't comment on either.

Jody Baldwin
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 10:30am

That's why I'm leaving the Republican party. It's just awful. Enough already.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 10:24am

Revere, what does "We have been advised to contact the michigan militia and/or private security entities should we have any trouble from the state AG freaks in lansing." mean?

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 2:52pm

We've been ready for this and are fully prepared to take whatever measure becomes needed.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 6:44pm

Just to clarify, I would never promote any type of violence at all. Not any kind but and I hope that nobody else would promote this. By any means necessary means WITHIN THE LAW! I certainly hope we don't see a civil war as that would be a whole new meaning to this.

Sat, 05/09/2020 - 6:17am

Your attitude is apalling

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 5:58pm

She claims her moves are driven by data, but if so, it is only surface deep.

The total number of new cases is not a good way to measure, it does account for the increase in the number of test being performed. The measure should be the percentage of positive tests each day. This would account for the change in the amount of tests being conducted day to day. By this metric we are below 12% positive for nine of the last 11 days and the 5-day average has been below for eight consecutive days.

For those curious, 12% is rate the WHO says positive test should be below to pen businesses. I know the WHO might not be the most trustworthy based on its relationship with China.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:53am

If you don't trust the WHO, why would we trust the WHO?

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 10:25am

Yes, why can't I make up my mind? Maybe I should take my meds.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 9:49am

WHO is a communist organization which must be destroyed at all costs. Do not quote the WHO lest you be labeled a communist and put on a list of known communists.

Spare us, Rev
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 3:52pm

But you like Trump socialism for the rich because you are in his pocket, playing pocket pool.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:38pm

What about Trump's CDC? Is that communist too? Trump refuses to release the 17-page CDC guidelines to reopen the economy.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 6:07pm

You understand the difference between the WHO and the CDC, right?
Do you understand the difference between POTUS and the tyrant who is keeping michigan closed?
I'm sorry that you blame Trump for everything. I don't like him but I'm at least smart enough to realize that none of this is his fault.
TDS is treatable - Find yourself a rope and choke yourself out until you come to your senses.

Hank Quayle
Thu, 05/07/2020 - 6:15pm

It doesn't matter what she says or does- she doesn't have the authority.

Businesses need to re-open in a safe manner as soon as they can. People are dying out there because of this forced shutdown. We need people to start getting cancer treatments, preventive medicine, and vaccinations again. We need people to have jobs and feel fulfilled and happy so they stop killing themselves. We need income coming into to the state to pay for investments in roads, healthcare, and education. And we need jobs so that people can eat, keep a roof over their heads, and donate to charities.

The biggest hope is that Michiganders will ignore her illegal attempts to dictate and will re-open as soon as they safely can, using guidance from the federal government and other states. That's the quickest way to end the death and destruction of the tyrant Whitmer.

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 6:55pm


Thu, 05/07/2020 - 8:51pm

Disagree! We should continue to listen to the experts! Life is more valuable than money any day!

Good Mental Health
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 11:10am

Just read a report today from another expert that they are projecting as many as 75,000 American "despair deaths" from drug/alcohol abuse and suicide-most of those the result of joblessness and loss of income. That's around the same amount if people who have died from the virus.

"Unless we get comprehensive federal, state, and local resources behind improving access to high-quality mental health treatments and community supports, I worry we’re likely to see things get far worse when it comes to substance misuse and suicide,” Well Being Trust’s chief strategy officer Dr. Benjamin F. Miller said."

Seems all roads lead to the same place: death. You're right, life is valuable-all life, whether the life ends from the virus or from suicide. Its not just about a job and money, its about so much more. I would love for our governor to add a psychologist and sociologist to her advisory panel. If she's going to have the input of business leaders and physicians, she should also have the input from mental health experts.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 6:59pm

So how long do you live without money? Whether it's from your efforts, given willingly or forcibly taken from someone else.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:56am

What is your job? Did you stop doing it? You sound like the protesters who called the opposition nurses crisis actors and faked an illness to distract them and then laughed at them for helping. You know the story of the boy who cried wolf? You are playing with fire.

Hank Quayle
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 10:30am

So other than a series of ad hominem attacks, you've got nothing to reply to me? Literally, your post is a great example of a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person making the argument, or persons associated with the argument, rather than attacking the substance of the argument itself. It's not shocking though that you and your supporters resort to this style of illogical arguing, because you don't have the facts, data, reasoning, or information to refute my points.

Stop being partisan and stop loving the power- this is about life and death, and the side of life is on a smart and quick re-opening! The Governor needs to focus on collecting data, helping businesses to re-open safely as quick as possible, and protecting vulnerable populations. All of her focus on care packages for comedians, printing up tshirts promoting herself, and constant bad-mouthing of citizens exercising their rights is counter-productive. As was your comments.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 9:41am

A voice of reason, thanks Hank!

Greed Kills
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 3:56pm

Anthony, but then you go on the thread to "mourn" the nuns killed by COVID19. None of the nuns died from any of the BS GOP talking points that Hank spreads. Don't mock the good nuns who died because of GOP greed, de facto death panels for the elderly and those with underlying conditions. Those people would still be with us today, if you people didn't always put money above of lives.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 5:11pm

Hank, you probably don't realize the huge emotional toll this pandemic is having on healthcare workers, first-responders, and their families, who unlike you at your keyboard are fighting the fight on the front-lines, exposed to the dangerous the virus with limited PPE, losing dear family members, living in isolation from each other. The live with the horror of seeing unusually large masses of people die, knowing they may have infected their own loved ones because of their risky job helping others in need. They suffer greatly, some with depression now, and with ongoing PTSD. You talk about suicides alcoholism etc from people disappointed because they must endure work restrictions, wait for unemployment and government bailout. Yet you don't seem to consider the greater toll including much higher and more heinous deaths if we just go back without precautions. I have cancer and have not had any problems seeing any doctors or specialists. I've had all the treatments I've needed and have not heard anyone else in my position say the virus has compromised their courses of treatment. Please stop and think about your callous words that you keep repeating without concern for the front-line heroes and their families.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 7:33pm

And absolutely you should be totally quarantined! Why should this be spread to folks who have no such problems? Someone needs to pay for your care's costs.

Thu, 05/07/2020 - 10:13pm

Enough already. A governing body of one deciding the fate of millions. Businesses failing across the state. Lifetimes of dreaming and working gone with strokes of Gretchen’s pen. Meanwhile, she sells $7 million in lottery tickets every day, spreading Coronavirus without conscience. The hands that sign those orders have blood on them.

Gamblers Anonymous
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 10:39am

How else will you get your a fix for your gambling addiction? Now it looks like Trump wants to bailout the casinos of sovereign nations with our tax dollars. I guess he has a special place in his heart for bankrupted casino owners. I always thought a casino was a license to print money, but I guess I was wrong. They are more like GOP charity cases.

I call BS
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:29am

These comments above are the same BS GOP talking points posted for every article. No reference to the actual article. Trump's shutdown and commandment to follow the governors has saved lives. If you want to reopen the economy obey the business owners who do open.

Big Gretch!
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:39am

Michigan is now number 16 in the nation in new covid19 cases. Great job, Big Gretch! Your leadership is outstanding.

George Clinton
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:46pm

Your sarcasm is not appreciated. The beatings will continue until morale improves.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 8:46am

Looks like a plan. Go for it Gov.

Al Simon
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 9:11am

With her reluctance to work with the state legislature makes it clear she is far from transparent and data driven and being steered by partisan politics.

Gridlocked Prot...
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 10:42am

I think they refuse to work with her, unless she does everything their way. In a national/state emergency, you need a strong leader like Gov. Whitmer. Too many chiefs and not enough Indians only gets you so far.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 9:16am

Expert knowledge is limited knowledge. The unlimited ignorance of the the plain man who knows only what hurts is a safer guide than any rigorous direction of a specialized character.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 9:51am

You are absolutely correct. And fortunately the plain man is well armed.
Go about your business as normal, people. They will not stop you. They don't want a war any more than we do. Or at least I hope they don't want a war. I sure don't!

middle of the mit
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 9:29pm

Are you telling us those "non assault weapons that are used to hunt varmints and coyotes" are actually for defending yourselves against humans?

I just want to make sure I have you on record and recorded for posterities sake.

Chose your next words carefully.

And elected Republicans?

This IS ON you.

I would just like to know when you are going to hire me, someone who is totally unqualified to do the work, but I will do it at a good price to design and build your next home? Oh see.....that doesn't apply to me. I have actually built homes so I do have some experience.

Instead I am going to start the middle of the mit health center.

If you have a problem that the "experts" won't take care of? I will!

You need a dentist? I have experience with dremel tools, and welding.

You need a doctor? I know how to make a tourniquet! I can stop bleeding! I do know how to sew but I may pass out when I see human blood, you are not a deer or any other big game animal. But better me than a doctor!!

If you need help call 1-800 I hate experts!

Robert M.
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 9:44am

Why are no reporters asking the basic question: "What has changed to allow for the relaxation of the previous stay at home orders?" To allow manufacturing to return to the same work-spaces and not allow for all other entities to reopen in similar fashion is a purely economical direction. Nothing has changed about the virus, treatment of the virus, the death rate or the infection rate. Please, someone, have the Governor describe to the sheep what has changed to allow for manufacturing to resume while keeping other businesses and freedoms repressed. I hope I'm not making this sound political. It's rational. That's nice of the Big 3 and unions to volunteer as guinea pigs to gauge the re-infection rates of returning to work but I'm not sure if all the workers should be such eager volunteers for this experiment.

Also, where do I take my kid while I'm at the manufacturing plant all day (or night)? Schools closed, day-cares closed, summer camps cancelled, grandma under stay-at-home order, neighborhood babysitter under stay-at-home order, even the kid is bound to stay-at-home order. I'm sure Bridge can get to the bottom of these fundamental questions.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:02pm

Michigan went from number 3 in the country for new cases to number 9 right now, number 7 in new deaths.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 7:28pm

So you need to be reminded the Gov's stated purpose of the lockup was to "Flatten the Curve"? It was never so we could stop transmission, do more testing or find a treatment, vaccine or cure. These could easily be years away. And BTW many daycare centers are in fact open, where do you think the "essential workers" take their kids? Anymore fundamental questions?

Robert M.
Sat, 05/09/2020 - 11:45am

My child is still under a stay-at-home order unless it's to get food, gas or some fresh air. Daycare is not covered.

Aside from that, doesn't dropping my child off among other children and adults that are not following the stay-at-home order foil the entire intent of the Stay home, stay safe, save lives edict?

middle of the mit
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 10:00pm

Reporters aren't asking those questions because they have been reporting on them for the last 3 months.

Why aren't the whiners who wanted out on the lake with their motor boats out on the lake? It's IN THE 30 AND 40 DEGREES!

At this point in time I am with you. I say let it ALL OPEN and when people get sick and transmit it LET IT BE ON THEM! Personal responsibility and all. But you conservatives won't take personal responsibility. The President is Shirking it off to the Governors. Would you have allowed Obama to do that?

And Republicans are literally telling you that people are going to get sick and some are going to die and they don't care. What do you care about? Your own life? Why shouldn't someone elses life be just as worthy as yours? Isn't that why you despise abortion? But yet in late life or those that are deemed what? " Pre-existing conditions should suffer?

Thank you insurance company representative. Remember that when they recite those same words to you. Ohh they can't do that anymore except for when the FED allows them them to do so........say..........during a pandemic?

Should we thank Obama for Pre-existing conditions care or should we blame Trump for not covering COVID?

We shall see.

But it doesn't matter. Because most of those working and those that will forced back will not be covered at all. Liability protections for business. Here that Mr. Calley?

And why are you now complaining that your kids need a teacher, a school and day care?

I thought that the teacher was an overpaid baby sitter.

Get to the bottom of the questions and you may find that you can't, I am sorry, DON'T WANT to do it all and that you DO NEED others to exist and live your life.


Get it yet?

Robert M.
Sat, 05/09/2020 - 11:39am

No, I don't got it yet. Let me simplify my questions:
1. What has Changed to allow for manufacturing to all-of-a-sudden be safe for mass congregations of potentially infected humans?
2. How can one shelter-in-place when they are required to report to work and drop children off at daycare?

Face coverings, hand sanitizers, 6 ft social distancing, washing your hands every 20 seconds, thermometers, and coughing into an elbow are not new mechanisms. I still don't understand why bringing people into an enclosed facility for extended periods of time is now safe. I think the narrative that the prior is to keep people safe is what's confusing me. The priority isn't to keep people safe, it's to be able to best handle the spread of the virus. If the priority was to keep people safe we would all shelter-in-place until the virus were extinct or a vaccine was introduced.

The slogan isn't "Go to work, go to daycare, go to pickup food, go pump fuel, Stay Safe, Save Lives." I simply want to know what has changed to alter the slogan from "Stay Home."

Scott Roelofs
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 11:44am

What data is the governor using to justify this stay home order? The number of positive Covid tests, and daily deaths is a poor measure. Look at the number of Covid patients hospitized, and the percent of hospital capacity. In northern Michigan, the Munson hospital group reports daily the number of Covid patients in each of its 8 hospitals. Ready for this? Cadillac: 3 patients. Traverse City: 1 patient. Here are the other hospitals reporting ZERO patients with Covid: Frankfort, Charlevoix, Otsego, Grayling, Kalkaska, Manistee.

We need a sensible governor like Ron DeSantis of Florida to open up this state. We also need Bridge to be more aggressive in questioning Whitmer's reasoning, or lack thereof.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 2:51pm

I'm guessing she extends it again in a few weeks. I'm pretty sure she will do her part to keep the economy sluggish until after the election in order to try to weaponize it against Trump. This has become 95% political and we are their pawns. I'm glad I will be going home to Florida. I'll try not to return until the Queen is gone.

Matter of time
Fri, 05/08/2020 - 4:40pm

Looks like everyone around the president is getting covid19, but no one can be surprised. They refuse to wear masks.

Fri, 05/08/2020 - 6:46pm

Not true. Do your homework.

Emily M Bettencourt
Tue, 05/19/2020 - 8:12am

I agree and support Gov. Whitmer's gradual return based on the criteria she has laid out. My husband and I are in our mid-seventies and have no intention to resume life as "normal" until there is a vaccine. This is not a partisan issue and it is a Public Health issue of the magnitude we have never seen before. Be patient, stay calm, and remain virtually connected.