What jobs are exempt from Michigan coronavirus lockdown? You may be surprised.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home order closing businesses includes many exemptions that, all told, cover industries representing nearly a quarter of Michigan’s total workers. (Shutterstock)


Total statewide workers: 4,318,000

  • Total estimated workers who can reasonably claim exemption: Approximately 1 million
  • Health care and public health:  340,000
  • Law Enforcement, Public Safety & First Responders: 59,500
  • Food and agriculture: 72,000
  • Energy: At least 7,000
  • Water and wastewater treatment & public works: At least 4,000
  • Transportation and logistics: 260,500
  • Communications & information technology, including news media: 84,000
  • Community-based government operations & essential functions: Not immediately known
  • Hazardous materials: At least 650
  • Financial services: 95,000
  • Chemical supply chains & safety: At least 10,000
  • Defense industrial base: Not immediately known

Source: Bridge analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Employment Statistics Database. All job figures are for 2018.


Update: Police: Don’t expect us to enforce Michigan’s confusing coronavirus lockdown.

LANSING — Liquor stores, home repair businesses and auto repair shops can stay open. Car dealers and most construction companies probably can’t. 


So are many employers and residents, who are scrambling to interpret Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Monday order that all businesses — except those deemed “essential” — remain closed until at least April 13 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Her order, which mirrors federal guidance and orders in Ohio and other states, includes exemptions to 16 industries including energy and chemical supply, wastewater treatment, health care and more.

That means autism therapists, supermarket clerks, bankers and sanitation workers will still show up for their jobs. It’s less clear whether construction workers or small manufacturers are exempt.

“I know this is going to be disruptive, and it’s certainly going to be hard on our economy as well,” Whitmer said in a press conference Monday morning. “But our action will save lives.”

All told, the exempted industries represent roughly 1 million of the state’s 4.3 million jobs, according to a Bridge Magazine analysis of U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. 

The broad exemptions follow a weekend of lobbying by industry groups to exempt some businesses from the lockdown. Whitmer’s order also allows companies to designate employees that are necessary “to conduct minimum basic operations.”

Many businesses that weren’t included in the new order had been shut down by Whitmer in previous directives, such as restaurants that can continue to offer carryout and delivery service only. Pot shops, meanwhile, can only sell to customers curbside or by delivery.

“To use a phrase we all know now, I think this probably bends the curve some, but I think the curve was already strongly headed in this direction,” said Michigan State University economist Charles Ballard.

“It might be that it just gets some people’s attention” who had not previously heeded public health warnings, he said.

Employment sectors exempt from the order — including health care, public safety, food and agriculture, energy, transportation and public works — are “a lot of the economy,” Ballard said. 

“I think there would have been tremendous public pressure to keep all those things open regardless of what the governor would have said,” Ballard said.

Still manufacturing, construction and other industries that rely on in-person work that haven’t yet been forced to shut down are likely to face big losses. Last week, more than 108,000 Michigan residents filed for unemployment insurance, the most since at last 1987. 

Patrick Anderson, founder of the Anderson Economic Group in East Lansing, last week predicted as many as 1.4 million workers could suffer at least two days of lost wages because of the coronavirus. After Whitmer's order, he predicted that number could climb to 2 million, or nearly half of all the state’s workers.The order goes into effect 12:01 a.m. Tuesday and will continue through April 13. The rules require that businesses whose operations aren’t “necessary to sustain or protect life” shut most in-person operations. 


Businesses not deemed essential are still allowed to “conduct minimum basic operations” and decide for themselves which employees are necessary to show up to keep work flowing. 

That is “kind of an honor system,” said Charles Owens, director of the National Federation of Independent Business in Michigan.  

He argued the exception gives business “flexibility” so they don’t burden state agencies clarifying whether they’re essential. Ballard agreed the exemption is “sensible.”

“If a business shuts down all the way and nothing is happening, the cost of getting back up is higher than it would be if you go down to kind of a low level but things are kind of still being tended to,” Ballard said. 

Essential workers

Business groups including Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Detroit Regional Chamber and the Small Business Association of Michigan (SBAM) urged Whitmer on Friday to avoid a stay at home order because of concerns that a broad order could have a massive impact on the economy. 

But those leaders now say the provisions allowing businesses to keep on essential workers — and ones that allow essential companies to identify critical suppliers to keep working — will help prevent economic collapse while maintaining public safety. 

“This order is very, very thoughtful in addressing some of the problems we’ve seen in other states,” said Brian Calley, president of SBAM. 

In states that were the first to implement stay at home orders such as California and New York, the policies didn’t include exemptions for businesses outside of the designated essential industries. 

Michigan’s is closer to Ohio’s stay at home order, which also allows for businesses to continue basic operations. 

Whitmer warned businesses Monday that those who don’t comply will face fines: “Don’t play fast and loose with what is essential and what’s not. Don’t try to skirt the rules.”

Violations are punishable by a fine of up to $500 or 90 days in jail, said Kelly Rossman-McKinney, a spokeswoman for Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel. 

Enforcing the order will be up to local law enforcement officials, but the attorney general's office has agreed to lead any prosecutions, which Rossman-McKinney expects to be rare. 

"It would have to be a pretty egregious violation," she said. 

During earlier orders limiting movement, local law enforcement officials such as Oakland County Sheriff Michael Bouchard said they expect to first warn violators.


Throughout the day Monday, Whitmer’s administration issued a series of clarifications intended to curb confusion about her order.

For instance, auto dealerships will close but auto repair and service shops can remain open, provided they follow social distancing requirements. 

Hotels and motels may remain open to provide shelter and basic needs but must close gyms, pools, spas, entertainment faculties, meetings rooms and in-person dining rooms.

The order appears to give employers a fair amount of latitude to determine who is essential, said Joel Sklar, a Detroit-based employment attorney. 

“For those employees who have been identified as being essential, it puts them in a difficult position,” Sklar said. 

Employees could face a conundrum: go to work and risk potential exposure to the virus, or stay home and risk getting fired. 

“At this point, my guess is that if the employer identifies you and designates you as essential, and you don’t show, certainly you may be terminated and can be disciplined,” Sklar said. “It’s a very real possibility.” 

Jay Bergamini, an attorney based in Eaton Rapids, said she fielded multiple calls from workers Monday asking what the order means for them. In one instance, a water heater manufacturer was trying to “avoid” closure by deeming employees essentia, she said. 

“I’m telling my clients, ‘Screw your companies, stay home,’” Bergamini said. 

Despite the clarifications from Whitmer, some “gray area” remains, Rob Fowler, CEO of the Small Business Association of Michigan, said in a Facebook webcast on Monday.

Are fence installers essential? Probably only if they are installing a fence for another company like an electric utility that has a "critical infrastructure workforce," said Calley of the small business group.

Can a liquor store stay open if it also sells bread and milk? "I think it would be covered," Calley said, noting food and agriculture industry guidelines in a federal memo that Whitmer's order relies upon. 

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Mon, 03/23/2020 - 8:21pm

So what is essential service in the home Construction field? Any guide lines?
As a contractor, is my crew essential if someone has water pouring in thru their roof? Or is my crew essential if water damage was created in a kitchen, and it's all cleaned up, yet should we continue to provide and build a new kitchen for the customer? Or should we tell the customer to go with out a kitchen? This Essential word is very Gray. I'm all for standing together to stop this virus, I'm just unsure of how to help our customers at this time, and not get fined $$ when all we would be doing is helping provide a safe home for people.

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 11:25am

I'd say go ahead and work on essential projects as you described, as long as you have no symptoms, and keep at least the suggested distance from everybody.

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 9:31pm

What about custodians that work at colleges that have been shut down? We're told we have to work or we risk losing our jobs but we're not doing "essential" disinfecting and there's no students or faculty allowed on campus: we're just starting our summer cleaning early for next fall. Opinions? Info?

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 1:52am

What about people who work for a food manufacturer But is not essential to the production or delivery on the product in anyway Should They still be working

Sat, 04/11/2020 - 2:17pm

If your cleaning and no one else is around then there should be no danger. Wear the proper ppe and quit being lazy and go to work.

Mon, 03/23/2020 - 9:56pm

Restaurant take out being considered an essential business is so ridiculous...I would have never expected this of our state or nation. This just gives people 1 more thing to bring them out of their home. This puts the employees of these establishments at a higher risk. Most of these employees are minimum wage and can not afford to take time off without pay. So they risk going to work so they can afford to care for their families but at the same time they may be bringing the virus home. Everything I've seen published is trying to encourage consumers to trust that take out and delivery food is safe for them and has low risk of them contracting the virus through the food. The problem isn't the food...it is the HUMAN INTERACTION to get the food. I just don't understand! Americans are so lazy and so set in their daily routines that they can't go a day without a takeout meal....go home and cook your family a meal!!

Fri, 03/27/2020 - 11:11am

It's not risk free, but the other possibility is almost all restaurants go out of business. And some people can't cook. Grabbing takeout in 30 seconds is safer than 2 hours at the grocery store.

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 9:42pm

I completely agree. This has been my view about takeout all along. I am against takeout!!! It totally makes no sense. Eat crackers and peanut butter if you can’t cook folks!!!

Maureen GOLIA
Sat, 04/11/2020 - 9:46am

Maybe it’s time you grabbed a cookbook and learned how to cook.

Nj Anthony
Tue, 03/24/2020 - 1:16am

The economic shut down in NJ has crippled me... It has STRIPPED life from EVERYONE! INSTANT DOOM! I have two days of food left and want somewhere to run to... But where? Their CURE is way worse than the disease in my book... The Governors are signing our death warrants.

Gary Lea
Tue, 03/24/2020 - 9:00am

Did you click on the link, "federal guidance" early in this article? It opens a U.S. Department of Homeland Security / Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency web page. Read that, Chicken Little.

Bob Tarrow
Wed, 03/25/2020 - 1:12pm

I agree. In the end it will have hurt more people than it helped. I guess that is a chance you have to take as a pinko. After this is all said and done, I'm spending no money on anything but bills and food. I have cancelled all summer plans and expenditures all together. I'll just live with what I have and deal with it. Inflation is so bad anymore, I'll never be able to even lease a new vehicle as opposed to buying one. I know who I won't be voting for. Thanks China!

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 12:22am

That's what I thought until I read about what the disease is like when complications develop. It feels like your lungs are filled with broken glass and you are drowning. Many have to be restrained as they try to rip off the breathing tubes from the ventilator. I would not want to give that disease to a customer or loved one. And second, look at Italy, New York and Spain. They do not have a controlled media like China and the accounts of what happens when this disease runs unchecked are horrifying. In Spain they are using a skating rink as a morgue. And only "nobodies" like Prince Charles and Rand Paul get the disease? It can happen to anybody. It sucks but we need to do our part. And then we need to go after the "masters of the universe" to invest in public health. Planning ahead would have reduced the cost and body count.

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 9:28am

China should be liable for this WMD they unleashed on the world. Unless you actually believe it came from a chinese person eating a bat. Wuhan is home to Red China's Germ Warfare Center, or whatever Research Facility they are calling it. China made this virus, either to use on their own population or another country's. Cancel all debt to China to pay the massive cost of this world killing virus.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:25am

Blaming China ignores two important facts. First, the US was not prepared – not enough ventilators, not enough federal epidemiologists, nowhere enough PPE, and most importantly, not enough test materials (amazingly, we still have not used the Defense Act to compel production). Second, we wasted a month after it became clear that the coronavirus was very dangerous. History will judge us harshly for these mistakes.

Sun, 04/19/2020 - 6:13pm

Gottaa Vote for Trump! Keep America GREAT!

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 12:08pm

Why would an Ice Cream shop be open? What would make a picture frame manufacturer’s essential business? Seems like a lot of people are just saying screw it im going to keep my business open..

Provisioning Center
Tue, 03/24/2020 - 2:03pm

It is wrong to call Provisionary Centers "pot shops". So many patients rely on these establishments to provide aid alternative to opioids and other destructive medications. Not only that, but simply allowing patients in treatment access to products that will help them eat when they have no appetite. "Pot shops" is a derogatory term. They are called "Provisioning Centers".

Wed, 04/15/2020 - 11:43am

My 22 yr old daughter has cancer , these provisionary shops are a healing mechanism for her, I consider this ESSENTIAL! However, I'm doing my part and staying inside as much as possible , but being able to go buy drywall but not paint ...ridiculous ! Just my opinion .

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 2:11pm

Her action wasn't good enough. My company makes particleboard, how is this an essential item. Yet they are still in operation and so are a lot others of the like. My company/ plant alone employs 200 people. That's 200 potential/could be cases if one thinks about it. So the governor did diddly squat to prevent further spread of this virus. Because there are still a lot of people out in public and going to work for industries that shouldn't be open.

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:19pm

Way too broad to allow companies the ability to "say they are essential" especially allowing them to again SAY they are a supplier to an essential.
Besides NO ONE is enforcing it anyways. The Police officer I spoke with told me their dry cleaners are deemed essential because they need clean uniforms. It's all political BS that she calls this an Executive Order!

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:28am

The guidance states that the essential workforce must make the designation of which of their suppliers are essential for them. It is not the supplier that gets to determine that, its the company that they supply that must designate them a critical supplier.

Thu, 04/09/2020 - 2:36pm

Hello Heather, I agree. She wants to stop the spread but my employer makes plastic bumpers for the big 3! How the hell is that essential?? We have 40 new temps because everyone has took the lay off the offered us. Now they want to fire us for not coming bk on the 13th! Money hungry assholes! We have had 15 positive cases also throughout the 2 shops in different locations!!

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 2:43pm

So would a furniture and appliance store be considered essential or non

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 4:16pm

How about a landscaper working by themselves outdoors? I'm all for isolation and everyone staying healthy. But having a winter with little snow and very little income. And this being when I normally go back to work really is making my family have to struggle.I don't qualify for any assistance. I'm stuck on what to do?

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 11:38am

I'm in the same boat. Just to let you know the MLNA (Michigan Landscape and Nursery Association) is working on clarification with the governors office on this.

John Krizmanich
Wed, 03/25/2020 - 11:39pm

I’m in the same situation we would normally be up and running spring work clean-ups , mulch. Thought end of March we would wait but mid April

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 8:15am

Write your state representative and senator and encourage others. Landscapers and associated fields are working in surrounding state’s as we can easily social distance and avoid contact with the public. Crazy that liquor stores are open and this industry is about to watch the busy spring season pass us by.

Maureen GOLIA
Sat, 04/11/2020 - 9:52am

They shouldn’t take away from these things. If you are stuck at home, then this would be the time to fix things in your home. Our so called Governor has to go. She doesn’t know how to run this state. When she is on TV, there are 3 of them there. Why don’t they have masks?

Nora Tavalieri
Tue, 03/24/2020 - 4:33pm

What about pet food stores? Are they allowed to be open?

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 11:13am


Tue, 03/24/2020 - 5:25pm

This is wild over reach.

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 5:54pm

I am a small business owner specializing in animal care. Am I excempt?

Tue, 03/24/2020 - 5:57pm

Ppl are still not taking this seriously

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 3:57am


Tue, 03/24/2020 - 6:58pm

Are commercial lawn care companies essential when the grass starts growing, which will be soon?

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 10:25am

It is not that hard, the order states business's that "sustain life", does grass cutting sustain life? Like she said, if you have to ask that question the answer is most likely NO.

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 12:06am

Her executive order 2020-21 states that CISA decides what is essential buisness. The CISA report says landscaping us essential. She is contradicting her own report. Why can people boat and fish and ride 4wheelers but a person cant mow grass. Its bullshit

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 5:41am

Here people, let me be the one to say it. The Governor did nothing at all to help in this matter, nothing. Let me explain, she only closed off mom and pop shops and places of gatherings. That’s it, simple. Everything else is still open, still running like nothing has happened. Until the Government pulls there hand out of the money jar, we will never curve this Coronavirus.

I get so tired of people saying we need to do this, we need to do that. Specialists in the field are saying this but government is doing the opposite. Why not have a total lockdown with very minimal work in the actual life saving fields? Because the government would lose money, that’s why. Look at what other countries are doing, to help save the lives of there people. Now, look at our country.

I have a very easy, very simple way of a lockdown. Here is an example:

Hospitals remain open, only those working directly in the area of care are needed at hospitals. Medical billing department and the like? These individuals can work from home.

Manufacturing- If your company produces items such as toilet paper, and the like and you have the necessary PPE (Masks, suit, etc) and can keep the social distancing themselves you may remain open. If your company makes plastic trays or pallets, crayons, shoe boxes, etc. you are to close.

Do you get the idea? I mean, it’s rather very simple.

Also, the Governor left it up to local law enforcement to “decide” if they want to enforce this or not? Seriously?! They don’t want to be infected either, so do you think they will enforce it?

Whitmer, you say that you want to save lives, that you want to help in stopping the spread of this virus? Then do a clear cut lockdown. A simple 14 day lockdown. Quit playing around.

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 9:28pm

Well said!

Sun, 03/29/2020 - 9:14am

Well if the food industry is shut down in any way it disrupts that supply chain.
And how long before the supply runs out. Some people think they have all the answers but when you mess with any chain link in the middle the chain snaps!! Just saying. Machinist build the small parts to make all sorts of stuff work in medical, farming and well pretty much every industry out there! Then there is plastic, which is used in pretty much every industry out there now adays to.
So if you can't think about this on a macro level then control your thoughts.
There is always more to the supply chain them you think. Especially nowadays with all the different specially corporations/companies that build the best parts for the best equipment that is essential!

Laid Off Engineer
Wed, 03/25/2020 - 8:47am

So, is this dumb witch going to pay my mortgage now? How about the power bill? Oh, and I have a car payment to make as well. Her estimates on how many will get it are not based on science or mathematics. It is pure FUD-mongering. Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt are the hallmarks of any good democrat "crisis".

Bob jones
Thu, 03/26/2020 - 1:41pm

Typical thinking about himself person. This is for EVERYONE not just you. Exponential growth, everyone must help. You put others in needless risk by ignoring it. So you trade a life of someone you do not know for a month of money. Get a gov interest free loan.

Do the right thing stop the Me Me Me talk.

Tue, 03/31/2020 - 7:15pm


Wed, 03/25/2020 - 8:55am

The lack of clarity of who can remain working and added with the self interpretation of the letter of the law is one of the biggest blunders I've seen thus far. MDOT isn't shutting down projects.. because " transportation" is critical, even though many of the specific project are not. What upsets me is now I'm put in the middle, General Contractors have owner's permission to call it critical , but no work believes it. The projects I have so far, that we can continue as critical is a pot growing facility that is 1/2 done, a library who has to be ready for an election, a Civic Center renovation that is a fall out shelter, a subdivision for low income housing and a parking lot renovation for a Hospital. Who is responsible if someone gets sick from being required to be on a job that may not be "critical"? But what happens when a city calls for a water main break repair and no one is available to respond, because they are walking the wood in the UP for a couple of weeks at their cabin as allowed. Its a big mess.

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 10:04am

What about any automotive suppliers that support the big 3 and Toyota Corporation?

Wed, 03/25/2020 - 11:39am

Car dealers closed? complete BS. My employer is open for business as usual. Where do report violators?

Mon, 03/30/2020 - 10:56pm

To my knowledge your suppost to call your local nonemergency police line and inform them of what business and where and that they are not essential.

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 8:22am

Can Michigan fix the roads while everyone is off them!! ???

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 8:22am

Can Michigan fix the roads while everyone is off them!! ???

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 9:20am

Love it!

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 8:34am

Is landscaping apart of the essential business?

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 2:31pm

So I see Agriculture staying open, well obviously. But greenhouses fall under this category as well. Not only are the plants in most greenhouses not essential, but the work space is not existent. I called a local greenhouse to ask and all he said was its Agriculture. I think this is to fine of a line.

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 5:08pm

What do you do if the “essential” company you work for doesn’t take this seriously and takes absolutely NO precautions whatsoever? If they think it’s a joke and pretend to cough on everything?

Thu, 03/26/2020 - 9:39pm

I'm a custodian who works at a college that is completely shut down with the exception of a few foreign students who have been moved to a single dorm. They have named our entire crew (+25) as critical infrastructure workers. But almost none of us work in that dorm. We're just doing summer cleaning for next Fall. They won't reduce our crew and we can't choose to self quarantine because we were told we won't be eligible for unemployment. This is how businesses are getting around closing down our reducing staff. We're forced to choose between our health and a paycheck because they know people will jeopardize health just to make ends meet. This has to stop. Governor should call for a complete shut down for anyone not in medical or law enforcement.

Lisa England
Fri, 03/27/2020 - 10:37am

My husband is a brick mason. Those guys never work within 6 feet of each other. The loss of income will be a huge hit to our family. I know the federal government is stepping up to help.. but the fear of HOW LONG is in my head every minute of the day.

Nate z
Sat, 03/28/2020 - 2:44am

I signed up with att and was denied any way to get two months internet for 10 dollars despite being low income and asking about it they said there was no such deal.

I had an appointment where the tech said there was a clerical error and they could not hook it up, three calls with 4 hours on hold they gave me an appointment a week later at an exorbitant price. I was unable to fix the problem through the website either.

Par for the course from one of the most hated companies in America, it is time for some more trust-busting in these United States.

Sun, 03/29/2020 - 10:10pm

A single father wants me to renovate a couple bathrooms and this would be a good time since he could move into his parents house and his children would stay with his ex-wife. This would be better now due to the conflict latter when his kids would be over during the week. Could we do this in an empty house?

Wed, 04/01/2020 - 10:44am

Some companies are not telling staff people were exposed. I was told they don't have a policy for being scared. Well I have two people in my house that can't get it.. So im staying home, since I care for them both.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:15am

My husband was told his company was going to retool and make essential parts for ventilators. They asked for volunteers to come back to help for time and a half extra pay, he said yes when almost everyone else said no. They were getting paid to stay home. When he arrived he found out that was not true at all they are just doing the same making car parts for company’s shut down. Because the Governor gave them permission After they went around the order weeks early. This puts my husband in the position of putting himself me and All others at risk for basically 6 dollars an hour sure it’s voluntary but if it last longer he won’t be eligible for unemployment and because of not working he could be considered for being let go if cut backs are made. They are working elbow to elbow with no safety precautions. I am high risk. And we ask How are we number 3 in the country?
Not just number three but our percentage rate of our infected and death compared to our population is very scary. And yet she is begging for a million medical professionals to volunteer to come here to help. I would never go help a state that refuses to help themselves.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:15am

My husband was told his company was going to retool and make essential parts for ventilators. They asked for volunteers to come back to help for time and a half extra pay, he said yes when almost everyone else said no. They were getting paid to stay home. When he arrived he found out that was not true at all they are just doing the same making car parts for company’s shut down. Because the Governor gave them permission After they went around the order weeks early. This puts my husband in the position of putting himself me and All others at risk for basically 6 dollars an hour sure it’s voluntary but if it last longer he won’t be eligible for unemployment and because of not working he could be considered for being let go if cut backs are made. They are working elbow to elbow with no safety precautions. I am high risk. And we ask How are we number 3 in the country?
Not just number three but our percentage rate of our infected and death compared to our population is very scary. And yet she is begging for a million medical professionals to volunteer to come here to help. I would never go help a state that refuses to help themselves.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:15am

SERIOUSLY! Everyone just read the CISA document from the Department of Homeland Security. Look at the verbs used throughout the document..."maintain, repair, operate, etc." not "design, construct, build, engineer, etc."

The DHS document seems to be clear from a rational reading. You are allowed to FIX, MAINTAIN, REPAIR, AND OPERATE what's already in place. It seems to give no indication that you can build new, design new, engineer new, construct new.

Gov. Whitmer added the additional exemption for "workers who are necessary to conduct minimum basic operations are those whose in-person presence is strictly necessary to allow the business or operation to maintain the value of inventory and equipment, care for animals, ensure security, process transactions (including payroll and employee benefits), or facilitate the ability of other workers to work remotely." In other words, only those people necessary to make sure the place doesn't fall down, rot, get broken into, and those necessary to process payroll. It doesn't mean to conduct business as normal just enough to stay in business.

These are difficult times, for sure, and I sympathize with small business owners. Even Essential Workforce businesses are definitely walking a tightrope between keeping our employees employed and keeping them safe.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 9:45am

"Businesses not deemed essential are still allowed to “conduct minimum basic operations” and decide for themselves which employees are necessary to show up to keep work flowing. "

Bridge, this is an erroneous statement. Basic operations is not specified as a way to "keep work flowing". That is a gross misinterpretation of the language of the EO and should require a correction and retraction by your journalist.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 10:09pm

That is exactly what is written on my essential workers paperwork. I must go out each night and clean offices even though I have asthma and I have a high risk child with immunodeficiency disorder. I begged to not go but was offered to quit. I'm just terrified and I don't have gloves or masks.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 8:54pm

So working in the mental health type of work. As a secretary I have been deemed "essential" andmadetocome to work, however every therapist, Dr, nurse, case manager, supervisor, and administration are working from home . How is this legal? How is this not violating the stay at home order? Why is my life as a secretary deemed not worth saving and being able to stay home away from the virus?

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 9:23pm

It’s not. I would contact the attorney generals office.

Thu, 04/02/2020 - 10:01pm

I am a custodian and was told I must continue to clean several buildings one being a radio station. I dont see that on the essential workers list but I was told if I don't come in I need a new job.

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 7:10am

Are beer distributors essential? People don’t need Beer to live!!

Kelly Schaap
Fri, 04/03/2020 - 8:28pm

Unfortunately many of the jobs people can't go to, won't be there when they get back. Many of our businesses will not be able to continue to idlely wait around for this virus to go away. You can quarantine Detroit, but let the rest of the state get back to work. Before you bankrupt Michigan.

Fri, 04/03/2020 - 9:27pm

For those of you saying you are being threatened by your employers, the the governor’s order regarding retaliation.

Mark A. Young ok
Tue, 04/07/2020 - 7:51am

We should be damn thankful that the RTA(Regional Transit Authority) didn't get their sleazy hands on our cash. Think about it, the coronavirus express from Detroit to Ann Arbor and back! Looks like we dodged the bullet train for now! NO RTA

Tue, 04/07/2020 - 10:39am

Why in north west Michigan the police are pulling over farm personnel that mills cow and tell them to go home or ticket this is 4 different department and 4 different towns it's all on video cam just tell me why

T Roggio
Fri, 04/10/2020 - 9:26am

I work for a grocery store and have a Mother @ home. I would like to take a leave of absence to protect her. I worry that I wouldn't be able to claim unemployment and would have no income. Does anyone know if I would qualify? I would like to stay home to protect my Mother whose job was shut down. I fear I put her at risk everytime I have to leave my home and then come back.

Fri, 04/10/2020 - 11:39am

I work for a title company that says they are essential. I have been off work for 3 weeks with a note from my Asthma doctor. I have asthma, diabetes and gerd. Do I have to go back to work. I’m afraid of catching the virus.

Fri, 04/10/2020 - 1:46pm

Is a lawn care business that does maintenance spraying for weeds deemed essential during Covid-19? Lawn care business is saying yes because they spray for insects. But they only spray for insects as an add-on fee when requested by the customer. Is this their loophole to continue work?

Sat, 04/11/2020 - 8:45am

I would like to know is rent-a center an essential need, i been out of a job due to this virus and i been pinching every penny for my kids, we don't have a car , and the bus is not running, so i have to walk to get our needed things and the prices that the stores are charging are ridiculous. I'm still waiting on our stimulus check, i let the worker know all this a couple of weeks ago, that i will give them something after i get the check and pay the more important bills first because my children's well being comes first, also i even sent a message to corporate on why are their not being compassionate towards their costumers, especially me that have purchased several items for many years and have a great payment status . Since then they been harassing me on the phone and now they threatening to send me to
jail, i don't even know where to start with this my pressure is to the roof, its two switch games which i owe them for and almost done paying off, this is what keeping my kids entertained in the house among other things and if it wasn't for that my kids would be going hamburger cause their so desperate to go out to play. Someone please give me advise

Maureen GOLIA
Sat, 04/11/2020 - 9:44am

Why aren’t they telling us the truth. Not every death is the virus. If masks are so important than why doesn’t our Governor wear one?

Sat, 04/11/2020 - 9:54am

Why aren’t my comments coming through? What are you Demoncrats afraid of?

Brenda Williams
Sat, 04/11/2020 - 10:55am

What is MDOC plan for dialysis patients who are positive for the Coronavirus and can't be transferred from theDRC?

Sat, 04/11/2020 - 2:30pm

I was wondering if the roof is leaking if we can go fix them during stay home

susie hernnadez...
Sun, 04/12/2020 - 8:51pm


Jacqueline Garnett
Sat, 04/18/2020 - 10:37am

Why are liquor stores considered “essential?” We talk about our concern in the increase in domestic violence. This is one place that is not essential, or if they sell bread and milk, are fined if they sell liquor.