LANSING - The Michigan Department of Transportation said it would be lifting weight restrictions from vehicles that are assisting to combat the coronavirus.
On Sunday, the department said for motor carriers and drivers providing "direct assistance in support of relief efforts related to the COVID-19 outbreaks" would have their seasonal weight restrictions waived.
"Knowing the importance of getting food and other supplies to retailers during this time, we are taking steps to ensure carriers can make deliveries as quickly and efficiently as possible," said MDOT Director Paul C. Ajeba in a release. "We are going to get through this by working together and taking collective action for the greater good."
So what is "direct assistance?" It's clarified as meaning transportation and other relief services that a motor carrier is providing, like the delivery of medical care, food, and other essential services, as well as restoring emergency services.
Since the state's discovery of two COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, March 10, the Michigan government's response to slow the outbreak has ramped up each day following.
Immediately after the discovery, Gov. Whitmer declared a state of emergency, recommending people avoid crowds larger than 100 people.
That point was further emphasized later on during press conferences held by the governor as well as Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. Meanwhile, a wave of events, professional sports games, and college-tied travel and congregations were canceled in an effort to slow the spread of the virus.
Then on Thursday, upon the discovery of more cases, Whitmer called on public schools to close until April 6. Friday, government offices at the secretary of state said it was shifting schedules to be appointment based.
Due to the rapidly changing nature of coronavirus, governmental bodies like the Attorney General's office are constantly adapting policies like banning gatherings larger than 250 people and outlawing price gouging on supplies needed to mitigate the spread.