Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extends state of emergency, declares state of disaster due to coronavirus outbreak

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has signed an executive order that extends the state of emergency and declares a state of disaster due to the outbreak of coronavirus in the state.

Gov. Whitmer first signed a state of emergency on March 10, the day the first two cases of coronavirus were confirmed in Michigan. 

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“Since Michigan announced our first confirmed cases of COVID-19 three weeks ago, we have taken some of the most aggressive measures in the country to mitigate the spread of the virus and protect Michigan families,” said Governor Whitmer. “Today’s action will allow my administration to respond more effectively to every facet of this crisis. During this time, it’s crucial that Michiganders continue to stay home and keep their distance from others. We will get through this together.”

The declared state of emergency allowed the state to purchase health-related items without a bid.

It was in place until the end of March but on Wednesday, April 1, Whitmer extended the state of emergency and also formally declared a state of disaster for the entire state of Michigan.

The two moves recognize the expanded scope of economic, educational, and civic dislocation caused by the COVID-19 and also gives her administration tools needed to address the devastation caused by the virus.

In a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey and House Speaker Lee Chatfield, Whitmer requested the resolutions be in place for at least 70 days, meaning it won't expire until June 9th.

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"To meet the steep, varied, and ongoing demands created by the COVID-19 pandemic, my administration must continue to use the full range of tools available to protect the health, safety, and welfare of our state and its residents. I welcome you and your colleagues’ continued partnership in fighting this pandemic," Gov. Whitmer said in her letter.

The order does the following: 

1. A state of emergency and a state of disaster are both declared across the State of Michigan.

2. The Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division of the Department of State Police must coordinate and maximize all state efforts that may be activated to state service to assist local governments and officials and may call upon all state departments to utilize available resources to assist.

3. The state of emergency and the state of disaster will terminate when emergency and disaster conditions no longer exist and appropriate programs have been implemented to recover from any effects of the statewide emergency and disaster, consistent with the legal authorities upon which this declaration is based and any limits imposed by those authorities, including section 3 of the Emergency Management Act, 1976 PA 390, as amended, MCL 30.403.