Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer will announce on Thursday that she's extending the 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' order as the outbreak of coronavirus continues in the state.
Whitmer told WOOD-TV on Wednesday that it would be extended and said she would announce details on the extension on Thursday. Her office confirmed the information to FOX 2. She's expected to make the announcement around 3 p.m. You can watch the announcement on our website or on our Facebook page.
While not a surprise following Whitmer's confirmation residents should expect an 'additional' shelter-in-place order earlier this week, the order could only be made following approval from the state legislature to extend her state of emergency declaration another 23 days.
On Wednesday, Michigan passed 20,000 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 and a total of 959 deaths. Now the third-highest state total in the country, coronavirus has been spotted in almost every county in Michigan. Despite the rapid spread extending as far as the upper peninsula's western Goegibic County, the majority of cases have been out of Metro Detroit, where 80% of cases have been confirmed in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb Counties.
"We're always going to make decisions based on the best information, the best science and always centered around what's in the best interest of the public health. I would anticipate that I would have to lengthen the stay at home order," Whitmer said.
Gov. Whitmer issued the 'Stay Home, Stay Safe' executive order on March 23rd and it went into effect the following day. Since then, all essential businesses have been ordered to close. This means Michigan's 10 million residents are asked to avoid all nonessential travel and remain at home.
One of the starkest examples of how stay-at-home orders is the impact on Michigan's unemployment rate. After a record-breaking number of people filed for unemployment benefits, more of the same is expected to come later Thursday. Similar headlines were reported for the country's unemployment rate, which neared 10 million by the second week of social distancing guidelines taking precedent.
The skyrocketing number of people that went to the state's website to apply for aid crashed the website.
Whitmer's original stay-at-home order was set to expire on April 13th.
A model released by a health institute echoed that prediction, projecting the state will report its peak in resources around mid-April and over 3,000 deaths by May. So far 617 people have died from the coronavirus.
President Donald Trump announced on March 28th that CDC social distancing guidelines are to be followed through at least the end of April.
On Wednesday, Gov. Whitmer extended the state's emergency declaration and also declared a disaster for Michigan. Those declarations superseded her previous emergency orders but did not impact the Stay Home order.