Michigan stay home order imposes tougher restrictions on stores to reduce crowds

There are new restrictions to look out for when you head to the store for essential needs after the governor announced an extended stay at home order Thursday.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the Stay Home, Stay Safe order through April 30, while strengthening safety measures at stores to reduce crowds.

The governor ordered that large stores must limit the number of people in the store at a time to no more than four customers for every 1,000 square feet of customer floor space. As for small stores, they must limit capacity to 25% of their total capacity, including employees.

The order takes effect at midnight on Friday, April 10.

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To regulate how many people enter, stores must create lines with markings to instruct customers on how to stand safely six feet apart while they wait. 

The order requires large stores to close areas dedicated to furniture, carpeting, plant nurseries, paint, and garden centers. 

"If you're not buying food or medicine or other essential items, you should not be going to the store," Whitmer said.

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In addition, people are asked to limit the number of household members going to the store for essential items.

All of this effort is a further effort to flatten the curve in Michigan by practicing more social distancing. 

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.

Under the order, businesses and operations are prohibited from requiring workers to leave their homes unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life, or to continue minimum basic operations. Gatherings among people other than a single household are still prohibited.