Michigan Gov. Whitmer lifts stay-at-home order

Michigan Gov. Whitmer lifts stay-at-home order
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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D) is lifting the state's stay-at-home order, and will allow bars and restaurants to reopen for both indoor and outdoor dining with restrictions.

In an announcement Monday, Whitmer said retailers would be allowed to open Thursday, with capacity limits. Restaurants and bars will be able to start serving patrons on June 8, she said.

Swimming pools and day camps for kids will also be permitted to reopen June 8. 

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Effective immediately, Whitmer said groups of 100 or less will be allowed to gather outdoors, as long as they maintain physical distancing. Indoor social gatherings and events of more than 10 people are still prohibited.

Office work that can't be done remotely can resume, as well as in-home services like housecleaning, Whitmer said. Casinos, indoor theaters, gyms, hair salons and barbershops will remain closed.

"The data has shown that we are ready to carefully move our state into the next phase," Whitmer said during a press conference. 

State health officials said coronavirus hospitalization numbers are down, front-line workers have enough personal protective equipment to last them several weeks, and the number of positive COVID-19 cases and deaths are declining. 

Whitmer encouraged everyone to take their personal roles seriously by wearing masks when in public and practicing physical distancing. 

She said she hopes the numbers continue to decline for the next two to three weeks, so more restrictions can be lifted before July 4, but expressed concern that some people have been crossing the border into neighboring states with fewer restrictions in order to get haircuts or go out to eat. 

She said Michigan has seen a decline in cases, while neighboring Ohio has seen an increase, and asked people to be patient, rather than leave the state and potentially become infected.  

She encouraged people who meet the criteria to get tested for COVID-19, while also noting the supply chain problems have persisted, and the state hasn't been able to meet the level of testing officials had aimed for.