Understanding Michigan’s Stay at Home Order

Thomas P. Vincent
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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer issued a Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order yesterday, which took effect at 12:01 a.m. today, March 24. The order mandates a ”temporary requirement to suspend activities that are not necessary to sustain or protect life.”

The order impacts all Michigan residents and businesses and severely curtails personal and business activities transacted in the state until April 13 at 11:59 p.m. The order does allow for the designation of “critical infrastructure workers” by businesses under certain conditions. Critical infrastructure workers are defined as employees necessary for “minimum basic operations, as described in section 4(b), after being designated to perform such work by their employers.”

Importantly, as mandated in the order and noted above, “businesses and operations must make such designations in writing, whether by electronic message, public website, or other appropriate means. Such designations, however, may be made orally until March 31, 2020 at 11:59 p.m." This requirement excludes certain healthcare, daycare and public service employees.

The state of Michigan has provided an online summary of the Stay Home, Stay Safe Executive Order. Excerpts from the summary are as follows:


  • Go to the grocery store or pick up take-out food.
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up a needed prescription.
  • Engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running and biking.
  • Go to the hospital or secure any care necessary to address a medical emergency or to preserve your health or the health of a loved one.
  • Fill your car with gas.
  • Return to Michigan to a home or place of residence from outside the state.
  • Leave the state for a home or residence elsewhere.
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian for needed medical care.


  • Leave the home to work unless your employer designates you as a critical infrastructure worker.
  • Participate in any public gatherings.
  • Visit someone in the hospital, nursing home, or other residential care facilities (with limited exceptions).
  • Go to the mall or to restaurants.


  • Promote remote work to the fullest extent possible.
  • Restrict the number of workers present in-person on the job.
  • Keep employees at least six feet from one another to the maximum extent possible and enable social distancing for customers who are standing in line.
  • Any other social distancing practices and mitigation measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Beyond the Stay Home, Stay Safe order, Michigan residents and businesses are directed by the state to continue to follow guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Below is a list of additional resources citizens and business owners may reference during this ongoing pandemic.

Plunkett Cooney will continue to monitor the COVID-19 outbreak response and provide clients and friends of our firm with updates about information critical for personal safety and the future success of your business.

Click here to review Plunkett Cooney’s updated business continuity plan, which includes a link to the firm’s Crisis Response Team. As always, please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or legal needs you may have during this challenging time.

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Thomas P. Vincent
President and CEO