By Jennifer Gomori, MAFF Editor

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer extended the stay-at-home Executive Order until May 15 with new exceptions for lower risk businesses and activities.

The new Executive Order, signed April 23, allows golf courses, landscaping businesses, lawn service companies, bike repair shops and plant nurseries to resume operations. The order resumes sales of non-essential supplies so large retailers may reopen garden centers and areas of their stores selling paint, carpeting and flooring. Non-essential retailers may reopen, providing only curbside pickup or delivery. 

Stores open to the public must continue to limit the number of customers inside their businesses. All businesses must provide non-medical grade masks to in-person employees and practice social distancing and customers are now required to wear face coverings over the nose and mouth in enclosed areas.

Gov. Whitmer said it is not a crime for customers not to wear a cloth facemask or similar covering, however, stores may refuse entry to anyone not complying with her order. Six-foot social distancing continues outdoors as well.

In-person activities that do not sustain or protect life are still prohibited except for critical jobs and resumed activities in the new Executive Order.

Some new exceptions include travel between Michigan residences and motorized boating. However, Whitmer strongly discouraged unnecessary travel between residences to reduce the spread of COVID-19. The order excludes the operation of golf carts at golf courses. 

Whitmer said the state is increasing COVID-19 testing and tracing and will also be monitoring the number of cases. If  there is a spike in COVID-19 cases, the Governor said, she may reduce some of the new exceptions.

Click here for the complete April 23 stay-at-home Executive Order.