5/15/20 – Gov. Whitmer hopes to allow small gatherings in Michigan after May 28

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer . Photo from the Governor's Office. 1/20/20.

(Mlive) – Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer hopes to be able to ease some of the state’s stay-home restrictions by the end of the month, including allowing small gatherings.

During a Facebook Life interview with MLive on Thursday, May 14, Whitmer said she would like Michigan to take the next step in re-opening after May 28, when her current stay-at-home order expires.

“My hope is at the end of this month we can maybe permit gatherings of 10 or less,” she said. “I know that’s not a big gathering but it certainly I think, would be able to give us the feeling and the confidence that we can take this next step.

Whitmer said it’s her “fervent hope” that come the end of May, the state will be ready to go into another phase where it can start to engage more activities.

The state is in phase three of the six-phase recovery process established by the Michigan Economic Recovery Council. Phase six is post-pandemic, which likely won’t be until there is a vaccine or a cure for COVID-19.

The council includes health care and business leaders from across the state and is advised by the Detroit Regional Chamber, Business Leaders for Michigan, the Grand Rapids Chamber, and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.

“We won’t be filling stadiums any time soon but we can start to resume some more normalcy in our lives, so long as we continue to do our part and be smart about it,” Whitmer said.

The governor’s comments came Thursday morning as another protest was underway outside the Michigan State Capitol building. Soggy protesters came out in the rain to demand that the “coronavirus lockdown” be lifted.

Michigan has been under a state of emergency since March 10 when the first cases of COVID-19 were reported. Since then, the Department of Health and Human Services has reported 48,391 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 4,714 deaths associated with the virus.