5/15/20 – Retail ‘probably’ included in next wave of reopenings in Michigan, Gov. Whitmer says

(Mlive) – Retail and pet grooming businesses could be among those that are able to reopen by the end of the month, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said during a Thursday, May 14 video interview with MLive.

If the number of new cases of COVID-19 continues to decline over the next two weeks, the governor said retail will “probably be in the next phase,” which she hopes Michigan will enter into after the current stay-home order expires at 11:59 p.m. May 28.

“If we continue to see our testing go up and our positive cases continue to decline, that would be something that would make sense in the next phase,” Whitmer said.

“But it also has to be done with the appropriate protocols, meaning wearing masks, meaning keeping crowds down so people can remain six feet apart. All of these are actions that employers and business owners are going to need to deploy in their workplaces.”

Retail businesses that “sell groceries, medical supplies and products necessary to maintain safety, sanitation and basic operation of residences or motor vehicles” have already been allowed to re-open. Other retailers had been given the green light to open, but only for curbside pick-up and/or delivery.

“So many shop owners have seen their customers driven to shop online, which does little for the Michigan economy,” Holland said. “It’s been a very discouraging time, so it would be a huge boost to reopen for the holiday weekend.”

By the time Michigan’s current stay-home order expires, Whitmer said her “fervent hope” is that the state will be ready to go into another phase where it can start to engage more activities. The state is currently in phase three of a six-phase recovery process, laid out by the Michigan Economic Recovery Council.

Whitmer said she is continuing to work with the council, made up of health care and business leaders across the state, to score the different sectors of the economy based on their level of risk.

Whether an industry is public-facing, or needs to be done in a dense matter with people in close proximity to each other, or is mainly conducted inside or outside a building will play a role in the industry’s risk factor, Whitmer said.

Industries and activities with the least risk will be allowed to open first as officials gauge how they effect the state’s COVID-19 numbers.

“If the downward trend continues, we can take the next step,” she said.