(WWJ) While Stay Home, Stay Safe, the governor's order that basically quarantines residents in their houses except to get groceries or visit the pharmacy, was extended through May 28 and loosened for manufacturing, construction, landscaping, golfing and boating, there's also a new plan in town.
It's called Michigan's Safe Start.
The Safe Start is a six-phase plan that outlines where businesses and public life will be as the virus continues to abate.
Michigan is currently in phase three, where the curve is flattening, but gatherings are still not allowed and only "specific, lower-risk" business is allowed to open
The next phase will allow small gatherings, more (undisclosed) retail, and office work, but only for those who can't telecommute. Phase five will bring the return of restaurants with safety protocols and social distancing, and phase six allows large gatherings again.
The governor says she's worked with leaders in health care, business, labor and education to develop the six-phase plan. Michigan's current phase shows a flattening of the curve but still-mounting cases that puts residents under a stay home order.
So, how does the public feel about the plan? Based on social media, they're tired ot being at home, cranky, and wish the plan was more detailed, a common complaint about Whitmer's executive orders.
"If these businesses can open it's safe for all businesses to open. How is working in real estate any different than working in a 2-3 person office. Why can't a book store open under the same measures as a liquor store? Still picking and choosing without any reason," Heidi Steinbrenner wrote on the Up North Facebook page.
Another woman, Barbara Turlo-Gusfa asked "what about medicine and dentistry?"
On WWJ's Facebook page, David Jakes wrote, "If it’s safe to work at a plant, it’s safe to visit your family. If it’s safe to go to Walmart, it’s safe to get your haircut or go to the gym. BS detectors are going off all over the state. The governor’s random and arbitrary orders will be increasingly ignored."
Ryan Waddington defended the governor's plan on WWJ 950's Facebook page, writing, "I hope everyone read the Executive Order before commenting on it. Stay-at-home is generally still in effect, but with tons of exceptions and tons of people can go back to work (manufacturing, construction, etc.). And everyone can golf, go up north to their cottage, etc."
Whitmer described moving between levels of the plan as turning a dial. Restrictions can be loosened when data and coronavirus levels allow, but they could return if cases mount.
"We have to think of this as a dial. We're going to turn it slowly and carefully. We're going to measure and make sure that we are safe to turn it again," Whitmer said. "And when we turn this dial to reengage sectors of our workforce we must continue to ensure that we've got protections for our employees in those sectors."
On the coronavirus side, the phases that move the dial toward changes to work, social and public life are:
1) UNCONTROLLED GROWTH: The increasing number of new cases every day, overwhelming our health systems.
2) PERSISTENT SPREAD: We continue to see high case levels with concern about health system capacity.
3) FLATTENING: The epidemic is no longer increasing and the health-system's capacity is sufficient for current needs.
4) IMPROVING: Cases, hospitalizations and deaths are clearly declining.
5) CONTAINING: Continued case and death rate improvements, with outbreaks quickly contained.
6) POST-PANDEMIC: Community spread not expected to return.