What Governor’s ‘Stay Home, Stay Safe’ Executive Order Means for Local Governments

Posted on March 23, 2020 by Dene Westbrook

Governor Whitmer today announced the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” executive order that takes affect midnight tonight. You can view the order here and below are the key portions related to local governments. The order is in effect until 11:59 p.m. April 13, 2020.

The League staff is reviewing the order, taking your questions about it, and is working to schedule a webinar with a state official about what it means for our members soon. Stay tuned for webinar details.

To submit your questions, click here, and to view answers as they come in click here. Get all COVID-19 related information as it relates to local government at our resource page here.

Governor Whitmer

The order specifically addresses what local government functions should continue and be discontinued for the duration of the executive order.

The Governor’s office is using guidance from the Homeland Security in identifying essential workers. Go here to review that guidance.

Executive order details related to local governments:

  • All in-person government activities at whatever level (state, county, or local) that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, or to supporting those businesses and operations that are necessary to sustain or protect life, are suspended.
  • For purposes of this order, necessary government activities include activities performed by critical infrastructure workers, including workers in law enforcement, public safety, and first-responders.
  • Such activities also include, but are not limited to, public transit, trash pick-up and disposal, activities necessary to manage and oversee elections, operations necessary to enable transactions that support the work of a business’s or operation’s critical infrastructure workers, and the maintenance of safe and sanitary public parks so as to allow for outdoor recreation.
  • For purposes of this order, necessary government activities include minimum basic operations, as described in section 4(b). Workers performing such activities need not be designated.
  • Any in-person government activities must be performed consistently with the social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons described in section 5(c).
  • General information about the executive order:

For at least the next three weeks, all Michigan businesses and operations must temporarily suspend in-person operations that are not necessary to sustain or protect life, and all Michiganders must stay in their homes unless they’re a part of that critical infrastructure workforce, engaged in an outdoor activity, or performing tasks necessary to the health and safety of themselves or their family, like going to the hospital or grocery store.


  • 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, 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 (unless for takeout or home delivery).


  • 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 enabling social distancing for customers who are standing in line.
  • Any other social distancing practices and mitigation measures recommended by the Centers for Disease Control.

Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at the League’s   COVID-19 resource page at and at the state’s and

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