Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer added another two weeks to her “stay-at-home” executive orders on Friday, extending prohibitions and restrictions intended to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus until June 12.
Her declaration comes as she faces increasing public opposition and a judge’s ruling a day earlier which dismissed the state’s request to order a barbershop in Owosso be closed.
“We are not out of the woods yet," Whitmer said in a statement reported by the Detroit Free Press.
"If we’re going to lower the chance of a second wave and continue to protect our neighbors and loved ones from the spread of this virus, we must continue to do our part by staying safer at home."
The order continues to require public places such as theaters, gyms, casinos and hair cutting establishments to remain closed.
Whitmer relaxed some restrictions on Thursday, allowing gatherings of up to 10 people and permitting retail business to open for appointment-only shopping.
It also allowed non-emergency doctor and dentist visits. Previously, restrictions were rescinded allowing for bicycle repair shops and garden stores to open, and as of midnight Friday, restaurants, businesses and offices in northern Michigan – particularly the Upper Peninsula – were allowed to re-open so long as they limited the number of customers, required them to wear facial coverings and kept their distance from each other.
Whitmer has faced an increasing number of protests, from a demonstration of people carrying semi-automatic rifles at the capitol in early May to barbers and hair stylists defiantly cutting hair on the capitol steps this past week.
She referred to the rally of the armed protesters as an example of “racism” and has dismissed the demonstrations, saying: "I'm not changing the way I run this state because of some protests."
One state judge on Thursday upheld her authority to “respond to emergencies that affect the state and its people.” But also on Thursday, another rejected her attorney general’s attempt to enforce the regulations by dismissing a request to close down a barbershop.
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