Michigan governor to issue stay-at-home order, joining Illinois, Ohio

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will announce a statewide stay-at-home order to curb the spread of the coronavirus, with an exemption for certain workers, a government official told The Associated Press on Monday.

Michigan would join at least eight other states nationally including two of the three states neighboring Indiana: Illinois and Ohio.

The order, which will take effect at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday, will allow “essential” employees necessary to sustain and protect life to continue going to work, said a high-ranking administration official who had direct knowledge of the measure. The person was not authorized to speak publicly before the Democratic governor’s scheduled 11 a.m. Monday news conference.

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has an announcement about the pandemic scheduled for noon Monday but has not disclosed the purpose. Speculation has grown that Indiana might take the same action as Illinois and Ohio.

Lansing-based political publication MIRS first reported on the planned order Monday.

Michigan has more than 1,000 cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. Nine deaths have been reported.

The stay-at-home order is also referred to as a shelter-in-place measure. Governors in California, New York, Delaware, Louisiana, Massachusetts and New Jersey also have issued the order.

For most people, the coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

Whitmer has tried to reduce the spread by limiting crowds at popular gathering spots and closing schools. Bars, fitness clubs and theaters are closed, and restaurants can only prepare food for carry-out. Many church services have been canceled.

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