Schmidt updates residents on COVID-19, Executive Order 2020-21

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday morning signed Executive Order 2020-21 to help combat the spread of the ongoing COVID-19 outbreak.

“My office has received several calls about this and I wanted to provide some information and resources to folks who may have questions,” said Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City. “These are challenging times, and my best recommendation is to follow the guidelines from health and medical professionals, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.”

Executive Order 2020-21 prohibits all businesses and operations from requiring workers to leave their homes, unless those workers are necessary to sustain or protect life or to conduct minimum basic operations. Businesses and operations are to designate the workers that meet those criteria and must adopt social distancing practices and other mitigation measures to protect workers and patrons in the performance of that necessary in-person work.

Workers that are necessary to sustain or protect life include those in health care and public health, law enforcement and public safety, grocery store workers, and more. For a full list of these critical infrastructure workers, click this link to Executive Order 2020-21.

For general guidelines, please see below:


  • Go to the grocery store or pick up takeout food;
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up a needed prescription;
  • Engage in outdoor activities like walking, hiking, running or 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; and
  • 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); or
  • Go to the mall or eat at restaurants.

“Essential services will largely remain uninterrupted,” Schmidt said. “It is important for people to stay calm and not overreact as we’ve unfortunately seen in recent days and weeks. Updated information is made available daily as we continue to monitor the situation.”

For a complete list and more specific information on each executive order and to ensure you have the most up-to-date information on newly issued directives, visit this website.

Schmidt added that the Legislature has approved funding to help assist health professionals across the state with testing and resource availability.

“The Legislature has approved $150 million in funding to help improve testing and research efforts,” he said. “The rise in confirmed cases we’re seeing is a result of expanding testing efforts, and thanks to our state’s health professionals, we’re getting more crucial information daily. My colleagues and I will continue to work with state and national health professionals to continue addressing Michigan’s needs.”

Note: Information around COVID-19 is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at and If you think you need to be tested or have a question about the virus, contact your health care provider. Additionally, the state of Michigan has a hotline, 1-888-535-6136, that is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. seven days a week.