kushner whitmer split
Gov. Whitmer dismisses Jared Kushner's claim
01:08 - Source: CNN
CNN  — 

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Thursday that she had signed an executive order to extend the state’s stay-at-home order through May 28, even as protesters and state officials have pressed her to relax social distancing measures earlier.

The order will, however, allow manufacturing workers to resume work on Monday.

“This is good news for our state, our businesses, and our working families,” Whitmer said Thursday in a statement. “We’re not out of the woods yet, but this is an important step forward on our MI Safe Start plan to re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.”

“As we continue to phase in sectors of our economy, I will keep working around the clock to ensure our businesses adopt best practices to protect workers from the spread of COVID-19,” her statement continued. “When we all keep doing our part, we can reduce the risk of a second wave and re-engage our economy safely and responsibly.”

The executive order extending the restriction for nearly two more weeks comes as the Democratic governor continues to hold steady on slowly reopening the state amid growing calls to relax social distancing measures and jump-start Michigan’s economy. Whitmer has faced repeated demonstrations against her closure orders, including at her home.

Last week, protesters carrying firearms descended on Michigan’s Capitol to pressure the governor to issue more relaxed measures.

But Whitmer has been outspoken in her belief that the country must listen to medical professionals. She unveiled a six-phase plan on Thursday that she touted as critical to avoiding a second wave of infections.

At a news conference, Whitmer said the state is in phase three of her plan – “flattening” – where coronavirus cases are no longer increasing and the health system has sufficient capacity.

According to the governor’s plan, Michigan will need to progress through the “improving” and “containing” phases next before the state reaches the “post-pandemic” phase, where community spread is not expected to return.

“We have to reengage like a dial, not a switch that goes on or off, but a dial that we can turn,” Whitmer said.

And a considerable amount of reengagement will start Monday, when workers in manufacturing can begin phasing into work.

Whitmer noted Thursday that the industry accounts for nearly 20% of the state’s economy.

The big three auto suppliers, in agreement with the United Auto Workers union, will start returning to work on May 18, the governor said, where they’ll begin at 25% capacity before phasing up.

“My team and I determined that manufacturing has a lower risk score than some other industries,” she said, explaining why the state is moving forward with reopening that sector.

Manufacturing facilities must adopt measures to protect their workers from the spread of Covid-19 in order to reopen, Whitmer added.