When Will Michigan Go Back to Work?

Michigan has a 6-phase approach to reopening the state.

Exterior of the Michigan State Capitol Building in Lansing

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer extended the state’s stay-at-home order through May 28, but also eased some restrictions so some businesses can re-open. She also revealed a 6-stage reopening plan, called “MI Safe Start Plan,” designed to reopen the state’s economy.

Here’s a look at what you need to know about reopening Michigan.

When can Michigan reopen?

On May 7, the governor unveiled a 6-phase plan to reopen the state’s economy. Whitmer said she has worked with health care, business, labor, and education leaders to develop the plan. The state is currently in phase 3.

The phases include:

Phase 1: Uncontrolled growth

Increasing number of new cases, likely to overwhelm the health care system. The order was to stay home and enforce strict social distancing, travel restrictions, promote remote work, and use face coverings and hygiene best practices.

Phase 2: Persistent spread

Continue to see high case levels with a concern to overwhelm the health care system. As cases decline for an extended period, along with improved testing, contact tracing, and containment measures, the state can move to Phase 3.

Phase 3: Flattening

Case growth is gradually declining. The stay-at-home orders have transitioned to “safer-at-home” orders, which calls for continued distancing. Low-risk businesses are allowed to open, including construction, manufacturing, real estate, and outdoor work.

Phase 4: Improving

Cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are declining. Safer-at-home orders continue, but small gatherings are permitted. Retail with limited capacity and offices can re-open (but telework is required, if possible).

Phase 5: Containing

Continued case and death rates improve, and outbreaks can be quickly contained. Stay safe orders will be implemented, which call for continual social distancing but most businesses with strict mitigation measures can reopen. These businesses include restaurants and bars, travel, and schools.

Phase 6: Post-pandemic

Community spread not expected to return. All businesses, events, and gatherings are permitted with safety guidelines and procedures.

What phase is Michigan in currently?

Michigan is currently in Phase 3. The state can move into Phase 4 if cases and deaths decline sharply, the health care system has capacity, and there is testing/contact tracing in place.

What is open?

These are the businesses that are now allowed to open:

  • Lawn-service companies
  • Plant nurseries
  • Bike repair
  • State parks
  • Residential and commercial construction
  • Some non-essential businesses with curbside pickup
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