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Whitmer orders temporary ban on gatherings and events of more than 250 people

Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Friday that cancels or postponed events or shared-space gatherings over 250 people.

LANSING, Mich. — Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order Friday, March 13 that cancels events over 250 people and all large gatherings in shared spaces over 250 people.

The temporary restriction starts Friday, March 13 at 5 p.m. and ending on Sunday, April 5 at 5 p.m.

The governor’s executive order also closes all K-12 school buildings to students from Monday, March 16 until Sunday, April 5. Child care facilities will remain open during this time, whether they are attached to schools or free standing. 

Under this executive order, all events and shared-space gatherings of more than 250 people are temporarily prohibited in the state. Certain gatherings are exempt from this prohibition, such as those for the purpose of: industrial or manufacturing work, mass transit, or the purchase of groceries or consumer goods. 

“This is about protecting the most people we can from the spread of coronavirus,” said Governor Whitmer. “My administration will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread, and to ensure our children, families, and businesses have the support they need during this time. We are going to get through this, but we must be flexible and take care of each other.” 

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There are 12 presumptive confirmed cases of coronavirus in Michigan. To slow the spread of the virus, Whitmer ordered all Michigan K-12 schools to close for three weekend, including all public, private and boarding schools. 

A number of different sports events, live music events, entertainment and the like have been canceled in recent days. Including concerts at the Van Andel Arena downtown Grand Rapids, LaughFest events and MHSAA and NCAA tournaments and games. The NBA and the NHL also canceled their seasons and the Masters has been postponed. 

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“Prohibiting large assemblages is the smart thing to do to mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” said Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “It’s crucial that everyone in Michigan follow these orders and make smart choices that will slow the spread of the virus, including practicing good hygiene and social distancing. We will continue to work with the governor and our partners across state government to protect Michigan families and businesses.” 

Here's a list of the businesses and community establishments closed to the public:

Kent County

Ottawa County

Muskegon County

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