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Whitmer orders temporary ban on gatherings of 50 or more people

The latest executive order complies with CDC guidelines to cancel or postpone events of 50 or more people.
Credit: 13 ON YOUR SIDE

LANSING, Mich — In order to continue to try to get a grip on coronavirus in the state of Michigan, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has limited the size of group gatherings and events to 50 people. 

Whitmer signed the executive order Monday to prohibit all events or gatherings in shared indoor spaces with more than 50 people to start on Tuesday, March 17 at 9 a.m. This complies with recent CDC guidelines that recommend postponing or canceling large gatherings for eight weeks. 

RELATED: New CDC coronavirus guidelines: Cancel events with 50 or more people

This changes the previous restriction that was put into place on Friday that limited large events to 250 people. The most recent restriction will last until April 5 at 5 p.m. 

“My number one priority remains to protect the most people we can from the spread of coronavirus,” said Whitmer. “We are all better off when all of us are healthy, and that’s especially true for the most vulnerable. These aggressive actions are aimed at saving lives. My administration will continue to do everything we can to mitigate the spread of the disease and ensure our children, families, and businesses have the support they need during these challenging times. We are going to pull through this together, just as Michigan has done in the past.”  

Do you have more questions about COVID-19 in Michigan? Check out the state's website. 

Also on Monday, the Trump administration and federal COVID-19 task force recommended keeping group events and gatherings to 10 people or less. 

In the past week, the state of Michigan has put into place a number of restrictions to help curb the spread of coronavirus. All K-12 schools are closed for three weeks and all bars, restaurants, gyms have been ordered to close. The first cases of COVID-19 were reported in the state on Tuesday, March 10. Since then cases have risen to 54 in less than a week. 

"The purpose of the Executive Order, and taking actions like these, is to limit close contact between individuals because of the specific way the virus spreads through respiratory droplets,” said MDHHS Chief Deputy for Health and Chief Medical Executive Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “These are very difficult decisions, but I believe together we can work to make the necessary adjustments to contain the pandemic and support one another.”  

RELATED: Coronavirus live updates: White House wants people to stay home, avoid groups larger than 10

The CDC says patients with confirmed infection have reportedly had mild to severe respiratory illness with symptoms of:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath

The best prevention for viruses, such as influenza, the common cold or COVID-19 is to:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for 20 seconds. If not available, use hand sanitizer.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or upper sleeve when coughing or sneezing.
  • Avoid contact with people who are sick.
  • If you are sick, stay home, and avoid contact with others.

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