Governor Whitmer Releases MI Safe Start - A Plan to Re-Engage Michigan's Economy
Issued by Governor Whitmer, May 7, 2020
We have made tremendous progress in fighting COVID-19 in Michigan. Our medical workers, first
responders, and other critical workers have put their lives on the line for us every day, and we owe it to
them to do whatever we can to stop the spread of the virus.
All of us know the importance of getting the economy moving again. We have already loosened
some restrictions on landscaping, construction, and manufacturing. But the worst thing we could do
is open up in a way that causes a second wave of infections and death, puts health care workers at
further risk, and wipes out all the progress we’ve made.
We will keep listening to experts and examining the data here in Michigan to reduce deaths, keep our
healthcare system from collapsing, and protect those working on the front lines.
Together, we will move forward.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s MI Safe Start Plan outlines how we will begin to re-engage while
continuing to keep our communities safe. Re-engagement will happen in phases. Those businesses
that are necessary to protect and sustain life are already open. As we move into lower-risk phases,
additional business categories will re-open and the restrictions on public gatherings and social
interactions will ease.
As always, we will be guided by the facts in deciding whether to transition from one phase to
another. We are looking at data every day to understand where we are: data that tells us where the
epidemic is spreading, whether our hospitals and other health-care providers can safely cope with
any surge in infections, and whether our public health system is up to the task of suppressing new
We need to keep working to expand testing and require people who test positive, or are close
contacts of those who do, to self-isolate. Moving too fast without the tests we need could put
Michigan at risk of a second wave of infections. The most important thing right now is to listen to the
experts and follow the medical science.
We are also looking at the best available evidence on the risks that different business sectors
present and the steps that can be taken to mitigate those risks and protect workers. Our Safe Start
Plan has been guided by the state’s top public health and university experts, and is based on input
from a wide range of experts, including the CEOs of major Michigan companies, labor and union
leaders, and small business owners around Michigan.
We must reopen gradually and safely. By proceeding incrementally, we can evaluate the effects of
our decisions. If cases start to surge, we may need to tighten up again. If the disease is contained, we
can keep relaxing. The MI Safe Start Plan will re-engage our economy carefully and deliberately to
avoid a second wave of infections.
This will be a long process. Our ability to move forward depends on all of us and on our collective
commitment to protecting ourselves and others—whether at home, at work, or anywhere else we go.
We will always put the health and safety of Michiganders first.