Michigan governor restarts manufacturing, extends stay-home to May 28

GM Factory production via CNN

Factories must adopt measures to protect their workers, including daily entry screening and, once they are available, the use of no-touch thermometers.

Posted: May 7, 2020 6:06 PM

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer said Thursday that auto and other manufacturing workers can return to the job next week, further easing her stay-at-home order while extending it through May 28 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Manufacturers — which account for 19% of the state’s economy — can resume operations on Monday, which is key for auto parts makers a week ahead of automakers’ planned phased-in May 18 restart.

Factories must adopt measures to protect their workers, including daily entry screening and, once they are available, the use of no-touch thermometers.

“As we’ve done the risk assessment, we feel comfortable that with these safety protocols, we can safely reengage,” Whitmer told reporters. “This is truly good news for our state.”

Manufacturing will be the third major industry to fully reopen in the span of five days. Construction and real estate restarted on Thursday.

The Democratic governor, whose emergency powers are being challenged in court by the Republican-led Legislature, lengthened the shelter-in-place order to last nearly two more weeks in a state where more than 4,300 people have died from COVID-19 complications and where 1.3 million workers have filed for unemployment over seven weeks.

The restrictions had been scheduled to expire May 15.

The state reported 93 additional deaths Thursday and 592 more confirmed cases, bringing the case total to about 45,600. The field hospital in a downtown Detroit convention center no longer has patients and has officially closed, Mayor Mike Duggan said.

While the rate of spread of disease is slowing, we still have spread in many parts of the state,” said Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, the state’s chief medical executive, who continued to urge people to not go out unless it is necessary.

“We are still safer at home,” said Whitmer.

The order continues to limit travel, except for certain reasons like caring for a family member.

Asked what she would say to people who want to visit their moms over Mother’s Day weekend, the governor said to send a card, do a Zoom video call and “go big” later when gatherings are allowed again.

Michigan, which is home to the Detroit Three carmakers, has about 630,000 manufacturing workers who make up 13% of the state’s workforce.

John Walsh, president and CEO of the Michigan Manufacturers Association, estimated that more than half were temporarily laid off because of the pandemic and the moves taken to slow the virus’s spread.

He credited Whitmer for bringing together business and labor leaders “to ensure our workers can return to the job safely.

The safety of our workers is our top priority, and I am confident that Michigan manufacturers are prepared to deliver on the worker protections included in today’s order,” he said.

The measure requires businesses to train their employees on using personal protective equipment, including wearing masks when they cannot consistently stay 6 feet from others. Face shields should be considered for those who are closer than 3 feet apart.

Fiat Chrysler and General Motors have said they will reopen plants starting May 18, while Ford has not officially announced a date.

“The automotive supply chain is highly integrated and complex, and an earlier startup date would certainly be beneficial, as it would allow us to get an even further head start on resuming production,” said Carl Beckwith, senior vice president of global operations for Dana Inc., a Toledo, Ohio, auto parts maker with three Michigan factories.

At least 25 employees at auto facilities represented by the United Auto Workers have died as a result of COVID-19, although it is not known if they were infected at work.

The union said it wants as much testing as possible and a commitment to the full testing of workers as soon as it is available.

The plant closures have cut off almost all revenue for the automakers, which count the money when vehicles are shipped to dealers.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 109683

Reported Deaths: 3495
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20510758
Lake10095315
Elkhart6268107
St. Joseph593596
Allen5849198
Hamilton4589109
Vanderburgh322728
Hendricks2617120
Monroe230036
Johnson2236122
Tippecanoe214213
Clark208156
Porter201144
Cass19239
Delaware182460
Vigo173822
Madison154675
LaPorte135137
Floyd128661
Howard126163
Kosciusko117417
Bartholomew114257
Warrick109335
Marshall97524
Boone94046
Dubois92718
Hancock89842
Noble86932
Grant85833
Henry74224
Wayne73614
Jackson7279
Morgan68538
Shelby66129
LaGrange62911
Daviess62827
Dearborn61628
Clinton59012
Harrison55124
Putnam5159
Lawrence50028
Montgomery49521
White47514
Knox4689
Decatur45039
Gibson4444
DeKalb43111
Miami4223
Greene41335
Fayette41213
Jasper3752
Steuben3577
Scott35010
Sullivan32612
Jennings30712
Franklin29325
Posey2910
Clay2885
Orange28124
Ripley2788
Carroll26713
Wabash2588
Washington2511
Wells2462
Starke2457
Whitley2446
Jefferson2383
Adams2343
Fulton2292
Tipton21522
Huntington2123
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Randolph2037
Perry19914
Newton16711
Jay1660
Owen1641
Martin1570
Rush1494
Pike1341
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Fountain1152
Pulaski1131
Blackford1092
Brown993
Crawford990
Parke932
Benton880
Ohio767
Union760
Switzerland670
Warren381
Unassigned0225

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 142596

Reported Deaths: 4608
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Franklin25658603
Cuyahoga16981643
Hamilton12622307
Montgomery7402151
Lucas7051356
Butler550899
Summit5056248
Marion305447
Mahoning2981279
Warren287648
Stark2706168
Pickaway262344
Lorain223886
Delaware209320
Fairfield198350
Columbiana191480
Trumbull1841131
Licking183562
Clark170438
Wood164671
Clermont159420
Lake155849
Medina141238
Allen135367
Miami132649
Greene131326
Portage105666
Mercer103317
Tuscarawas90819
Wayne89366
Erie88044
Ross84822
Richland77518
Madison77012
Darke75239
Belmont70427
Geauga70147
Hancock6469
Ashtabula63848
Athens5812
Lawrence58118
Shelby5599
Auglaize5559
Sandusky55220
Putnam52823
Huron5207
Union4742
Ottawa46430
Scioto4556
Seneca42914
Preble41513
Holmes3697
Muskingum3652
Jefferson3184
Henry29012
Logan2883
Champaign2853
Perry2839
Knox27715
Clinton27613
Defiance27610
Brown2722
Hardin24813
Morrow2472
Washington24223
Coshocton23011
Fulton2281
Fayette2236
Jackson2234
Highland2193
Ashland2164
Crawford2136
Wyandot20012
Williams1953
Gallia17912
Meigs1689
Hocking1599
Guernsey1557
Carroll1497
Pike1440
Adams1194
Van Wert1113
Monroe10618
Paulding1010
Harrison601
Morgan470
Vinton453
Noble250
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