Whitmer signs an order requiring Michigan companies to deny entry to people who do not wear masks

METERIchigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed an executive order that requires residents to wear masks in indoor public spaces and requires businesses to deny service to those who do not comply.

“The heroes on the front lines of this crisis have gone hours without removing their masks every day: doctors, nurses, child care workers, supermarket workers. We must wear our masks to them when we are traveling in the supermarket or pharmacy, “Whitmer said in a statement.

The new order also allows a fine of up to $ 500 for those who do not comply with the mandate. Those with medical conditions that prevent them from wearing masks are exempt, as are children under the age of 5.

Whitmer claimed that wearing masks can reduce the chance of spreading COVID-19 by as much as 70%, a sentiment shared by Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, Michigan’s chief medical director.

“Wearing a mask or covering your face can significantly decrease the chance of spreading COVID-19 and saving lives,” Khaldun said, according to WMTV. “It is important that all Michiganns wear masks correctly, not under the neck, not just over the mouth, but also correctly over the mouth and nose. Please everyone be patient and stay tuned. ”

Coronavirus cases are increasing in locations across the country. Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, hinted Thursday that states with large coronavirus outbreaks may need to consider closing again. Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said Thursday that a new stay-at-home order could be issued if the number of infections continues to rise.

Whitmer, a Democrat, was criticized by opponents at the beginning of the pandemic when she instituted an expanded executive order that prohibited people from visiting other residences and prohibited the sale of certain nonessential goods.

Michigan has had more than 75,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus and at least 6,275 deaths, according to the most recent count of the New York Times.