Stay Home, Stay Safe, Save Lives: What this Means For You

On Monday March 23, the State of Michigan announced the “Stay Home, Stay Safe” Executive Order that requires all non-critical businesses to temporarily close and all residents to stay home except for essential needs or six feet away from others. This starts on March 24.

Critical businesses include those that are in health care and public health, law enforcement and public safety, grocery stores, etc. Businesses should NOT require non-essential workers to leave their homes. Businesses should adopt social distancing practices to protect workers and patrons.

This order is in effect until April 13

You Can
  • Go to the grocery store or pick up take-out food
  • Go to the pharmacy to pick up prescriptions
  • Engage in outdoor activities like, walking, hiking or biking
  • Go to the hospital or travel to receive necessary medical care for yourself or a loved one
  • Fill your car with gas
  • Return to Michigan to a home or residence from outside the state
  • Leave the state for a home or residence elsewhere
  • Walk your pets and take them to the veterinarian for necessary medical care
You May Not
  • Leave your house to work unless your employer has designated you a critical infrastructure worker
  • Participate in any public gatherings
  • Visit someone in the hospital, nursing home or residential care facilities (with limited exceptions)
  • Go to the mall or restaurants
Businesses That Remain Open for In-Person Work Must Take Aggressive Steps to Slow the Spread
  • Promote work from home to the fullest extent possible
  • Restrict the number of in-person workers on the job
  • Keep employees at least six feet from each other and enable social distancing for customers standing in line
  • Any other social distancing practices as recommended by the Centers for Disease Control
  • Participate in any public gatherings
  • Visit someone in the hospital, nursing home or residential care facilities (with limited exceptions)
  • Go to the mall or restaurants

Why are we doing this?

This is a critical intervention to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our community. This is a mandatory order.

While this news may feel alarming, it is a necessary step to prevent a worsening situation. The patterns of the virus around the world, and in our own state, tell us that moving right now to maximize social distancing and restrict people gathering is the best way to fight the virus and save lives.

We know that there will be a lot of questions and concerns at the beginning of this new routine. This is a major change being taken to protect public health. Please be patient and kind to one another. Together, we will get through this, and our community’s health will be protected.

How long will we stay home?

This goes into effect on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. It is currently set to last through Monday, April 13, 2020.

We want to be sure the Order is in place for only as long as necessary, and the Health Officer will be closely monitoring the situation every day in order to determine what adjustments should be made, if any.

What can I do? What's open?

Essential City and county government services will be open. These include:

  • Healthcare and public health
  • Law enforcement, public safety, and first responders
  • Food and agriculture
  • Energy
  • Water and wastewater
  • Transportation and logistics
  • Public works
  • Communications and information technology, including news media
  • Other community-based government operations and essential functions
  • Critical manufacturing
  • Hazardous materials
  • Financial services
  • Chemical supply chains and safety
  • Defense industrial base
  • Child care works, but only to serve the children or dependents of critical infrastructure workers
Use online services whenever possible.

What's closed?

  • Dine-in restaurants
  • Bars and nightclubs
  • Entertainment venues
  • Gyms and fitness studios
  • Hair, nail and tanning salons

Where does this apply?

This is in effect in all counties and cities across the State of Michigan.

Is this mandatory or is it just guidance?

This is mandatory. This Order is a legal Order issued under the authority of Michigan law. You are required to comply, and it is a misdemeanor crime not to follow the order (although the intent is not for anyone to get into trouble). All persons, businesses, and other entities are required to comply if they do not fall within the exemptions that are specified in the Order.

Social distancing requirements

  • Avoid groups.
  • Stay at least 6 feet away from others.
  • Reduce the time you are around others outside the home, even when at least 6 feet away.
  • When you are outside, you can be closer than 6 ft with people you live with.
  • Keep 6 feet of distance between you and others in a line.
  • When that isn’t possible for short periods, keep the duration short. Be sure when you are in line that you don’t sneeze or cough onto people. If needed, cough or sneeze into your shirt or into an elbow with clothing on.

The best way to reduce their risk of getting sick, as with seasonal colds or the flu, still applies to prevent COVID-19:

  • Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze.
  • Stay home if you are sick.
  • Avoid touching your face.



We will not ticket or tow for:

  • Going over 72-hour parking limits
  • Not showing Residential Permit Parking (RPP) permits
  • Parking in peak-hour towaway zones
  • Street cleaning zone on cleaning day

Your car should not block access for emergency or cleaning vehicles. 

We will ticket or tow your car if you are parked in:

  • Expired parking meters
  • Fire hydrant zones
  • Red and yellow zones
  • "No Stopping" zones 
  • "No Parking" zones
  • Bike or transit lanes
  • Driveways where you are blocking others
  • Streets where you are blocking traffic (double parking)
  • These parking rules impact health and safety.

Public transportation
Use public transportation for essential travel only. Public transit will continue to operate on a limited basis. When using public transport, you should maintain at least 6 feet, 2 to 3 steps away, including if you are on the bus or on trains.

See DDoT for the latest information about bus schedules.

Rideshare services
Rideshare services are permitted for essential travel only. Take social distancing precautions: cover your mouth and nose if you cough or sneeze, use hand sanitizer, and wash your hands before and after rides, etc.

Rental cars
Rental car facilities at the airport and at other locations can stay open if they are used for essential travel and business only. Rental car agencies must thoroughly clean cars between users.

Visiting friends and family

For your safety as well as their safety, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home.

Care for elderly parents or friends or those who have disabilities

Be sure that you protect them and you by following social distancing guidelines:

  • Keep at least 6 feet of distance when possible.  
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue.
  • Wash hands before and after or use hand sanitizer. 

If you are in a vulnerable population, contact friends, family, or others you know who can provide support. They are permitted to pick up any of your needs.

Do not visit friends or family if there is no urgent need.

Shopping and deliveries

Getting food and medicine

You can go to the store to buy food for yourself, for those in your home, and for anyone else that needs help. This also includes medical supplies at a pharmacy and essential home maintenance supplies at a hardware store.

Businesses selling those items can remain open. Employees of those businesses can keep working to ensure those businesses are operating.

These include:

  • Grocery stores
  • Corner stores and convenience stores, including liquor stores that sell food
  • Farmers’ markets
  • Food banks
  • Farm and produce stands
  • Supermarkets
  • Similar food retail establishments
  • Big box stores that sell groceries and essentials

You can also travel to pick up free food for children from schools throughout Detroit.

Help retailers maintain at least 6 feet minimum distance between patrons, including by providing ample space while shopping and waiting in line. Minimize unnecessary trips.

Stockpiling food, necessities, or medicines
Buy normal quantities of these items. This will ensure that there is enough for everyone. You will continue to be able to purchase these items, as stores selling necessary items like grocery stores, pharmacies, and hardware stores will remain open.

Online stores and delivery
Mail and other delivery services to your home can continue to function, as can food delivery services. You can place more orders from online stores. Businesses that deliver goods or services directly to residences are essential businesses that may continue to operate.

Other shopping
You can shop for anything related to health care, office supplies, and hardware supplies.

Other businesses

Other essential businesses include:

  • Hardware stores
  • Laundromats and laundry services
  • Banks
  • Cannabis dispensaries
  • Funeral homes
  • Community benefit organizations on a case-by-case basis
  • Newspapers, television, radio and other media services
  • Veterinary hospitals and clinics 

Every time you make a trip, respect 6 feet of social distancing. Holding group viewings, wakes, or memorial services is not permitted.


You can walk your dog. You can go to the vet or pet hospital if your pet is sick. Remember to distance yourself at least 6 feet from other pets and owners. 

Plumbing and household services

Plumbers, electricians, and exterminators may keep working and providing their services to the public. You can also visit a hardware store to buy supplies for a DIY solution.

Health care

Do not go to the emergency room of a hospital unless you are having an actual emergency.

Routine, elective or non-urgent health needs
Non-essential medical care like eye exams, teeth cleaning, and elective procedures must be cancelled or rescheduled. If possible, health care visits should be done remotely. Contact your health care provider to see what services they are providing. If you are feeling sick, please first call your doctor, a nurse hotline, or an urgent care center.

Prescriptions and pharmacy trips
Drug stores and other medical supply stores are allowed to operate. When possible, have the drug store deliver your prescription medicine to your home.

Getting to my doctor or hospital
If possible, walk or drive yourself to healthcare. If someone else in your home is sick and can drop you off, that is another good option. Try to avoid exposing others to any germs you have, especially if you are seriously ill.

If you have Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) like a surgical mask or N-95 mask, wear that to prevent exposing others. If you don’t have that, you could use a temporary method such as wrapping a clean scarf around your mouth and nose to try to reduce droplets when you cough and sneeze.

Although this is not an approved method, it is something you can do to avoid exposing others.

Other health care options: mental health therapy, optometry, acupuncture, eastern medicine, chiropractic, massage, and medical cannabis
You can go if your health care provider decides these services are essential for your health. Anything that can be done remotely — by phone or online — should be.

If it’s essential, your provider should screen you by phone for coronavirus symptoms before you leave home. If you go, use social distancing and personal protective equipment during the visit. If you need a prescription, have it delivered to your home if possible. This includes medical cannabis.

Health care settings

Visiting hospitals, nursing homes, skilled nursing facilities or residential care

Most visitors are not allowed in health care settings.

There are limited exceptions, such as if you are going to the hospital with a minor who is under 18 years old or someone who is developmentally disabled and needs assistance.

For most other situations, other existing Orders of the Health Officer addressing this emergency prohibit non-necessary visitation to these kinds of facilities. If you need to know more, please contact the facility you want to visit by phone before you leave.

This is difficult, but it is necessary to protect hospital staff and other patients.

Schools and childcare

All schools must stop holding classes at physical locations within Detroit. Schools may provide distance learning to their students. Employees of schools may go to work for the purpose of providing distance learning to their students. Schools can also continue to offer students free and reduced price lunches, which many schools are doing. Find out about free meals from the Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Childcare facilities

  • Childcare facilities can operate to support essential workers. All childcare facilities are not considered Essential Businesses.
  • Limit group sizes, having separate rooms, and preventing children from different groups interacting to the extent possible.
  • Children should be cared for in groups of 12 or fewer, groups of children should not mix with each other, and providers should not circulate between groups.What to do with kids at home.
  • You cannot take them to the playground or arrange playdates.
  • Entertain your children with games, reading, puzzles, and TV/videos at home. Engage them in education using online tools.
  • Take them to trails and open parks.

If you are an essential worker and you need childcare, see the Department of Children, Youth and their Families for information about free, emergency childcare.


Unless your work is an essential function, you cannot go to work. You may have the virus and not know it. You might get it and risk infecting those you live with. Many businesses are not permitted to operate under this Order. Essential Businesses are allowed to operate.

Government employees

Government employees can continue to go to work if they are designated as essential employees by their employer. Other government entities are responsible for determining which of its workers are essential workers.


If nonprofits provide essential services as described in the order, they can and should continue providing those services. This includes those food pantries, housing for homeless residents, and other critical services.

Essential infrastructure organizations

You can continue to operate essential infrastructure organizations, including:

  • water, sewer, gas, electrical
  • roads and highways
  • public transportation
  • Internet
  • telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services)

Health care operations

Healthcare Operations are an essential business. This includes:

  • hospitals, clinics, dentists, other healthcare facilities
  • healthcare suppliers
  • home healthcare services providers
  • any related and/or ancillary healthcare services

This includes vet care and all healthcare services provided to animals. It does not include fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities.

Work from home. You can keep working from home as long as your employer permits it.

Places of worship

Stay home. For your safety and the safety of your fellow worshippers, we need to help each other fight the spread of COVID-19 by staying at home. Places of worship can offer remote access to services, such as by emails, video streaming, or teleconference.

Staying active

Fitness and exercise gyms and similar facilities must be closed. Stay outdoors and not in close contact with other people. You can engage in certain activities outdoors. You should not play sports indoors or play team sports.  

Sports that are permitted (as long as you keep at least 6 feet from anyone else and don’t share equipment):  

  • yoga on your own (no sharing blocks or mats)
  • running alone or with others with distance
  • riding your bike (alone or with distance)
  • walking (alone or with distance)
  • stretching
  • swimming in the lake or in your own pool/hot tub
  • shooting baskets by yourself, or hitting a tennis ball against a backboard

Not permitted: 

  • any team sports where there is any contact or where a ball or other equipment is touched by multiple people (soccer, baseball, basketball, Frisbee, etc.)  
  • swimming in a communal pool

Go outside

Spending time outside improves mood and wellbeing, and is particularly beneficial to children. Go for walks, go to the park, and engage in other similar activities. Maintain social distance of 6 feet or more when on walks and in parks to avoid spread of the virus.

Air travel

You can travel in and out of only to perform essential activities, operate essential businesses, or to maintain essential governmental functions.

Otherwise, do not travel. Travel puts you and others in the community at risk.

Returning to Detroit

People currently on vacation can return home. Maintain social distancing on your way home. Then stay in your home for the duration of this order.

If you prefer to shelter in place at your current location, you are encouraged to follow these recommendations while outside Detroit to protect yourself and others.

Leaving Detroit

Do not travel. The Order requires that you shelter in your place of residence.

If you leave Detroit for vacation or any other non-essential purpose, you may not be permitted to return to your residence.

Traveling runs the risk of spreading the virus to other areas and exposing new populations.

If you live outside of Detroit but need to come here, you are allowed to travel to and from an essential business, like a medical appointment.

Returning to a home outside Detroit

If you are currently visiting Detroit, do your best to avoid spreading the risk of the virus.

If you have a car and can return home via travel, do so if you follow social distancing of at least 6 feet.

If you have a flight or other travel, check first to see if your carrier is still operating and what protocols they require.

If you need to stay longer, coordinate with your accommodations as best you can.

Shelter in place when you arrive at your destination to avoid infecting anyone else in your home community.

Operating a business

Essential businesses

Essential Businesses may stay open and their employees may leave home to go to work.  Examples of Essential Businesses include:

  • Healthcare organizations, such as hospitals, medical and mental health clinics, doctor offices, pharmacies, health care supply stores, and other health care facilities. 
  • Grocery stores, certified farmers’ markets, farm and produce stands, supermarkets, food banks, convenience stores, and other store groceries.
  • Food cultivation
  • Gas stations and auto-supply, auto-repair, and related facilities.
  • Banks and related financial institutions.
  • Garbage and sanitation services and collection.
  • Hardware stores, and plumbers, electricians, exterminators, and other service providers who provide services that are necessary to maintaining the safety and sanitation.
  • Schools, for distance learning and providing meals.
  • Laundromats and laundry service providers.
  • Restaurants and other prepared food facilities, but only for delivery or carry out.
  • Businesses that supply products needed for people to work from home;
  • Businesses that supply other essential businesses with the support or supplies necessary to operate; 
  • Businesses that ship or deliver groceries, food, goods or services directly to residences; 
  • Airlines, taxis, and other private transportation providers providing transportation services necessary for Essential Activities and other purposes expressly authorized in this Order;
  • Home-based care for seniors, adults, or children;
  • Residential facilities and shelters for seniors, adults, and children;
  • Professional services, such as legal or accounting services, when necessary to assist in compliance with legally mandated activities;
  • Childcare facilities providing services that enable employees exempted in this Order to work as permitted, subject to certain conditions in the childcare section

Warehouses and distribution centers

Businesses that supply and ship goods to essential businesses may stay open.

Food facilities

Follow the best practices for allowable food facility operations included in this Notice to Food Facilities—Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Non-essential businesses

If you run a non-essential business (like a clothing store), you and your employees are allowed to perform Minimum Basic Operations. 

Minimum operations include:

  • the minimum necessary activities to maintain the value of the business’s inventory, ensure security, or for related functions.
  • the minimum necessary activities to facilitate employees of the business being able to continue to work remotely from their residences.

Employees must maintain a distance of 6 feet from each other.


Most commercial construction projects are non-essential and must stop.

Essential infrastructure projects can continue. They include:

  • Public works construction like roadway infrastructure and utilities
  • Construction of housing (in particular affordable housing or housing for individuals experiencing homelessness)
  • Airport operations
  • Water, sewer, gas, and electrical 
  • Oil refining
  • Roads and highways
  • Public transportation
  • Solid waste collection and removal
  • Internet and telecommunications systems (including the provision of essential global, national, and local infrastructure for computing services, business infrastructure, communications, and web-based services)

Public works construction
Public works construction like roadway infrastructure and utilities can continue. Find out about the status of Department of Public Works projects.

New residential Building Permit and Development applications
The Department of Building Inspections is closed to visitors. We are answering calls and emails. See more information about the Permit Center.


This is a legally enforceable order issued under Michigan law. It is a crime to violate this Order, and you may be punished by a fine or imprisonment for doing so.